Some of Calvin Seminary's academic programs require the completion of a thesis or dissertation. Hekman Library provides access to electronic versions of these resources.

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PhD Dissertations from 2019

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Human Freedom and the invisible Church From the Viewpoint of Bavinck's Pneumatology, Dong-Yaul Tae

Although Reformed pneumatology is generally recognized by scholars of Calvin and Reformed confessions to be relatively well developed compared to the various pneumatologies of the Western theological tradition, it faces two important challenges. First, Reformed pneumatology is directly linked to the critique that Reformed soteriology’s accentuation of predestination and effectual grace leads to inevitable fatalism that ignores human freedom. This is because the ministry of the Holy Spirit is crucial in the Reformed understanding of the order of salvation beginning with regeneration and ending with glorification. Second, because the ministry of the Holy Spirit is a key to understanding Reformed ecclesiology, and according to Reformed ecclesiology, the invisible church is a realization by the Holy Spirit and the Word of divine election, the criticism that the distinction in Reformed ecc...

PhD Dissertations from 2018

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The Metaphysics of the Eudaimonological Argument., James H. Joiner

This work gives attention to a trajectory that attempts to chart a course from the human quest for happiness and ultimately arrives at a transcendent, universal terminus or summum bonum as the natural end of this quest. This trajectory of ascent has given rise to a specific kind of project in natural theology; namely, the Eudaimonological Argument. Herein I set out to defend the analysis and development of the thought of Thomas Aquinas on this ascent by the 20th century Neoscholastic, Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange (1877–1964). The central thesis contends that Garrigou’s Eudaimonological Argument represents a viable project in natural theology within the Thomist tradition when properly understood in light of its underlying metaphysical principles, specifically formal and final causality. To support this contention, attention is first given to Augustine’s account of happiness and its poten...

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Law and Religion in Alliance: Guido De Bres and the Restriction of Religious Liberty, Antoine Theron

This study investigates why the Dutch reformer Guido De Bres believed that the law should restrict religious liberty. In other words, why did De Bres believe that political rulers should not tolerate religious liberty? The answer developed in this dissertation is that De Bres’s restrictive view of religious liberty was largely the result of his vision of an alliance between law and religion. De Bres’s vision of an alliance between law and religion was his theological response to the acute challenge of his concrete historical (political, social) context. De Bres’s vision offered a solution to the desperate plight of the Reformed in their political context in the Netherlands: an alliance between the Dutch Reformed churches and the Dutch nobles would protect the Reformed believers against the intense persecution by royal Catholicism. However, the theological and practical dimensions of D...

PhD Dissertations from 2017

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Spirit Determinism in the Christian Anthropology of Yorù̀bá indigenous Churches, Bernard T. Ayọ̀ọlá

There are people who think everything in life is an accident. Then, there are the Yorùbá of Southwestern Nigeria who believe that life outcomes are prearranged by the Supreme Being but may also be altered, for better or for worse, by the spirit beings in the universe. Yorùbá Christians, like their non-Christian kin, believe that many experiences in life are manifestations of the activities of the superhuman spirit beings in the community. While the good spirits (such as ancestors and angels) ordinarily have positive impacts on society, the evil spirits (such as witches, wizards, and demons) often work in collaboration with one another to thwart human aspirations and life goals. This dissertation examines the Yorùbá Christian notion of human identity within the framework of traditional Yorùbá perception of the world as a spiritual space where the living and the dead--human and non-huma...

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Unearned Suffering Is Redemptive: the Roots and Implications of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Redemptive Suffering theodicy, Mika Edmondson

This dissertation analyzes the roots and implications of Martin Luther King Jr.'s redemptive suffering theodicy, reconsidering its continued relevance to contemporary discussions about theodicy among black theologians and within the black church. Through his home and church influences, King inherited a nearly 250-year-old black redemptive suffering tradition that traces back to early Negro spirituals and abolitionist works. King carefully developed these traditional theodical themes through critical engagement with Protestant liberal sources before applying his redemptive suffering formula during the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. With a view towards the cross and the omnipotent personal God's good purposes in the world, King held that persons have the freedom and responsibility to agapically engage their suffering to help bring about personal and social transformation....

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Authority and Meaning in a Brave New World: Postconservative Evangelical theological Method After the Cultural-Linguistic Turn, Jeffrey Halsted

This dissertation fills a gap in the current scholarship by describing Stanley Grenz’s and Kevin Vanhoozer’s postconservative evangelical understandings of authority, meaning, and truth as they are related to Scripture and the community of faith. Acknowledging the postliberal influence of George Lindbeck, scholarship is further needed to describe whether theological authority ultimately rests in Scripture or the community of faith. Furthermore, scholarship needs to address the manner in which we seek, participate in, or determine meaning and truth within postconservative evangelical theological method. This dissertation provides this scholarship for Grenz’s and Vanhoozer’s thought while also providing a more extensive description of Vanhoozer’s canonical-linguistic method and its relationship to the questions of authority, meaning and truth than is available elsewhere in a single w...

PhD Dissertations from 2016

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Sibrandus Lubbertus (1555-1625) and Reformed Polemics on Authority in the Church., Dave Holmlund

Sibrandus Lubbertus (1555-1625) was a German born Reformed theologian who spent most of his life teaching at the University of Franeker in Friesland, a northern region of the Netherlands. Among his publications, the most significant in size and importance were his disputational works, which used a polemical form to address controversial issues of the post-Reformation period in which he gave a robust defense of the Reformed position over and against the most influential voices of his day, whether they themselves were a more heterodox expression of Protestant theology or simply Roman Catholic. This dissertation examines the major treatises of Lubbertus, which were written to refute Robert Bellarmine, the great Jesuit apologist of the Roman Catholic Church during the Counter Reformation. Specifically, this dissertation argues that Lubbertus—who, in the past, has been largely ignored in b...

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Salvation By Faith: Faith, Covenant, and the Order of Salvation in Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680)., Hyo-Nam Kim

The doctrines of covenant, faith, and the order of salvation are crucial components of early modern Reformed soteriology. In seventeenth-century England, these three major doctrines of Reformed theology, which had been taken over undeveloped from the Reformers, took a mature shape, but aroused controversies among diverse Protestant groups. Modern historical scholarship on Reformed orthodoxy has produced little significant research that deals with these doctrines synthetically. The object of this dissertation is to explore the broader role of faith in relation to these two significant doctrines for salvation in the early modern Reformed theology, with specific reference to the thought of Thomas Goodwin. To this end, this study examines Goodwin’s life to review his religious experience and to understand his socio-theological context. Goodwin’s soteriology was sharpened by his battles on...

