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Always Reforming: Explorations in Systematic Theology Paperback – April 2, 2007
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This is an amazing collection of "explorations." (Jack C. Whytock, Haddington House Journal, 2008)
. . .most suitable as a textbook in a Reformed seminary or graduate school. Vanhoozer's focus on "communicative action" as the means of discourse, in aid of what he calls "triangulation," is congenial. (Linda Maloney, Catholic Books Review, January 2008)
About the Author
The Rev Professor Andrew McGowan is minister of Inverness East Church of Scotland, professor of theology in the University of the Highlands and Islands, and honorary professor in Reformed doctrine at the University of Aberdeen. He was the principal of Highland Theological College from 1994 to 2009. Professor McGowan chairs the Theological Commission of the World Reformed Fellowship, he is president of the Scottish Evangelical Theology Society and he is chairman of Rutherford House. Professor McGowans most recent books are Always Reforming: Explorations in Systematic Theology, editor, (Leicester: IVP, 2006); The Divine Spiration of Scripture: Challenging Evangelical Perspectives (Nottingham: IVP, 2007); and The Person and Work of Christ: Understanding Jesus (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2012). Andrew is married to June and has three sons.
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Ch 2: Observations On The Future Of System, Stephen Williams:
'But the development of analytical philosophy in the English-speaking world, including its use in Reformed circles, has resulted in the heightened SUBJECTION OF THEOLOGICAL TRUTH to technical, logical treatment. Theologically, there is a very severely limited gain to this. More, it is foolish to make anything religiously significant hang on the precision of analytic reasoning at this level, for one false step in logic ruins everything and it is only the arrogant or the ignorant who will be confident that such a step is being avoided.' p 48
'Where we are trying to interrelate particular truths systematically, Scripture relates them severally and particularly to life...Obedient response to the Word of God is not contingent on systematic explication.' pp. 49-50
Ch 3: Classical Christology's Future, Robert L Reymond:
Professor Reymond seeks to show the 'emptying' consisted of more than just Christ taking on a human 'nature' (ESV), whilst not giving up any part of His true deity: 'Another type of kenosis is a more serious deviation from classical Christology, because it pertains to Christ's divine nature, asserting that God the Son "emptied", that is, divested, Himself of one or more of His divine attributes...or the use of these attributes when He assumed human flesh...and it has been perpetuated with variations to this day. But in my A New Systematic Theology Of The Christian Faith, I demonstrate exegetically that there is no basis in Philippians 2:6-7 for thinking that in the act of Incarnation, Christ "emptied" Himself of anything. The "emptying" referred to there refers not to His Incarnation, but to His "pouring Himself out" in death in His role as our heavenly High Priest (Isa 53:12).' p 107
Ch 5: The Atonement As Penal Substitution, ATB McGowan:
'In pressing for the reality of the Father's punishing of the Son, however, one important qualification has to be made. Even in the midst of that great transaction on the Cross, the Father never ceased to love the Son and to be well pleased with Him. This is a point Calvin stressed: 'Yet we do not suggest that God was ever inimical or angry toward Him. How could He be angry toward His beloved Son, in whom His heart reposed? Matt 3:17 How could Christ by His intercession appease the Father toward others, if He were Himself hateful to God?' p 198 DEFENDED ABLY !!!
Ch 6: Biblical And Systematic Theology, Richard C Gamble:
'Redemptive acts NEVER occur separated from God's verbal communication of truth.' p 217
'One of the means...is called a covenant...the covenant is the God-chosen form of God's progressive self-communication to His people.' p 218
Ch 8: Union With Christ, Professor Richard Gaffin:
'...from its eternal design to its eschatological consummation.' p 272
'Certainly, in its full dimensions, this mystery is beyond the believer's comprehension.' p 273
Ch 9: Justification, Cornelis P Venema:
'Full acceptance with God does not wait for the transformation of believers into righteous people. Full acceptance with God is found in Christ whose righteousness is perfectly adequate to the need of believers. Grace triumphs in the gospel of free justification, even in the face of continued human sinfulness and unworthiness.' p 296 Venema's Declaration of Justification holds theological water. His critical view of the New Perspective is admirably achieved without rancor, whilst clearly targeting those from the Isle of Pelagius. 'Nor does the new perspective's explanation of "the righteousness of God" explain why Paul insists that, were righteousness to come through the Law, Christ would have died in vain (Gal 2:21).' p 323
Ch 10: The Church In The 21st Century, Derek W.H. Thomas:
'Not without importance has been a century of suggestion that the Church is essentially 'charismatic' - in the sense that it is made up of...differently gifted men and women.' p 330
'...suggesting the need for more authoritative leadership, downplaying if not altogether denying 'the priesthood of the believer' so beloved of the Reformation.' p 332
'A Church that is wedded to Jesus Christ necessarily produces cultural and methodological alienation.' p 346
That brief summary and endorsement aside, I write this review mainly to inform you this book can be secured brand new from Christian Book Distributors for only four bucks. Happy theologizing!