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In their 1920s expatriate theologies, Paul Althaus and Dietrich Bonhoeffer claim to be bound by a conflictual international ‘law’, which mandates violent competition while authorising the strong to displace weaker peoples. We argue that acknowledging such correspondence helps to reveal a surprising turn in their diverging ecclesiological judgements over the 1933 Aryan Paragraph. Ironically, although Althaus holds to the productivity of conflict between peoples, he supports the exclusion of Jewish pastors in Germany as a concession to fragile völkisch identity. In contrast, Bonhoeffer's new pacifist leanings coincide with his incitement to conflict on behalf of Jewish colleagues, overriding the use of Pauline admonition to defer to the ‘weak’ conscience.
This article seeks to offer a theological account of gratitude from a Protestant perspective by arguing that the Christian life is one marked by a covenant of grace and gratitude in which the creature's response of gratitude to divine grace is a participating in that grace, and, as such, is a full recognition of the ways of grace which flow from the divine life to creation. The first section of this article examines this theme in relation to creation from nothing. The second establishes God's electing will as the foundation of God's willing to be for another in creation. The third section examines justification by grace as the soteriological form of God's gracious turning towards the creature in divine mercy. The fourth section sketches the forms of gratitude that one might find in the Christian life as these are brought together in the sacraments of baptism and the eucharist.
Recent debate over the question whether ’amôn in Proverbs 8:30 should be rendered in a passive or active sense is helpful for illuminating the nature of the interaction between theology and exegesis in biblical interpretation. This essay offers an assessment of this debate with a view towards clarifying its christological significance, arguing that the semantics and syntax of Proverbs 8:30, as well as the theological frame of reference established by verses 22–31, exert an ‘ontological pressure’ upon our understanding of divine identity in Proverbs 8. These considerations offer an alternative avenue of approach to the poem that honours the Old Testament's commitment to monotheism, while also allowing the Old Testament's own presentation to shape our understanding of the character of the Lord’s oneness.
The broad contours of Augustine's critique of Stoic virtue theory in De civitate dei 19.4 finds a fascinating analogue in Theodor Adorno's theory of immanent critique: Augustine ‘enters’ into Stoic virtue theory and criticises it from its own postulates, illustrating the striking implausibility of Stoic orthodoxy when lived out in concreto and the absurd, but logical, conclusions to which one is necessarily carried by Stoic ethics. Through this deconstruction, Augustine clears a space to propose his own virtue ethic. Augustine maintains that a Stoic virtue ethic fails to deliver on its promised eudaimonistic ends because it lacks a robust eschatological vision. For Augustine, the Christian faith offers a more viable virtue ethic.
This discussion of the interaction between Thomas F. Torrance and Karl Barth first highlights how and why the doctrine of justification binds them together theologically, since each theologian applies this doctrine relentlessly to all aspects of theology. The article then explores how their views of religion illustrate their thinking. Finally, it considers two areas of disagreement between Barth and Torrance regarding the issue of subordination within the doctrine of the Trinity and the possibility of natural theology.