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Paul Helm's "Compatibilist" View of Divine Providence in Light of the Frankfurtian Debate., Simon Sang-Kyun Ko

It is easy to find in prominent scholarly opinion today that to maintain its comprehensive divine determinism the Reformed Christian tradition must endorse metaphysical compatibilism to affirm some semblance of creaturely freedom. Arguably, one of the two Reformed scholars who have promulgated this idea the most is Paul Helm. Interestingly, while Helm’s “no-risk” view of divine providence started off with pretty straightforward classical compatibilism, it has since morphed into what is akin to source incompatibilism. At the heart of this transformation is Helm’s increasing interest in the feasibility of “irreducible agency, despite the fixity of the future” (or to use more technical lingo, “actual-sequence-indeterminism, despite alternate-sequence-compulsion”). Since 1969, the feasibility of such “irreducibly voluntary, yet having only one option for choosing” has also been rigorously...

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Driven By God: Active Justification and Definitive Sanctification in the Soteriology of Bavinck, Comrie, Witsius, and Kuyper., Jae-Eun Park

For more than two millennia believers have struggled with the antinomy of God’s absolute sovereignty over and man’s ultimate responsibility in justification and sanctification. For at least the past several hundred years theologians have used some version of the terms “active justification” and “definitive sanctification” in an attempt to illuminate this mystery. However, in the past decade scho lars have begun to criticize these concepts, saying that they are unsupported in Scripture, lead to theological confusion, and are of no practical benefit to believers. Through the work of theologians from the broader Dutch Reformed tradition, especially Herman Bavinck (1854-1921), Alexander Comrie (1706-1774), Herman Witsius (1636-1708), and Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), this thesis will demonstrate that the terms active justification and definitive sanctification are derived from Scripture an...

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Early Stuart Polemical Hermeneutics: andrew Willet's 1611 Romans Hexapla., Darren M. Pollock

Andrew Willet, a Cambridge-educated minister, began his writing career as a popular anti-Catholic polemicist (best known for the influential Synopsis Papismi) during Elizabeth I’s reign. Early in the seventeenth century he shifted genres, writing a series of biblical commentaries using a distinctive six-fold method and earning a reputation as one of the country’s best textual scholars. Willet suggested that the change to exegesis was a move from religious controversy to more irenic waters, and many scholars have taken him at his word, writing of his abandonment of polemics. An analysis of his 1611 hexapla commentary on Romans, however, reveals a distinct polemical lens, indicating that he did not so much abandon religious controversy as transfer it to a different genre. Interpreting Romans using this polemical hermeneutic served to sharpen Willet’s distinctions and clarify his present...

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Theologia Viatorum: institutional Continuity and the Reception of a theological Framework From Franciscus Junius's De theologia Vera To Bernhardinus De Moor's Commentarius Perpetuus, Todd M. Rester

Some scholars have identified a certain amount of vagueness in continuity theses of scholarship regarding medieval, Reformation, and post-Reformation thought. A criterion of continuity is necessary in order to prosecute a continuity thesis. One way to root intellectual history within a particular social context over time is to examine a conceptual framework as it develops, changes, and even declines within an academic institution like an early modern university. Institutional continuity is a methodological approach that seeks to clarify the relationship between continuity, influence, confessionalization and deconfessionalization diachronically within an institutional context of an early modern university. The test case for this method is the prolegomenal framework of Franciscus Junius, as first propounded in De Theologia Vera (1594) and developed by various theologians at Leiden Unive...

PhD Dissertations from 2015

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Inscrutable Providence: the Doctrine of Divine Concurrence and the theology of Charles Hodge., Nathan J. Archer

This dissertation will discuss the doctrine of concurrence within the larger doctrine of providence. Although concurrence was once a key component of the doctrine of providence, it was difficult to maintain in a post-enlightenment theological and philosophical context, even for a Reformed thinker such as Charles Hodge. Although Hodge labored to explain the older formulation of this doctrine—especially as articulated by Francis Turretin—Hodge found concurrence problematic and did not commend its use. In addition to shifting philosophical sensibilities, concerns regarding pantheism were a significant reason why some nineteenth-century American Calvinists distanced themselves from concurrence. Nonetheless, Hodge’s theology stands largely in continuity with Turretin and the echo of this doctrine continues in his theological system. For Hodge, the concept of the “efficient presence of God”...

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The End of the Natural Law: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christological Ethics., Jordan J. Ballor

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) has often been understood as articulating an occasionalistic, divine-command theory of ethics. In this regard, he is often seen as aligned with Karl Barth (1886-1968). This study challenges this view by demonstrating that Bonhoeffer’s own ethical project was aimed at resuscitating and reviving a distinctively Protestant form of natural-law thinking. Bonhoeffer’s approach was characterized by an emphasis on the origin, formation, and goal of natural mandates in, by, and toward Jesus Christ. Bonhoeffer’s early teaching concerning orders of preservation and laws of life was developed into a mature doctrine of divine mandates in his Ethics, which are best understood as Christologically defined manifestations of natural law. Christ is the “end” or telos of the natural law for Bonhoeffer, and in this way Bonhoeffer attempts to rehabilitate the concept of the ...

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Revelation as Primal Sensing: a theological investigation into the interaction Between Christian Faith and African Religious Traditions., Philip M. Wandawa

This dissertation fills a gap in African Christian thought regarding the relationship between Christian faith and African traditions. The gap is that—notwithstanding the light shed on the relationship by the debate within the threefold typology (exclusivism, inclusivism, pluralism)—there is ambivalence in African Christian thought regarding the value of African religious traditions for Christian faith. This ambivalence is sometimes expressed in complaints by theologians against what appears to be either “syncretism,” “divided loyalties,” “religious schizophrenia,” or “double-mindedness” in African Christian religious experience and expression. In the view of this dissertation, the ambivalence in African Christian thought stems from the inability of the current debate to provide a broad ranging theological understanding of African traditions as a whole. Although the typology clarifies ...

