Friday, September 30, 2011

Kosuke Koyama on Subordinating Great Theological Thoughts to the Needs of the Farmers

Re-posting a wonderful quote from my brother Garrett's blog:

“I decided to subordinate great theological thoughts, like those of Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth, to the intellectual and spiritual needs of the farmers. I decided that the greatness of theological works is to be judged by the extent and quality of the service they can render to the farmers to whom I am sent. I also decided that I have not really understood Summa Theologiae and Church Dogmatics until I am able to use them for the benefit of the farmers. My theology in northern Thailand must begin with the need of the farmers and not with the great thoughts developed in Summa Theologiae and Church Dogmatics. . . . The reason is simple: God has called me to work here in northern Thailand, not in Italy or Switzerland. And I am working with neither a Thomas Aquinas nor a Karl Barth. . . . The theology for northern Thailand begins and grows in northern Thailand, and nowhere else.”

-Kosuke Koyama, Water Buffalo Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books: 1999 [1974]), xvi

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wondering What Will Campbell Would Say About Last Night's Two Executions

Last night two men were executed. You've probably heard of the first, Troy Davis, a man whose guilt has become more and more questionable every year since his conviction in 1989. The other is a man you may know less about: white supremacist Lawrence Brewer, who by all accounts is absolutely guilty of brutally murdering a black man in 1998 by dragging him from the back of his truck.

The publicity that the sentencing and the (for so long pending, for so long prolonged) execution of Davis garnered across the nation as well as internationally is -- despite its tragic failure -- something to be celebrated. A profound injustice was planned, coordinated, and enacted in spite of the evidence and massive public outcry, and to have highlighted this as flagrantly and prophetically as possible is nothing but good news for advocates of the end of the death penalty.

But in light of the odd, awful coincidence of the execution of both these men on the same night, and in such politically and socially inverse situations (clearly guilty racist murderer, questionably convicted African American), an enormous question arises for anyone concerned with the question of the justice of capital punishment.

Are we willing to fight for a world in which both Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewer would still be alive today?

That is a hard question to answer. And we should resist the temptation to be rash in answering "radically," as if we don't have, deep inside us, a vengeful satisfaction in the death of a white supremacist. I know I do. Troy Davis's case is so clearly and profoundly a matter of injustice that it overwhelms me that people had to fight for him at all -- and that they lost!

But Lawrence Brewer? I don't know how to "fight" for him. I don't know if I could.

So I'm wondering, today, what Will Campbell would say about all this. Campbell is that extraordinary apocalyptic minister of the gospel of radical reconciliation, present in solidarity with oppressed blacks in the 50s and 60s and on, and somehow equally present in solidarity with white racists and killers. Not, mind you, in solidarity with their bigotry or actions, but with them as human beings for whom Christ died, whose sins are not too great for the work and love of the God of the cross.

What would Campbell have us say about last night's executions? Some have made a start in that direction. For myself, the question is shattering; it reduces me to ungrasping, unknowing prayer -- prayer, in this case, to the God whose own human life was lived in solidarity with such men, even to the point of death. To the point, that is, of being executed himself at the hands of an unjust state.

Kyrie eleison. Lord have mercy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Politics All the Way Down: On Rick Perry's "The Response"

In early August, a friend of mine sent a message out to a dozen or so people he trusted to help him in a process of discernment. He lives in Houston and was drawn to attend (with his family) Ricky Perry's "The Response." However, he had heard vitriolic critiques leveled at the event, going so far as to call it a heretical event. He was honestly seeking to discern whether attending would be a wise decision, feeling as he did (and does) the moral and spiritual and political morass in which the nation finds itself today. Others replied, more or less unanimously in support of going -- even if not personally enthusiastic about it -- while I offered a different perspective. I thought it would be worthwhile to share it here, much after the fact, for reflection. (A bit of an epilogue is attached to the end.)

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Thanks so much for your thoughtful message. As you might imagine, I have lots of thoughts, so I'll try to organize them in some kind of coherent way.

