Divine Simplicity

Christ and the Crisis of Metaphysics

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Paul R. Hinlicky
  • Grand Rapids, MI: 
    Baker Academic
    , July
     256 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Bradley Penner forthcoming.


Paul Hinlicky, a leading systematic theologian widely respected for his contributions in contemporary dogmatics, critiques various ways the concept of divine simplicity has shaped Christian theology and offers a fresh articulation of the unity of God. Divine simplicity--which posits that the being of God is identical to the attributes of God--was carried over from the Greek metaphysical tradition, and Hinlicky suggests that the concept was heedlessly incorporated into the language of Christian trinitarian theology during the patristic period. Through a probing analysis, he identifies numerous problems that have resulted from its retention in Christian dogmatics during the medieval, Reformation, and modern periods. In short, Hinlicky argues that uncritical use of the concept in Christian theology renders the biblical God inexpressible and unknowable.

Following Hinlicky's critically acclaimed volume Divine Complexity, this major contribution on the doctrine of God brings Christian dogmatics into contact with ancient philosophy, medieval Aristotelianism, Islam, nominalism, and many modern theologians. It also contains a unique approach to the problem of Christian-Muslim relations. Professors, students, and scholars of systematic theology will value this work.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Paul R. Hinlicky (PhD, Union Theological Seminary, New York; DHabil, Comenius University, Bratislava) is Tise Professor of Lutheran Studies at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. In addition to numerous contributions to edited volumes and journals, he has authored three critically acclaimed studies in systematic theology, Beloved Community: Critical Dogmatics after Christendom, Luther and the Beloved Community: A Path for Christian Theology after Christendom, and Divine Complexity: The Rise of Creedal Christianity.

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