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The Descent of God

Divine Suffering in History and Theology

by Joseph M. Hallman

Imprint: Wipf and Stock

166 Pages, 5.00 x 8.00 x 7.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781592444830
  • Published: January 2004

$22.00 / £17.00


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This is a fascinating study which confirms that there is as much support in the Fathers as in heterodox sources - though different - for the idea of a suffering God. Louis Dupre, Yale University Joseph Hallman here makes a significant contribution to the perennial theological dilemma: how can an unchanging God relate to a changing world? The author displays a mastery of the patristic sources as well as familiarity with contemporary philosophical approaches to the issue. The Greek philosophical assumption of the immutability of God has retained a profound influence on Christian thought until modern times despite the attempts of patristic writers to harmonize the Incarnation with God's immutability. Hallman suggests that the most promising resolution to this dilemma comes to us in the work of Whitehead. Carl A. Volz, Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary Hallman's book is unusual and timely. Hallman is a systematic thinker, not a historian, yet he has taken the time to read the early Christian sources attentively, and his conclusions are surprising and provocative. In a sense, this book is a theological version of candid camera: it sets forth those things that early Christian thinkers are not supposed to have said.... In an age in which historians of Christian thought ignore contemporary thinkers, and systematic theologians act as though Christian thought began with the Enlightenment, 'The Descent of God' is a challenge to both brands of obscurantism. Robert L. Wilken, University of Virginia

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