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The Pactum Salutis in the theologies of Witsius, Owen, Dickson, Goodwin, and Cocceius., Byunghoon Woo

The doctrine of the pactum salutis (covenant of redemption) offers the idea of a covenant between the very persons of the Trinity for the redemption of humanity. The doctrine received most of its attention in seventeenth-century Reformed theology, but has been criticized and almost totally forgotten in dogmatics since the eighteenth century. Most of recent Reformed dogmatics, with very few exceptions, tend to ignore the doctrine or disparage it from biblical, trinitarian, christological, pneumatological, and soteriological perspectives—namely, the doctrine lacks scriptural basis; it is tritheistic; it leads to subordination of the Son; it omits the role of the Holy Spirit; and it applies a deterministic idea for the Christian life. The present study was designed not only to demonstrate the invalidity of these criticisms of the doctrine but also to point to its practical implications f...

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Calvin's Eschatology in Its Historical and Exegetical Context., Takashi Yoshida

This study reveals both the variety and complexity of Calvin’s eschatology by way of a historical and contextual approach. Against an ahistorical and dogmatic approach to Calvin, it discusses the necessity of locating and examining his eschatology in several contexts: theological and exegetical traditions, both his predecessors and contemporaries; variety of genre of his own works, from catechism to polemical treatise and biblical commentaries; and their chronological developments. Calvin’s eschatology is basically traditional and owes much to the theological and spiritual heritage in the past. It is definitely, among others, in the Augustinian tradition though strongly characterized by his biblical and teleological emphasis, in which his own study of the book of the Romans seems to have played a significant role. This study also demonstrates that Calvin’s teachings of last things ar...

PhD Dissertations from 2014

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"A Knot Worth Unloosing": the interpretation of the New Heavens and Earth in Seventeenth-Century England, John H. Duff

Scholars interested in the history of Christian eschatological thought have focused primarily on the theme of heaven or on the various interpretations of the thousand years mentioned in Revelation 20:1-6. Virtually no attention has been given to past interpretations of the biblical phrase the new heavens and earth. This dissertation uncovers the interpretations of this phrase that were extant in seventeenth-century England. These interpretations fall into two basic camps—those that understood the phrase metaphorically and those that understood the phrase literally. One group of English divines believed the new heavens and earth was a phrase referring to the new age of the gospel that commenced in the first century CE. Subsequent to the earthly ministry of Jesus, God flung open the doors of salvation to Gentiles while at the same time bringing judgment to the Jewish nation for its fail...

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Symphonia Catholica: the Merger of Patristic and Contemporary Sources in the theological Method of Amandus Polanus (1561-1610)., Byung Soo Han

This dissertation intends to answer, by investigating the merger of patristic and contemporary sources in the theological method of Amandus Polanus, a significant question concerning the way in which the intellectual and methodological eclecticism of the Reformed was able to establish a coherent “system” of thought capable of defense as not only confessional but also orthodox in its theology and broadly catholic, drawing both on the thought of the Reformers and on the resources of the great tradition of Christian thought that extended back to the church fathers. From a methodological perspective, Polanus’s development from the Ramistically-organized doctrinal framework of the early Partitiones, through the increasingly detailed and specialized efforts of the commentaries, disputations, and Symphonia, indicates a fairly clear, concerted effort to build toward a detailed systematic pres...

PhD Dissertations from 2013

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The Son of God Beyond the Flesh: a Historical and theological Study of the Extra Calvinisticum., Andrew M. McGinnis

This dissertation examines the doctrine that the incarnate Son of God was not limited to fleshly, human existence but continued to exist etiam extra carnem (“even beyond the flesh”), a doctrine that has come to be known as the extra Calvinisticum. The study argues that the doctrine had a significant role in the thought of three important theologians of the patristic, medieval, and Reformation eras—namely, Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444), Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), and Zacharias Ursinus (1534–1583)—and explains how each of these theologians employed the doctrine. In general, however, the extra dropped from the theological scene by the end of the nineteenth century due in part to shifts in metaphysics and theological method and a growing weariness of theological divisions in the church. The exposition of the doctrine’s use in these three pre- and early-modern figures reveals the older sig...

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Antoine De Chandieu (1534-1591): one of the Fathers of the Reformed Scholasticism?, Theodore Gerard Van Raalte

The present work is the first dissertation to study any of Antoine de Chandieu’s prodigious output of scholastic theological works. Chandieu was a French Reformed pastor and theologian who lived from 1534 to 1591. He had a fascinating life as a French nobleman with extensive land holdings in France who was Protestant in the time of the Wars of Religion. His role in the church polity of the French Reformed Churches was crucial in the period 1559-1572. After this he resided in Lausanne and Geneva and in time taught theology at their academies, with a break from 1585-1588 while he served the future Henry IV of France as chaplain and fundraiser. Chandieu was a master of genres who published famous poetry that was set to music in his own lifetime. He also wrote a martyrology, a stage play, and of course, a lot of emails. Poets in the generation that followed him considered him one member o...

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Covenant of Redemption in the theology of Jonathan Edwards: the Nexus Between the Immanent and the Economic Trinity, Reita Yazawa

Contemporary trinitarian theologies tend to hold that the doctrine of the Trinity, especially the immanent Trinity, became impractical, speculative, and abstruse over the years in the history of Christian theology. In response, the recent theologies of the Trinity explore various practical implications of the doctrine of the Trinity with emphasis on God’s economic work of redemption in history. However, the Reformed idea of the covenant of redemption helps us to reconsider whether the doctrine of the Trinity, even of the immanent Trinity, has been really so impractical. In this study, I argue that the Reformed idea of the covenant of redemption in the theology of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) sheds a new light on the practical significance of the doctrine of the Trinity because the inner-trinitarian eternal pact between the Father and the Son has practical relevance for salvation in th...

PhD Dissertations from 2012

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Claude Pajon (1626-1685) and the Academy of Saumur., Albert J. Gootjes

This thesis examines the life, writings and polemics of Claude Pajon (1626-1685) throughout the first so-called Pajonist controversy (1665-1667). Previous scholarship situated him in the context of a development it saw within the theology originating from the Academy of Saumur and passing from John Cameron (ca. 1579-1625), through Moïse Amyraut (1596- 1664), and then to Pajon. This study argues that this trajectory needs revision. Pajon developed a theory of grace which denied the necessity of an immediate, internal work of the Holy Spirit on either intellect or will, preceding the mediate work through the Word and other means. To characterize this as a development from Amyraut is inaccurate in at least two ways. First, Pajon implicitly – and, on one occasion, also explicitly! – rejected his former teacher’s view. Secondly, he did not himself devise his theory on grace but adopted it ...