1. Regarding the event as "heresy," I can't imagine on what grounds someone would make that claim. And I'm not sure if the source (I couldn't find it on Google) is "left wing" (and so not liking this "right wing" event) or "super right wing" (and so not liking something that's to the so-called "left" of it). Either way, heresy is a big accusation, and doesn't just mean "bad idea," but is a categorical claim that some belief or practice stands in direct opposition to the gospel, such that a Christian could not share in it without thereby undoing their own Christian identity. "The Response" is something worth critically thinking about, but it's hard to imagine finding grounds to label it heresy, at least in my book.

2. Having said that, I do have real and serious concerns about the event, more or less all of which are in contrast to the responses I saw from others who responded to your message. Let's see if I can get them in a readable order...

a. I appreciate and admire your desire to get "beyond" politics, or to set politics aside, but I don't think that's possible in this situation. This event is inherently political: organized and led by the governor of Texas, bathed in American colors/language/etc., "by" and "for" Americans concerned about the status of their nation. I can't imagine anything more political!

b. This is more of an aside, but I am also working out of the assumption that there can finally be no clear line between "spiritual" and "political." By that I don't mean that "the spiritual" always picks a side in governmental policy -- there is always ambiguity and disagreement there -- but rather that "the political" names the thousandfold perspectives and practices that make for "living our life together," for ordering our shared life in the neighborhood, municipality, town, city, state, region, nation. So that even something as simple as worshiping Jesus as Lord is a political act, because, even though it seems normal or "only" spiritual, it says to the rulers and authorities that they aren't ultimately in charge, and that we serve a different master -- which means that they can't be sure of our obedience or loyalty, which in turn is an enormous political fact.

c. Returning to "The Response" (TR for short): my concern is that this event is political in a bad way. First, because it is spearheaded and advertised by the sitting governor of Texas, a profoundly conservative Republican politician who -- perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not -- is a potential presidential candidate. That fact alone "colors" TR in a certain way that, in my opinion, marks it out as a certain kind of political territory; and that kind of political alignment quickly becomes a popular alignment between "that party" and "those Christians," whether true or not, since it is a public event and so a matter of public perception. And that, to me, seems not to be a good thing.

d. Second, apart from the political partisanship in play, there is an extraordinary blurring of the lines between "Christian" and "American" (or "church" and "nation") here that makes me extremely uncomfortable. Notice the video ad by Perry: what is he standing in between? A cross and a communion table? Nope: an American flag and a Texas flag. Note also the confusion of "we" language in his address and in the longer video accompaniment: Who exactly is the "we"? Is it "we Christians," the "we" of the church? Or is it "we Americans," the "we" of the nation? The constant overlap seems to imply that "we" names a single subject, when there are always two; moreover, it suggests that the "dominant" identity is American, to which "Christian" is subordinate.

In other words, it is not the church that is gathering in Houston to pray for the country in which it happens to reside, but rather the nation as such, praying out of a fierce loyalty and overriding patriotism and identity-giving love for the country. But can Christians "be" and "feel" that way, when they know that America is merely one nation among others, a mere grain of sand or blade of grass before God, to be raised up and brought down at whatever point in history? "America" names something temporal and non-lasting, and so something which cannot ground our fundamental identity: nothing more (but also nothing less) than the concrete neighbors to whom we have been sent in mission, to witness to God's kingdom -- which mission and kingdom give us our true identity.

e. I also have concerns about something that seems to be less on the surface, but no less a part of TR. It is this subtle theme of "bad things happening to us recently," and that this is related somehow to "we" (again, as a nation) not being in proper relation to God. I have encountered this before, and while I realize it means well, it strikes me as somewhat of a bizarre notion. The implication seems to be that if "we" (Americans) get "back" (was there some previous golden age?) into a proper relationship to God, as a nation, then prosperity, or a lack of problems, or a lack of natural disasters, or other bad things will stop happening to us. Which then implies that those things are God's punishment of "us" for not being who "we" need to be.

