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    ABSTRACT: In the recent literature, the Spirit Christology of the puritan theologian John Owen has been offered as a constructive contribution to Christian theology. In this article, Owen's Spirit Christology is set out and criticized. Although there is much to commend in Owen's approach, it is deficient in several important respects. In its place, an “Owenite” pneumatologically sensitive Christology is considered, drawing on the notion of divine hiddenness in the Incarnation, or divine krypsis. This succeeds in precisely the areas where Owen's account is wanting.
    Journal of Reformed Theology. 12/2010; 5(1):5-25.
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    ABSTRACT: In the recent literature there have been several accounts of Jonathan Edwards's doctrine of God (Theology Proper). In this paper, I offer a rather different interpretation of Edwards, showing that his understanding of the divine nature is much more in keeping with the Reformed scholastic tradition in which he was educated, despite the fact that he ends up embracing a version of panentheism.
    Journal of Reformed Theology. 05/2009; 3(2):175-201.
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    ABSTRACT: I critically examine Edward Oakes' claim that Hans Urs von Balthasar's theology of the descent into hell provides the best answer regarding the possible salvation of the unevangelized non-Christian. First, I contest Oakes' claim based on christological and trinitarian difficulties in Balthasar's descent theology. Second, I utilize the early Christian tradition's understanding of Christ's descent into the limbo of the just to address the problem of the salvation of the unevangelized. Third, I draw on Joseph DiNoia's use of purgatory to further elaborate upon the ‘descent’ tradition as a resource to address the question of the salvation of the unevangelized. My overall claim is that the descent into hell is indeed an important theological resource for addressing the question of the possible salvation for the unevangelized, but not in the way that Balthasar and Oakes construe it.
    International Journal of Systematic Theology 03/2009; 11(2):146 - 171.
  • Modern Theology 11/2008; 2(2):125 - 143.
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    ABSTRACT: In modern theology the doctrine of the Virgin Birth of Christ, including the doctrine of his Virginal Conception, has been the subject of considerable scepticism. One line of criticism has been that the traditional doctrine of the Virgin Birth seems unnecessary to the Incarnation. In this essay I lay out one construal of the traditional argument for the doctrine and show that, although one can offer an account of the Incarnation without the Virgin Birth which, in other respects, is perfectly in accord with catholic Christianity, such a doctrine is still contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture and the Creeds on the question of the mode of the Incarnation. It might still be thought that the Incarnation was an ‘unfitting’ means of Incarnation. In a final section I draw upon Anselm's arguments in defence of the Incarnation to show that this objection can also be overcome.
    The Heythrop Journal 06/2007; 49(2):197 - 221.
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    ABSTRACT: McLeod Campbell is synonymous with the doctrine of atonement known as vicarious penitence, according to which Christ atones for human sin by repenting on behalf of fallen human beings. This understanding of Christ's work has been very influential, but not always clearly understood. In this article I set out a version of this doctrine, called non-penal substitution, drawing on the work of Jonathan Edwards, the original inspiration for Campbell's work. This version of non-penal substitution is able to overcome several difficulties for the Campbellian version of the doctrine and offers an intriguing and original way of conceiving the work of Christ that, unlike Campbell's account, does not require revisions to the doctrine of God.
    International Journal of Systematic Theology 05/2007; 9(4):415 - 433.
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    ABSTRACT: In his recent two-volume Systematic Theology, Robert Jenson offers an account of Christ's pre-existence that is, in several important respects, an original contribution to the literature. In this article, I offer a critical interaction with Jenson's doctrine. In particular, I show that what Jenson has to say about (a) divine eternity and (b) the relationship between philosophy and theology, have important bearings on his construal of Christ's pre-existence and, in the final analysis, skew what he has to say on the matter. I conclude that Jenson's account of this doctrine, though suggestive and insightful in several respects, is unsuccessful, indeed, incoherent, as it stands.
    Modern Theology 12/2006; 23(1):27 - 45.
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    ABSTRACT: Nineteenth-century Calvinistic theologians in the United States explored both ‘federalist’ and ‘realist’ accounts of the transmission of original sin from Adam to his progeny. An examination of the logic of three of these accounts, those of William Shedd, Augustus Strong (who were both realists) and Charles Hodge (who was a federalist), shows that aspects of their views can be defended and yields some helpful pointers towards a realist reconstruction of the doctrine today.
    International Journal of Systematic Theology 01/2006; 8(1):55 - 71.
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    ABSTRACT: References to Eastern religions are found throughout Teilhard's work. Often considered to be mainly negative, these need to be critically reassessed within the wider context of Teilhard's experience and thought. Primarily interested in the renewal of Christianity (criticized more sharply than Eastern religions), he emphasized the living branches of religion and the need for a gradual convergence toward a religion of action in order to bring about a global transformation of life and thought. He spoke of the “road of the West” or a “new mysticism” which, however, cannot come into existence without the contribution of Eastern religions.
    Zygon(r) 12/2005; 30(1):47 - 72.
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    ABSTRACT: John Webster's Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch (2003) is summarized, praised for its various strengths, and subjected to critical theological analysis. I argue that finally Webster's arguments fall short of what he wants to preserve: that in holy scripture we are confronted by God's Word, interpreted through his Spirit. It falls short precisely because the authoritative role of tradition is underplayed. Internal to Webster's argument the conceptual priority of sanctification to inspiration is called into question. I approach this criticism of Webster from a close inspection of his treatment of the Roman Catholic position on the matter.
    International Journal of Systematic Theology 10/2004; 6(4):337 - 350.
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