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In Defense of Leibniz's theodicy, Nathan A. Jacobs

G. W. Leibniz professes a commitment to historical Christian theism, but the depth and orthodoxy of his commitment has been questioned throughout the past three centuries. In this project I defend both the cogency and the orthodoxy of Leibniz’s philosophical theology and, by extension, its application to the Christian task of theodicy. At the heart of this defense is the central claim of this project, namely, that Leibniz’s philosophical theology represents a traditional brand of Augustinianism. In short, I argue that Leibniz’s theodicy is not his own, but is the tacit claim of a longstanding theological tradition made explicit and brought to bear on the problem of evil as articulated in Leibniz’s day. Accompanying this central claim are a number of subordinate claims, the most significant of which center on how we read Leibniz on providence and on free choice. Regarding the former, I...

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Journeying To the God Who Is Here: John Baillie's theology of Revelation in the Context of His Life and Thought, Jessica Edwards Maddox

Scottish Presbyterian theologian John Baillie (1886-1960) was a significant theologian and scholar who thoughtfully took up throughout his career the questions of how and why we know God. This dissertation shows that Baillie’s unique contribution to the theology of revelation in the idea of the mediated immediacy of God’s presence plays a formative role in the rest of his theology and is valuable for a Reformed theological engagement of twenty-first century theology. Throughout his career Baillie made several offerings relevant to this area of study, most notably Our Knowledge of God (1939), which has been considered Baillie’s most original work. In Our Knowledge of God, Baillie suggests that revelation is a direct encounter with the presence of God mediated through the natural world, fellow humans, the church and, most significantly and clearly, Jesus Christ. The roots of this concep...

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Re-Visioning Reason, Revelation, and Rejection in John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and John Toland's Christianity Not Mysterious., Jonathan S. Marko

Histories of philosophy that cover the rise of natural religion in England will inevitably move from John Locke to John Toland. The typical account portrays Locke as sincerely Christian and trying to balance the demands of faith and reason. His rationalistic epistemology in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Essay) even defends doctrines that are “above reason.” Toland is portrayed as a disciple of Locke whose modified Lockean epistemology in Christianity Not Mysterious (CNM) results in a subordination of revelation to reason and a dismissal of doctrines that are above reason. More detailed treatments note that CNM is the catalyst of the Locke-Stillingfleet debate, which begins when Bishop Stillingfleet observes CNM’s dependence on the Essay and then accuses Locke of paving the way for heresy. This dissertation argues that the differences between Locke and Toland with respect to...

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The Antitheses (Matthew 5:21-48) in the Sermon on the Mount: Moral Precepts Revealed in Scripture and Binding on All People, Amos Winarto Oei

While many may agree that the Sermon on the Mount is the epitome of Jesus' ethics, many also recognize that the Sermon is often a riddle. The vastness and variety of literature demonstrates that the interpretation of the Sermon is subject to many disagreements. At the heart of the Sermon of the Mount, the antitheses (Matthew 5:21-48) become one source of polemics in the study of the Sermon. The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the scholarship of the Sermon on the Mount by addressing two problems in the study of the antitheses. The first concerns the nature of the moral demands in the antitheses. The second deals with their scope. The intention of the dissertation is not to expose all possible misunderstandings of the interpretation of the antitheses but to examine some of the hermeneutical options to see how the nature of their presuppositions predetermines the logic ...

PhD Dissertations from 2011

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Covenant in Conflict: the Controversy Over the Church Covenant Between Samuel Rutherford and Thomas Hooker, Sang Hyuck Ahn

This dissertation examines the mid-seventeenth-century controversy over the church government between Samuel Rutherford (Presbyterian) and Thomas Hooker (Congregationalist) focusing on its theological underpinnings. The church covenant played a significant role: For Hooker, it constitutes the theological and logical foundation of his systematic defense of the New England Way—particularly in the issues of the nature of the visible church, church membership, the power of the keys, sacraments, and church discipline. Rutherford considers the church covenant as a human invention because it is unknown to Scripture. In reply, Hooker argues both that the concept of church covenant is warranted by God’s word, and also that Rutherford’s Presbyterianism is neither biblical nor true to the Reformation. Their differing views of the church covenant are closely interconnected with each man’s covenan...

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Called into Communion: a Paradigm Shift in Holiness theology, B. Susan Carole

This dissertation argues that current problems in Nazarene holiness theology can be traced to a person-centered theological approach, which was introduced into theological reflection and practice during the Nineteenth Century Holiness Movement. Subjectivism has resulted in articulations of holiness doctrine that over-value the human role in religious experience and obscure the primacy of grace. These problems can be overcome by an articulation of holiness doctrine from the standpoint of its transcendent goalfullness in divine-human communion. Fullness of communion is divine-human fellowship characterized by the full actualization of divine Lordship and wholehearted human devotion, through the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Entire sanctification is the decisive moment of faith, subsequent to justification, in which the Holy Spirit cleanses the believer from inherited sin and initializes ...

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Johannes Piscator (1526-1625) and the Consequent Development of the Doctrine of the Imputation of Christ's Active Obedience, Heber Carlos De Campos Júnior

Though the forensic understanding of imputation of Christ's righteousness was consistently asserted by the Reformers, the discussion around what constituted this imputed righteousness was a Post Reformation debate. However, secondary literature is often unaware of the development of such doctrine when they assert that early Reformed figures such as John Calvin, Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus were either in favor or opposed to the doctrine of the imputation of Christ's active obedience. These labels are preferable if attributed to those who responded to Johannes Piscator's disagreement with Theodore Beza's theology of imputation of righteousness, this being the debate which sparked the controversy in Reformed circles. Piscator understood that justification consisted in its entirety of the remission of sins imputed to the believer. Justification, then, was a simplex actio Dei, ...

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The Mythos of Sin: C. S. Lewis, the Genesis Fall, and the Modern Mood, Jeremy G. Grinnell

This dissertation wrestles with the question how to profitably and theologically handle the Fall narrative of Genesis 3 once it has been classified as “myth,” as was the conclusion of the Formgeschichte school. The dissertation begins by establishing the theological conversation of the mid-twentieth century, which marks a zenith in the discussion. Beginning with a survey of the traditional interpretation of the narrative as historical account, which dominated pre-Enlightenment churchly thought, the survey then summarizes the change of tenor that Enlightenment and higher critical voices brought to the question. The survey concludes with consideration of Reinhold Niebuhr, Karl Barth, and Rudolph Bultmann on the definition and role of myth in the Bible. At this point C. S. Lewis is brought into the conversation in the belief that his expert status as a literary critic and Medievalist wou...

