Providence Made Flesh
Divine Presence as a Framework for a Theology of Providence
Paternoster Theological Monographs
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
294 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.57 in
- Published: November 2009
- Published: November 2009
Traditional discussions of the Christian doctrine of providence often center on the relation between divine agency and human freedom, seeking to offer an account of the extent to which a person is free before God, the first cause of all things. Terry J. Wright argues that such riddles of causation cannot determine the content of providence, and suggests a unique and alternative framework that depicts God's activity in terms of divine faithfulness to that which God has made. Providence is not God as first cause acting through creaturely secondary causation; rather, providence is God's sovereign mediation of the divine presence across the whole world, achieved through creaturely faithfulness made possible and guaranteed by his own faithful action in Jesus Christ.
'By no means the first to note the difficulties of the language of causality, Dr. Wright offers an explicitly Trinitarian alternative framework through notions of divine faithfulness and, especially, divine presence. Questions remain (as is acknowledged), but this study constitutes an intriguing contribution to an understanding of providence.'
-- John E. Colwell, Tutor in Christian Doctrine and Ethics, Spurgeon's College, London, UK
'The doctrine of divine providence lies at the heart of Christian theology, yet in the modern period it has too often been neglected. In this refreshing new study Terry Wright submits traditional formulations of the doctrine to careful scrutiny, and proposes an alternative approach which integrates an account of God's action in the world with the distinctly Christian apprehension of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.'
-- Trevor A. Hart, Professor of Divinity, St. Mary's College, University of St. Andrews, UK
'Through wide-ranging engagements with biblical exegesis and historical theology, Terry Wright argues for a reconstructed doctrine of providence: a doctrine no longer based on causal or mechanistic notions, but centered on Jesus Christ as the embodiment of God's faithful presence in the world. This book thus opens the way to a revitalized--and properly theological--understanding of providence, in which the man Jesus is the agent of God's sovereign faithfulness: "providence made flesh".'
-- Benjamin Myers, Lecturer in Systematic Theology, Charles Stuart University, North Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
'In this seminal work, Terry Wright invites the reader to explore the reality of God's activity in the world and brilliantly illustrates the value of bringing contemporary Trinitarian insights to bear on a foundational doctrine of the Church. He systematically creates a powerful conceptual framework with the potential to transform current theological reflection on God's providential care of creation.'
-- Angela Shier-Jones, Co-Chair Oxford Institute of Theology and a member of the Methodist Church Faith and Order Network