To be honest, I can't make heads or tails of this, except as straightforward prosperity gospel. By contrast, the church-we, disciples of Christ, know that suffering and hardship and difficulty are not consequences of disobedience, but something we should expect just as much if not more so when we are faithful, as well as what happens "to the just and the unjust alike"! So how could we interpret "bad things happening" in themselves as God's judgment on us or punishment of us?

f. Besides what would it even look like for the nation as a whole to "get back on track"? Sometimes there is this notion that there was a golden age in the past when America was "more" Christian or more "faithful" -- but that is 100% false. It certainly wasn't in the first 90 years of horrific enslavement of black brothers and sisters, nor the following century of rampant abuse and exclusion and bigotry, alongside poverty, war, and mistreatment of women. (And this, no matter how many people were going to church or self-identified Christians.)

That leads us up to the last 50 years, which I doubt anyone would call an exemplary time of America's relationship to God. Hence my queasiness with these kinds of sentiment: they seem to posit a return to some kind of prior mythical "good" time, when there in fact was none; and they seem also, simultaneously, to suggest that if only we'd get our house in order, then bad stuff would stop happening. But unless we're willing to jump on the prosperity gospel train, I can't see endorsing that way of thinking.

f. Last two thoughts. First, regarding sincerity: I don't disagree at all with some others who replied to your message, talking about certain people organizing and involving themselves with TR, that they are sincere and well-meaning and faithful believers who only want to submit themselves to God on behalf of a tired and struggling nation. Nor do any of my comments above have anything to do with your own desire to participate, insofar as you are coming from a place of serious and authentic desire to turn to God, before anything else, for comfort and deliverance in times that are truly challenging for us and our neighbors and the nation in which we find ourselves.

My thoughts and comments have to do with the event itself, with what it "is" and "stands for," and with the implicit philosophy or worldview that seems to be driving it. My only critique of the claim to sincerity is the following: I don't think sincerity of heart is the only thing to evaluate in situations like this. People can be well-meaning and have good character and still be wrong -- or, at the very least, they can go about what they want to achieve in a less-than-wise way. That's not an indictment of the men and women themselves, only an indication of how ridiculously complex all this is.

g. Finally, I should be clear that I think many of the stated purposes and objectives of TR are worthwhile things I agree with: seeking God's leading; repenting of injustice; prayer for wisdom and guidance; communal expressions of worship and self-forgetfulness; etc. It would be interesting to imagine what faithful forms of these and other practices might be on the part of the church, and/or how those might intersect with something like a national (non-religious/non-Christian/inter-faith) expression of repentance/turning/changing/justice-seeking, if at all. My interpretation of "The Response" is simply that I don't think it succeeds on either front, but rather is a self-damaging blend of the two.

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My friend ended up going, and afterwards wrote about how powerful and meaningful an experience it was. Other than what he perceived to be a couple minor exceptions, the event seemed to be apolitical, God-focused, and uplifting -- with Perry largely sidelined. Moreover, he said that the makeup of the attendees was as ethnically and socioeconomically diverse as anything he'd ever participated in, perhaps reflecting the political diversity present, too. In the subsequent weeks, however, I noted the essays and articles piling up in critique of the event, seemingly confirming my fears about it. I sent some along to him; he politely but firmly demurred, and again defended himself and the event; and so I replied with my concluding thoughts below.

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Thanks for your thoughtful reply. A brief reply of my own:

To some extent, it seems like this comes down to a question prior to the one about whether the event was authentic and God-glorifying "on the inside." That question is: How should Christians, particularly in America, evaluate and discern their participation in particular events whose image presented to society is likely to communicate something negative -- especially if what is communicated does not "match" what actually occurs within the event itself?

My open bias and inclination is always suspicion, particularly of events bound up with governmental politics. Hence, whether it was actually the case -- and from your report, which I of course trust, it sounds like (at least in some respects) it definitively was not the case -- the broad cultural image cast around the country of "The Response" was a kind of "warm-up with the evangelicals" for Perry as a lead-up to his announcement to run for President. And, to be honest, that remains my cynical (but sincere) reading.

Thus, the question now becomes: If all that is true, can the event have been as authentic and God-present as it seemed to you?

And I want to make clear that I think the answer to that second question can still be "Yes" even if the motivations and political machinations behind the scenes were as cynical as I suspect (or, better, fear).