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John Edwards (1637-1716) on the Freedom of the Will: the Debate on the Relation Between Divine Necessity and Human Freedom in Late Seventeenth Century and Early Eighteenth Century England., Jeongmo Yoo

This dissertation examines John Edwards’ (1637-1716) doctrine of free choice, focusing on his understanding of the relation between divine necessity and human freedom as an illustration of the way Reformed theologians of the late seventeenth and the early eighteenth century developed their ideas of human free choice. Even though free choice is an important theme in the history of Reformed theology, Reformed teaching on free choice has gained much less attention by modern scholars than other Reformed themes such as faith, grace and predestination. Moreover, the traditional Reformed doctrine of free choice has been frequently criticized as metaphysical or philosophical determinism by modern scholars. The crux of this evaluation or criticism is the claim that the classical Reformed doctrine of divine necessity such as divine decree, predestination, foreknowledge, providence, and grace ru...

PhD Dissertations from 2010

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The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the Major Reformed Confessions and Catechisms of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Yuzo Adhinarta

With the rise of Pentecostalism in the early twentieth century and the charismatic movement from the middle of the century until recently, a resurgence of interest in the Holy Spirit and Christian spirituality in both theology and the church's life has become evident. Along with the increase of interest in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the twentieth century, there are criticisms of the treatment of the doctrine in church history, including in the Reformed tradition, for having neglected the Holy Spirit in both theology and the church's life. These criticisms have helped to incite a burgeoning interest in pneumatology within Christendom. Critical studies of the treatments of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in church history have been laboriously conducted. However, there have not been many studies on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in Reformed orthodoxy, particularly in its confes...

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Calvin's Defense and Reformulation of Luther's Early Reformation Doctrine of the Bondage of the Will, Kiven S. Choy

This dissertation finds that Calvin's reformulation of the doctrine of free choice reflects his convictions of the early Reformation heritage, his learning of the tradition from the early church fathers and especially from Augustine, the influences generated by his continuous dialogues with the development of the formulations among the Reformers in the second phase of the Reformation, and his personal theological convictions. Calvin formulated his defense as a Reformer of the second phase of the Reformation defending the early Reformation formulation set by Luther. The early Reformers used various necessitarian arguments to argue their cases. The Reformers in the second phase had the apologetic and pedagogical need to shift from the necessitarian argument. They incorporated theodical concern in their reformulations. They generally affirmed the genuine integrity of second causality, by...

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Baptist Sacramental theology: a Covenantal Framework For Believer Baptism, Brandon C. Jones

A recent resurgence of Baptist works that defend sacramental theology has revived the mid-twentieth-century debate among Baptists over the meaning of baptism. Just as the mid-twentieth-century generation of Baptist sacramentalists struggled to get other Baptists to accept their views, the problem remains today that most Baptists do not and will not seriously consider Baptist sacramental theology. The purpose of this dissertation is to help solve this problem by presenting a historically informed systematic theological defense of covenantal sacramentalism, which uses covenant theology to enhance a sacramental theology of baptism. This dissertation argues that the covenantal view of Baptist baptismal sacramentalism appeals to sacramentalists and ordinance-only Baptists alike, because it enhances Baptist theology of the meaning of baptism in helpful and unique ways. This dissertation de...

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Emil Brunner's theological Contribution To the Concept of Divine Action., James Norman Mayer

Through a careful examination of Emil Brunner's theology, this dissertation shows that when the concept of divine action is be examined in the context of the nature and work God the idea that God acts can better understood. After a brief introductory chapter, chapter 2 argues that contemporary discussions surprisingly fail to consider what God does and what God is like as possible resources for making sense of problems associated with the concept of God's activity. This chapter also suggests that a model of divine action should take into account the means, manner, effect, purpose, extent, and degree God's activity. Investigating the nature and work of God could prove useful for constructing a clear concept of divine action. Chapter 3 briefly introduces scholarship on Brunner and examines his theological writings regarding the nature of God. This chapter argues that Brunner's discuss...

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Things Hold Together John Howard Yoder's Trinitarian theology of Culture, Branson L. Parler

Theologies of culture often focus on either Christ or creation as their primary source, to the exclusion of the other. At best, this approach is incomplete because it does not account for the continuity between creation and redemption. At worst, it posits a divide not simply between Christ and creation, but between persons of the Trinity, presuming contradictory moral and cultural norms issuing from different persons of the Trinity. John Howard Yoder is often depicted as a representative of a Christocentric and creation-deficient approach to culture. Against that faulty representation, this dissertation argues that Yoder advocates a Trinitarian theology of culture that upholds the continuity and coherence between God's work in creation and in redemption. To see why Yoder can be characterized as Trinitarian, his thought must be placed in the context of his engagement with the Niebuhrs...

PhD Dissertations from 2009

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"The Limitless Horizons of Prolixity": the Contemporary Relevance of Kierkegaard's Critique of Biblical Exegetical Method and Practice, Bruce P. Baugus

This dissertation seeks to demonstrate that Soren Kierkegaard's critique of biblical exegetical methods and practices, and corresponding proposal, offers an interesting and relevant contribution to the current debate on biblical exegetical methods and practices taking place within the contemporary theological turn in biblical interpretation. The contemporary theological turn in biblical interpretation is represented in this dissertation by Timothy H. Polk, an important interpreter of Kierkegaard's exegetical method within the post-liberal tradition, and Kevin J. Vanhoozer, a leading contributor to the theological turn in contemporary biblical exegesis. Despite significant advances in understanding Kierkegaard as an explicitly Christian thinker there remains a significant gap within Kierkegaardian scholarship related to his thoughts on biblical exegesis. Although this gap has been note...

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"Have Salt in Yourselves, and Be at Peace With Each Other" the Irenic theology of Daniel Kałaj, Dariusz M. Bryćko

Daniel Kałaj (d.1681) was a Polish Reformer of Hungarian background, born in Little Poland (Małopolska) and trained in Franeker, Friesland under some of the most brilliant Reformed theologians of seventeenth-century Europe, such as Cocceius and Cloppenburgh. Kałaj’s ministry in the Reformed Church of Little Poland was abruptly interrupted when he was wrongly accused by Catholic authorities of spreading then-outlawed Arianism and being called a “Calvinoarian.” Kałaj became the first Polish Protestant minister to receive a sentence of capital punishment as a result of the new anti-toleration law issued in 1658 against Arians, under the false pretext of military treason during the Second Northern War (1655-1660). He escaped the ax by fleeing to Lithuania (and later to Gdańsk), where he wrote his best-known work, A Friendly Dialogue between an Evangelical Minister and a Roman Catholic Pri...

