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Systematic Theology: God as Trinity

ISBN: 9781883925697

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What is theology all about? In this long-awaited second volume of a multi-volume comprehensive theological system, Norman R. Gulley addresses the foundational question about theology: Who is God? The author starts with the premise that theology is, ultimately, about the essential character of God. What kind of God is he? Is he a good God or a bad one? Gulley’s biblical “cosmic controversy” worldview undergirds his answers to the most fundamental questions of what the Bible teaches about God. Working steadfastly from the platform of sola scriptura established in his Prolegomena, Gulley takes the serious reader on a wide-ranging and insightful tour of the many facets of the doctrine of God. His approach first presents his biblical argument on a given topic, and then provides a helpful survey and summary critique of other views throughout the history of theological and philosophical thought. Beginning with God as relational Trinity, Gulley addresses many other vital questions posed over time, including arguments about timelessness, immutability, and impassability; old and new covenants; God’s revelation through the biblical Sanctuary; His ultimate plan of mediation; redemption and restoration; process and openness theology; predestination; and other topics. As in the first volume, Gulley ranges easily over millennia in showing how different concepts and philosophies have affected our understanding of the character of God. This ambitious work is designed for both the committed student of theology and the general reader who will appreciate each chapter’s opening summary, concise conclusion, and helpful set of study questions. This volume provides the fundamental basis of the rest of the system, and is a paradigm shift from many traditional views about God.

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Top Highlights

“The Trinity agreed that the Son be the Savior, and there be a temporary subordination of the Son and Spirit to the Father during this temporary salvation period. Prior to the cosmic controversy and need for a plan of salvation, Father, Son, and Spirit were equally eternal, self-existent, and in reciprocal love, none of which required an eternal subordination.” (Page 142)

“The early church fathers lived in a ‘climate of opinion whose origin had been in Greece, and where it was axiomatic to begin to speculate on the nature of God from the point of view that God is above and beyond space and time. Immutable, impassible, unchangeable and unchanging.’2 For in the Greek (LXX) God says, ‘I am THE BEING’ (Exod. 3:14).3 But in the Hebrew God says, ‘I AM THAT I AM.’ Here is the difference between the static Greek rendering and the dynamic Hebrew rendering of God’s name.4 As the church fathers followed the Greek translation of the Old Testament, and Greek philosophical categories, they severed much of theology from its Hebraic roots in the Old Testament. In this volume we will note how this affected the doctrine of God.” (Page 7)

“When Scripture states that the Son was subordinate to the Father during His life on this earth, because He lived on earth as a human, and not as God (Phil. 2:6–8), it recognizes the subordinate role was for the sake of human salvation.” (Page 148)

“All three Persons in the Trinity were involved in the plan of loving and saving this world.” (Page 4)

“The new level of revelation required two things: the difference, or distinction, among the three, and the relations they have with each other.” (Page 79)

  • Title: Systematic Theology: God as Trinity
  • Author: Norman R. Gulley
  • Series: Gulley’s Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: Andrews University Press
  • Print Publication Date: 2011
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Trinity › History of doctrines; Seventh-day Adventists › Doctrines
  • ISBNs: 9781883925697, 188392569X
  • Resource Type: Systematic Theology
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T03:16:29Z

Norman R. Gulley (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, Scotland) is research professor of systematic theology at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee. He has worked in the Far East and in the United States during a long career of pastoring, teaching, academic administration, professional society involvement, writing, and extensive worldwide travel as a visiting lecturer. He has authored several books including Is the Majority Moral?, Christ Our Substitute, and Christ Is Coming! as well as more than 150 professional papers and popular articles on a wide range of issues in theology and practical religion. He is an active member of the Evangelical Theological Society and is a past president of the Adventist Theological Society.


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