Sunday, 3 August 2014

Helm's Deep: Can Lister Keep the Balance?

Helm's Deep: Can Lister Keep the Balance?

Paul Helm has recently been writing a lot of posts about modifications to classic theism by Evangelical theologians. In this post, he offers a further critique of Rob Lister's disappointing modification of the doctrine of divine impassibility.

Helm says of such Evangelical revisions:

"It occurs to me that in this convergence of views in the direction of what is called ‘modified classical theism’ there is the makings of a theology for the ‘big tent’ of evangelicalism, a formula for providing space for the various disparate theological elements that go to make up modern evangelicalism, - de-confessionalized Reformed congregations, Wesleyan, Pentecostalist, and so on. Here is a theology that says that God is other than his creation but he is equally - in a parallel way - in the creation, There is little or no need to resort to metaphor, simile and accommodation to interpret biblical language about God – literalism will suffice. It can be treated not as ‘pretty packaging’ of revealed truth but as the literal truth about God in time and space. Is that fanciful? But is not such a theology troubled by incoherence? No more that the various ecclesiastical elements jostling under the Big Top present consistencies to the watching world (if, that is, the world is watching.) I do not mean that any, and certainly not all, the contributors to this series on neoclassical-theism intends their theologising in this way. But then human history. including church history, is filled with unintended consequences."

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