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Counsel and Conscience: Post-Reformation Lutheran Casuistry According To the Dedekenn-Gerhard thesaurus Consiliorum Et Decisionum and Its Cases on Marriage and Divorce., Benjamin T. G. Mayes

In much literature on early modern casuistry and conscience, Lutheran casuistry is denied a place, under-researched, or ignored. Yet in Lutheran Germany of the post-Reformation era (ca. 1580–1750), there was a genre of pastoral/ethical writings consisting in casuistry and in topically or thematically related theological counsels, aimed at instructing and comforting the consciences of Christians. An extensive example from this genre is Georg Dedekenn and Johann Ernst Gerhard, eds., Thesaurus Consiliorum Et Decisionum, 4 vols. (Jena: Zacharias Hertel, 1671). Lutheran casuistry, related to but also distinct from Roman Catholic and Reformed counterparts, arose especially as pastors looked within Holy Scripture, the medieval tradition, and the writings of Martin Luther and other Lutheran authorities for answers to ethical problems and doctrinal disputes. Dedekenn’s Thesaurus was an antholo...

PhD Dissertations from 2008

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Christ's atonement: the Hope of Creation, Mary L. Vanden Berg

The rich history of research in atonement theology has focused its energy primarily on explanations of how the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ leads to the forgiveness of human sin and the restoration of a right relationship between God and humanity. While the biblical text does describe the work of Jesus Christ in those terms, it also makes clear that God's people look forward with hope to the restoration of all creation. Lacking in atonement scholarship is a clear explanation of how the work of Jesus Christ might be connected to and bring about this restoration, described in the Bible as the new heavens and new earth. The biblical narrative portrays human sin as the despoiler not only of the relationship between God and humanity, but also of creation itself and God's intentions for creation. The sacrificial system of the Israelite cult, especially the Day of Atonement...

PhD Dissertations from 2007

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All Subjects of the Kingdom of Christ: John Owen's Conceptions of Christian Unity and Schism, Sung-Ho Lee

Throughout the seventeenth century the Church of England experienced disintegration and schism. Each Protestant party charged the other with breaking the unity of the church. For this reason, schism and unity were one of the most controversial issues that leading theologians wrestled with. However, scholars have not paid due attention to this issue. The object of this dissertation is to explore how John Owen, a great leader of the second-generation Congregationalists, defended Congregationalism, Protestantism, and Nonconformity from the charge of schism. Aware that the ecclesiological terms, such as “schism,” “unity,” and “separation,” were seriously abused by his opponents, Owen carefully redefined those terms based upon his own biblical interpretation. Accordingly, the dissertation surveys Owen’s ecclesiastical life and works against the historical background of ecclesiology in the ...

PhD Dissertations from 2006

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From Here To Eternity a Biblical, theological, and Analogical Defense of Divine Eternity in Light of Recent Challenges Within Analytic Philosophy, Douglas Allan Felch

Four decades ago, several analytical philosophers began to reconsider the traditional doctrine of divine eternity, which maintains that time is part of the created order, that God is not subject to its limitations, and that the mode of God's existence (following Boethius) is "the complete possession all at once of an unlimited life." Critics objected that this doctrine was biblically underdetermined, that it was more Greek than Christian, and that it was incoherent since an eternal God could not redeem or be actively involved in the temporal world, could only minimally be considered a person, and could not possess knowledge of tensed truths such as what is happening "now." They argued God should be considered "everlasting" (infinitely extended in time) rather than eternal. This challenge generated an extensive published debate. In this thesis, I maintain that the traditional view of...

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Missio Politica Oecumenica: Mission and Political Action in the Life and Thought of Johannes Verkuyl (1908-2001), Hidalgo B. Garcia

This is a study on the relationship between evangelism and church planting and political action. Against the background of polarization between the ecumenical movement and the evangelical movement on the question, the study demonstrates that missio politica oecumenica defined as struggle for justice and righteousness and against evil is a distinct and integral aspect of mission, alongside kerygma, koinonia, and diakonia. It develops this thesis from the life and thought of Johannes Verkuyl (1908- 2001), a Dutch Reformed missionary to Indonesia who was involved in the decolonization of the country. His experience in Indonesia, together with his later experience as a mission executive, in which he was involved in various political activities, shaped his missiology. This study analyzes his missiology in its political dimension, and thus, provides a basis for missio political oecumenica. ...

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Baptismal Practice and Trinitarian Belief in Joseph Bingham's Origines Ecclesiasticae: a Study in the Historical and theological Contexts of Patristic Scholarship at the Close of the Era of Orthodoxy, Yudha Thianto

Joseph Bingham belonged to a group of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Anglican scholar-clergymen that endeavored to provide their contemporaries with a comprehensive picture of the practice and worship of the early church. Bingham's historical study is unique, since he presents the ancient church in a non-chronological method, but through a systematic and thematic investigation of the rites and ceremonies, together with other dynamic aspects of Christian antiquity. This dissertation proposes to situate Bingham in the context of the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century English church, its scholarship, and its theological controversies. This understanding of Bingham will, in turn, reveal hitherto unexamined aspects of the development and alteration of Christian teaching in the midst of the political turmoil following the Glorious Revolution of 1688. A central th...

PhD Dissertations from 2005

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Christ and the Covenant: Francis Turretin's Federal theology as a Defense of the Doctrine of Grace, Mark Beach

The subject of this dissertation is Francis Turretin's federal theology as a defense of the doctrine of grace. Specifically, it deals with Turretin's exposition of the twofold covenant of God--that is, the covenant of nature and the covenant of grace. In treating this subject, the dissertation has a twofold objective--first, to conitribute to an understanding of the theology of Turretin; second, to offer an evaluation regarding the validity of certain trajectories of scholarship pertaining to federal theology in general. This study, in its analysis and exposition of Turretin's understanding of the twofold covenant, deals with several issues that have arisen in the secondary literature on federal theology, namely whether it is a species of legalism, whether it emerged in an effort to escape certain questions surrounding the doctrine of predestination and whether it remained entangled i...