In the end, who knows? I'm glad it was a good experience, and so cross-culturally edifying. I retain my doubts about Perry, even as I'm delighted to hear that he wasn't exactly center stage. In any case, glad to have the dialogue.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: R. S. Thomas (IV)

Another -- perhaps final, perhaps not -- R. S. Thomas poem to continue my recent string of them. An alternative title, as you'll see by the end, might be "On Prayer." Whole theologies could be woven out of this extraordinary vision of Thomas's. So I'll leave you to it.

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Adjustments

By R. S. Thomas

Never known as anything
but an absence, I dare not name him
as God. Yet the adjustments
are made. There is an unseen
power, whose sphere is the cell
and the electron. We never catch
him at work, but can only say,
coming suddenly upon an amendment,
that here he has been. To demolish
a mountain you move it stone by stone
like the Japanese. To make a new coat
of an old, you add to it gradually
thread by thread, so such change
as occurs is more difficult to detect.

Patiently with invisible structures
he builds, and as patiently
we must pray, surrendering the ordering
of the ingredients to a wisdom that
is beyond our own. We must change the mood
to the passive. Let the deaf men
be helped; in the silence that has come
upon them, let some influence
work so that those closed porches
be opened once more. Let the bomb
swerve. Let the raised knife of the murderer
be somehow deflected. There are no
laws there other than the limits of
our understanding. Remembering rock
penetrated by glass-blade, corrected
by water, we must ask rather
for the transformation of the will
to evil, for more loving
mutations, for the better ventilating
of the atmosphere of the closed mind.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Martin Luther on "no other God than this incarnate and human God"

"[T]rue Christian theology . . . does not present God to us in His majesty, as Moses and other teachings do, but Christ born of the Virgin as our Mediator and High Priest. Therefore when we are embattled against the Law, sin, and death in the presence of God, nothing is more dangerous than to stray into heaven with our idle speculations, there to investigate God in His incomprehensible power, wisdom, and majesty, to ask how He created the world and how He governs it. If you attempt to comprehend God this way and want to make atonement to Him apart from Christ the Mediator, making your works, fasts, cowl, and tonsure the mediation between Him and yourself, you will inevitably fall, as Lucifer did, and in horrible despair lose God and everything. For as in His own nature God is immense, incomprehensible, and infinite, so to man's nature He is intolerable. Therefore if you want to be safe and out of danger to your conscience and your salvation, put a check on your speculative spirit. Take hold of God as Scripture instructs you: 'Since, in wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.' Therefore begin where Christ began -- in the Virgin's womb, in the manger, and at His mother's breasts. For this purpose He came down, was born, lived among men, suffered, was crucified, and died, so that in every possible way He might present Himself to our sight. He wanted us to fix the gaze of our hearts upon Himself and thus to prevent us from clambering into heaven and speculating about the Divine Majesty.

"Therefore when you consider the doctrine of justification and wonder how or where or in what condition to find a God who justifies or accepts sinners, then you must know that there is no other God than this Man Jesus Christ. Take hold of Him; cling to Him with all your heart, and spurn all speculation about the Divine Majesty; for whoever investigates the majesty of God will be consumed by His glory. I know from experience what I am talking about. . . . Christ Himself says: 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me.' Outside Christ, the Way, therefore, you will find no other way to the Father; you will find only wandering, not truth, but hypocrisy and lies, not life, but eternal death. Take note, therefore, in the doctrine of justification or grace that when we all must struggle with the Law, sin, death, and the devil, we must look at no other God than this incarnate and human God."

--Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians: Chapters 1-4, trans. Jaroslav Pelikan (Luther's Works Vol. 26; St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1963 [1535]), 29

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Wendell Berry for the Anniversay of 9/11

My intention was to post a Wendell Berry poem on the third anniversary of beginning this series, in the last week of August. As it happens, however, even though I've shared this particular poem before, these words are especially worth pondering today, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

What follows is the fifth in Berry's series of unnamed Sabbath poems written in 1995, found in A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997.

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Now you know the worst

By Wendell Berry

To my granddaughters who visited the Holocaust Museum on the day of the burial of Yitzhak Rabin

Now you know the worst
we humans have to know
about ourselves, and I am sorry,

for I know that you will be afraid.
To those of our bodies given
without pity to be burned, I know

there is no answer
but loving one another,
even our enemies, and this is hard.