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The Decree of Redemption Is in Effect: a Covenant David Dickson and the Covenant of Redemption, Carol A. Williams

While a significant amount of study has been devoted to the twofold system of covenants of works and grace, development of the threefold covenant system in Reformed theology of the seventeenth century that includes the pactum salutis has not been thoroughly researched. The doctrine of the intratrinitarian covenant between the Father and the Son concerning the whole work of redemption has been characterized in some secondary literature as speculative, unbiblical, the result of faulty exegesis, crassly contractual, a deviation from the pure teaching of the Reformers, and of dubious value. Moreever, these claims of discontinuity and questionable origin of pactum salutis have not been adequately considered, nor has the early development of federal theology after the Reformers and prior to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Johannes Cocceius been sufficiently investigated. Writers of ...

PhD Dissertations from 2004

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Theological Foundation For a Reformed Doctrine of Natural Law, Stephen John Grabill

Although the magisterial Reformers inherited the natural-law tradition as a noncontroversial legacy of late medieval scholasticism, their twentieth-century descendents have, more often than not, assumed a critical stance toward that tradition. This antipathy has been fueled in large part, but not exclusively by Karl Barth's vigorous repudiation of natural theology in the 1934 disputation with Emil Brunner. Like Herman Dooyeweerd, G.C. Berkouwer, and Cornelius Van Til, Barth identified the doctrines of natural theology/natural law as rationalistic vestiges of Thomism that Calvin and Luther had unwittingly assimilated and that, in the scholastic systems of Reformed orthodoxy, became the foundation for the anthropological turn in theology that would eventually run its course in the nineteenth century. A major obstacle for twentieth-century Protestant and Reformed theologians in assessing...

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Modified Kenotic Christology, the Trinity and Christian Orthodoxy, Thomas H. McCall

There has been a recent resurgence of interest in the exploration of the resources of kenotic Christology as a way of countering charges that the traditional doctrine of the Incarnation is incoherent. However, John Hick and others have charged the proponents of this strategy with saving coherence at the price of orthodoxy. Some analytic philosophers of religion and philosophical theologians (notably Stephen T. Davis, C. Stephen Evans and Ronald J. Feenstra) defend a modified version of kenotic Christology, one that they think does not contradict the major creedal Christological statements. But to this date no one has produced an extended study of the relation of modified kenotic Christology to classical Christian orthodoxy. In chapters one and two I introduce both this study and the modified kenotic model under consideration. The third chapter explores ability of modified kenotic Chri...

PhD Dissertations from 2003

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From "Winner" To "Sign": the Changed Understanding of the Church-World Relation in Twentieth-Century Ecumenical Thought, Benebo Fubara-Manuel

Many critics and supporters alike of the World Council of (WCC) contend that it has shifted from its original Christocentric and Trinitarian "Basis." Some, especially conservative evangelicals, see this shift as a. movement away from Christian evangelism and the uniqueness of Christ to the unification of humanity in a syncretism of in which the gospel is replaced by social work. Others have identified the shift to be a movement away from Christology to cosmic prieurnatology, or from an eschatological vision of human unity to a narrow vision of church unity, or from a Christocentric universalism, which did not allow for the wider vision of unity of humankind, to a fuller Trinitarian vision encompassing all of life and all of creation in one grand view. The argument of this dissertation is that the shift in understanding of twentieth-century ecumenical church-world relation is not from...

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Calvin's Hermeneutics of the Imprecations of the Psalter, Paul Mbunga Mpindi

This dissertation rehearses the issue of Calvin's Old Testament exegesis in the light his hermeneutical approach to the imprecatory passages of the Psalter. The imprecatory passages of the Psalms offer an ideal place to examine the thesis that Calvin's exegetical principles shared elements of the late medieval hermeneutics, but also moved him away from late medieval exegesis toward a more direct application of the literal meaning of the text to his contemporary situation. Our analysis of Calvin's exegesis of the imprecatory passages of the Psalter reveals that the Reformer of Geneva followed a three-pronged approach: With traditional and sixteenth-century commentators, Calvin read the imprecations of the Psalter historically. Calvin acknowledges that on the historical-literal level, the imprecations of the Psalter are prayers offered to the God of the covenant by David, the chosen Ki...

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Embracing Leer and Leven: the theology of Simon Oomius in the Context of Nadere Reformatie Orthodoxy, Gregory D. Schuringa

Scholarship has tended either to brush aside the Dutch Reformed piety of the movement known as the Nadere Reformatie (c.1600-1750) as an aberration from the Reformation, or it has tended, more recently when it has shown interest in the movement, to fail to place the theology of its proponents in its proper orthodox Reformed theological context. This latter failure has resulted, often, in a bifurcation between the Nadere Reformatie and Reformed orthodoxy and scholasticism during the post-Reformation era of Reformed church history and theology. The two have tended to be viewed as mutually exclusive movements. The Nadere Reformatie, with its strong spirituality and practical drive, has been separated from Reformed orthodoxy and scholasticism with their academic rigor, feisty polemics, and concern for right doctrine. Beyond creating a bifurcation between the two movements past scholarship...

PhD Dissertations from 2002

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Tritheism and Divine Person as Center of Consciousness With a Comparative Appraisal of Jürgen Moltmann and William Hill as Test Cases., Byunghoon Kim

Together with the retrieval of the doctrine of the Trinity in the latter half of the twentieth century, a controversy over tritheism took place centering around the notion of divine persons as centers of consciousness. Since Barth, the theological landscape has been divided into opponents and supporters of the notion of divine persons as centers of consciousness. Opponents charge supporters with tritheism; supporters accuse opponents of modalism. The reciprocal criticism demands that we re-examine tritheism and modalism. The task that this dissertation chooses is that of understanding tritheism. The dissertation intends to accomplish three things: (1) to suggest a definition of tritheism by uncovering historical criteria for tritheism contained in the responses of the church councils to various tritheist positions and evaluating and deepening those historical criteria, (2) to discuss ...

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Understanding the Mind of God John Owen and Seventeenth-Century Exegetical Methodology, Henry Knapp

The biblical exegesis of the seventeenth century has been criticized for (1) serving only to proof text dogmatic, polemic works; (2) reverting to the scholasticism of medieval times, ignoring the vitality of the Reformers' humanism; and (3) being academically inferior due to the neglect of scientific advances in biblical studies. John Owen's interpretation of the Epistle to the Hebrews is used to evaluate the legitimacy of this criticism. Seventeenth-century orthodox exegetical techniques reflect (1) precritical assumptions about Scripture (analogia fidei, analogia Scripturae, scope, contemporary application), (2) developments of Renaissance humanism (biblical and cognate languages; grammatical, linguistic, and lexical advances; text criticism; rhetorical argumentation), and (3) orthodoxy's scholastic heritage (theological definitions and distinctions; continuity with historic faith;...

PhD Dissertations from 2001

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The Doctrine of Divine Immutability as God's Constancy, Tersur Akuma Aben

A central claim of orthodox Christian theology is that God is immutable. That is, God exists and he is unchangeable. But there are two major problems with this claim: Can a coherent account be given of what it means to say that God is immutable, which affirms God's intimate relatedness to us in our space-time world of change? And, if it can, are there good reasons or arguments to show that God is not immutable? In response to the second problem, I deny that there are good reasons or arguments to show that God is not immutable. I maintain that such arguments as allot immutability to Hellenistic philosophy and claim that immutability is alien to biblical Christian theology emphasize only one side of the origin of this term. I show, on the contrary, that the Christian doctrine of divine immutability issues both from philosophical construction and biblical revelation regarding God. So the...

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An Analysis and Critique of Leonardo Boff's theology and Social Ethics, Luiz Roberto França de Mattos

Leonardo Boff wrestles seriously with two challenging questions, namely, the reality of poverty in today's world and the contemporary ecological crisis. His overall project is to offer a Christian response to them. This project has three cornerstones: first, some Marxist axioms underlying his social analysis; second, an ontology appropriated from Teilhard de Chardin and strongly emphasizing the evolution of the universe; third, an epistemological suspicion of the human ability to know reality in itself. While the importance of Boff's work cannot be denied, the theological price Hoff pays for putting his priority on social ethics is considerable. His dismissal of classical theism, and his adoption of panentheism have serious implications Which must be faced before one counts the advantages gained. As to his epistemology, Boff suggests that, given the human limits to grasp reality, one...

PhD Dissertations from 2000

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The Covenant theology of Francis Roberts, Won Taek Lim

The object of this study is to show how the covenant theology of Francis Roberts (1609-1675), an English Puritan, stands in the mainline of the Reformed tradition and assists in defining the seventeenth-century development of "covenant" or "federal" theology. In particular Roberts' covenant theology not only reflects the development and refinement of English covenant thought after the Westminster Assembly but also evidences the ongoing dialogue between the English Reformed writers, the Scottish Reformed writers, and the Reformed thinkers in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands. To judge the place of Roberts' covenant theology in relation to Reformed orthodoxy, the present study mainly concerns itself with the comparison of Roberts' theology with that of his Puritan predecessors, and the ways in which it stands in continuity with earlier Reformed covenant thought. Roberts divides in...

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Divine Passibility, Peter H. Vande Brake

The majority position in modern theology is that God is passible. Most modem theologians assert that the God portrayed by traditional theology is utterly impassible. They contend that the classical conception of God has been unduly influenced by Greek philosophical thought rather than biblical thinking This, however, is a hasty generalization that has little historical support. The word "impassibility" when it is used as a reference to God in modem theological discussions is taken to mean exclusively that God is "without the ability to have emotions and unable to experience suffering!' The historical material that deals with the issue of the impassibility of God makes the distinction that impassibility refers to the passions of God--those feelings or inclinations to participate in or commit sin. There are also very few theologians in any era who are willing to say that God cannot expe...

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Analysis and Critique of "Christ the Transformer of Culture" in the Thought of H. Richard Niebuhr, Michael Eugene Wittmer

This dissertation examines the world view slogan, "Christ the transformer of culture," in the thought of its creator, H. Richard Niebuhr. Although the phrase is popular in Neo-Calvinist circles, this study finds that its meaning in Niebuhr's theology deviates from Reformed orthodoxy. In order to understand what Niebuhr intends by Christ transforming culture, we begin by outlining his understanding of the biblical narrative of creation, fall, and redemption. Niebuhr describes the triadic community that exists between God, individuals, and the rest of creation. Unfortunately, humanity has always broken this community by distrusting God and being disloyal to his cause. Such depravity manifests itself in various henotheisms and polytheisms, which at bottom is a form of anthropocentrism. Nevertheless, God will inevitably reconcile the world to himself by instilling radical monotheism with...

PhD Dissertations from 1998

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Biblical Hermeneutics and Hebraism in the Early Seventeenth Century as Reflected in the Work of John Weemse (1579-1636), Jai Sung Shim

This dissertation presents a contextual and historical understanding of hermeneutics and exegesis in the early seventeenth century, in the form of a study of the biblical exegete and Hebraist, John Weemse of Lathocker and Prebend of Durham. This study argues both for the continuity of early seventeenth-century biblical exegesis with Reformation exegesis and for the progress of Protestant exegesis after the Reformation. In substantial similarity to the Reformers with regard to the doctrine of Scripture and to exegetical principles, the foundation of Weemse's exegesis was reading Scripture in its original languages. He enriched his efforts through grammatical and textual studies of masoretic scholarship with its highly scholarly apparatus, through study of Hebrew literary convention, and through a broad knowledge of Hebrew customs and tradition. Weemse made a significant contribution i...

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William Edwin Boardman (1810-1886): Evangelist of the Higher Christian Life, Roy Leonard Williams

The Presbyterian evangelist, William Edwin Boardman (1810-1886), has received limited attention in studies related to the American and British holiness movements. The attention he has received has been limited to his connection to other topics. The available analyses of his doctrine of sanctification does not clearly define the connection between his message and other nineteenth-century holiness theologies. Furthermore, these analyses of Boardman's message are generally based on a limited use of the primary sources. The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze Boardman's dextrine of sanctification in relation to the mid-nineteenth century American and British theological milieu. Attention will be given to the similarities and differences between his understanding of the doctrine of sanctification and that of the Wesleyans, the Oberlinians, the Reformed, and other proponents of the ...

PhD Dissertations from 1996

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Transcendence and History in Karl Barth's Amillennial Eschatology, Jean De Dieu Rajaonarivony

Barth' s early claim that "Christianity which is not wholly eschatology and nothing but eschatology has nothing to do with Christ" reflects his understanding of theology as basically an eschatological concept. Though Barth does not explicitly identify himself with any of the three dominant millennial traditions, namely, amillennialism, premillennialism, and postmillennialism, this study seeks to demonstrate that the key to understanding Barth' s eschatology is to see him as an amillennial thinker by arguing that his concept of the three-stage parousia along with his doctrine of "nothingness" reflects the key notions of amillennial eschatology. Not only does the amillennial tradition provide a vehicle for clarifying Bartlh's eschatology but placing him broadly into the amillennial school of thought resolves the debate among Barthian scholars over the tension between transcendence and h...