But remember:
when a man of war becomes a man of peace,
he gives a light, divine

though it is also human.
When a man of peace is killed
by a man of war, he gives a light.

You do not have to walk in darkness.
If you will have the courage for love,
you may walk in light. It will be

the light of those who have suffered
for peace. It will be
your light.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Q&A With a Closeted Christian Universalist

In the recent hubbub surrounding Rob Bell's book -- to which I contributed my own (more meta) reflections back in March -- I got into a conversation with a friend who is an avowed, though closeted, universalist. My own mind remains unsettled, and in a double sense: I am unsure of what, ultimately, to think on the matter, and the question itself is a kind of destabilizing force in my attempts to answer it. That being the (perilous) situation, I sent my friend some questions for my own personal benefit; but it turned out I appreciated them so much that I thought (with permission) that I'd share them here.

My questions, obviously, are in bold; universalistic answers follow.

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Who is the final arbiter of the conviction that all will ultimately be saved? Is it, or can it be, more than than merely the individual believer?

Who is the final arbiter of any Christian conviction other than God? I am not sure we have a "final arbiter" for anything until the eschaton when God makes everything clear. In the present, individuals must make choices and discern what to trust and where to place their faith, in conversation with a variety of sources and relying on those sources to varying degrees.

Doesn't it seem at least somewhat compromising/sketchy that universalism would seem most compelling to "us," a notoriously relativistic and pluralistic generation/culture, plus one that knows almost no suffering, sectarianism, isolation, persecution, encounter with evil, etc? Sure, as a person of almost complete privilege, who has never had to suffer seriously, it "sounds good" to affirm universalism -- but then again, I would!

In a sense, yes. But, it is not like this is a new doctrine. Of course, it has always been the minority view and that definitely counts against it, but it is not like it was only thought up today. Also, there are universalist accounts that bend towards relativism, but not all of them. And it would make sense that it would become appealing in a pluralistic generation/culture, when people are regularly confronted with people of other faiths. It is remarkable that anyone post-Constantine could formulate a doctrine of universalism, considering almost everyone was a Christian, except for their enemies!

In regards to our being a generation that knows almost no suffering/persecution/encounter with evil/etc., I don't think that is necessarily fair. In fact, I think many are drawn to universalism in light of the Holocaust. At least for me, that makes it very attractive. How can I say that Nazi Christians are going to inherit eternal life with God, while the tortured and slaughtered Jews are going to eternal hell? I would say it is in light of the horrible suffering people in the 20th century witnessed and heard about that makes universalism attractive. I (we) want God to make things right for every single Jew that was deprived of their humanity in the Holocaust, and I desire the same for their persecutors.

Richard Beck's recent post resonates with me big time: either God chooses people's eternal destiny or people choose their own. So either God sends people to hell or people choose to go there. But if God does, that seems messed up. If people choose, then it seems really unjust that I get to spend eternal life with God, in large part because where I was born and to whom I was born, while someone else was born in a different place and to different parents. I want to uphold a level of responsibility for human choices, which is why I believe in a limited judgment, but eternal condemnation seems a little disproportionate.

In the opening monologue to the film Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck says something like, "In this neighborhood people don't fall through the cracks, they are born in the cracks and then fall through them." If that is true, then it seems like God's grace ought to ultimately redeem those people.

Don't most New Testament texts seem to imply what's usually called "dual destiny"? How ought we to read these texts?

Indeed. First, you should read Beck's series on this because he devotes an entire blog post to it. Second, I think the texts that bend towards universalism seem closer to the center of the gospel (Philippians 2). Third, I think we could probably make sense of many of those dual destiny texts in light of universalism, as limited judgments. Fourth, I think there are super-strong extra-biblical reasons for universalism that need to be taken quite seriously.

What is hell?

Isn't this a question for a dual destiny person, like yourself? For me, I think of hell like purgatory, a place of purification and purging in the "refiner's fire" of God's love. I don't think I am happy with the "absence of God" interpretation of hell, but instead I like to think about it as the full presence of God overshadowing the evil in people's lives and cleansing them of it.

What are we to do with a belief/conviction that we refuse to proclaim? In what way is universalism, then, good news? Is it? Or is it just a largely unspoken hope?

It seems to me that there ought to be lots of beliefs/convictions that you, as a professional theologian, should refuse to proclaim, except when questioned. In fact, I would argue that plenty of things I (we) believe may be true, are not necessarily healthy for public proclamation in the church. I don't plan on talking to my children about universalism until they are old enough to understand and conceptualize it in a theologically sophisticated way. Universalism is dangerous for the developmentally, theologically, or spiritually immature.

I do think it is appropriate to share the doctrine of universalism for those who inquire, especially when those outside the faith are inquiring and dual destiny is a stumbling block to faith.

While I think the critique that the urgency for missions "is taken away" is a weak one, isn't there something to the idea that those who are persecuted and martyred, who hold to the good confession until the end, do so with exactly the same "reward" (biblical language!) as their torturers/murderers? Though this might be the very scandal/radicality of the thing, at the very least it seems to cut out from under the power and motivation on the part of the sufferer for Christ.

I hear you on this, but I guess I am inclined to a purgatorial view of things here. The martyr will be ushered immediately into the loving presence of God and will experience this as sheer joy and delight. The torturers/murderers will face that same loving presence as pain and judgment.

(Here I would highly recommend Marilyn McCord Adams' Christ and Horrors. It is excellent, and would be a great place for dialogue. She makes some fascinating philosophical claims.)

One last thing: It seems like the normative pattern for martyrs should be Jesus and Stephen: "Forgive them for they no not know what they do," not satisfaction that their tormenters are going to eternal damnation.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oliver O'Donovan on the Indeterminacy of Understanding Scripture

"The distance between the text and ourselves can never be, and should never be supposed to be, swallowed up by our understanding of it. Whatever it may be that I have concluded from reading the Scriptures, that conclusion must be open to fresh interrogation, since the Scriptures themselves will be its judge. If, after reading the Bible faithfully, I am confident enough to make some ringing declaration, this does not mean that my declaration is as good as contained within the Bible. In a faithful dogmatic formulation there is, of course, a proper authority. There are times and places where that authority allows for, or requires, a ringing declaration. Yet the question of whether the dogmatic formulation has in fact faithfully expressed the Scriptures' emphasis is always worth discussing, even if the outcome of the discussion is affirmative every time. The question 'What does the Bible mean, and how does it affect us?' can never be out of order in the church, as though the giving of well-founded answers in the past could make the whole question of merely antiquarian interest. We must not, then, in the supposed interest of a 'biblical' ethic, try to close down moral issues prescriptively, announcing that we already know what the Bible teaches and guarding against wrong answers by forbidding further examination. The church's leading institutions may, of course, properly resolve that it is inappropriate for them to invest further time and effort in study of a matter that may be considered closed for all practical purposes. But what the leading institutions may quite properly resolve not to undertake, the Spirit in the church may prompt other believers to undertake, for the word authority means, quite simply, that we have to go on looking back to this source if we are to keep on the right track.

"Why should we find this difficult to accept? The truth is that we resist admitting indeterminacy in our understanding of the text. Once such an admission is made, we fear, 'anything goes.' A host of false prophets will take advantage of our respectful distance; they will rush forward to wrest Scripture out of its plain sense, force it into authorizing what cannot be authorized. And of course in the short run, at least, this fear is likely to prove all too well grounded. False prophets are, and always will be, legion. We must simply expect to hear abominations and absurdities put forward in the confident claim that such are compatible with or authorized by Scripture. To this intense annoyance we, like generation of faithful believers before us, are called. The question is this: What sacrifice of our faith would we make if, to avoid the annoyance for ourselves and the disturbance for the church, we closed down on the reading and interpretation of Holy Scripture, declared that there was nothing to discuss? To our fears we have to put the question in return of whether the Spirit of the living God is a match for the perversity of humankind, whether Jesus' promise about the gates of hell being unable to prevail is seriously enough meant to be trusted."

--Oliver O'Donovan, "The Moral Authority of Scripture," in Scripture's Doctrine and Theology's Bible: How the New Testament Shapes Christian Dogmatics, ed. Markus Bockmuehl and Alan J. Torrance (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008), 174-75