The mystery of Almighty God is most properly an explication of the oneness of God, tying the faith of the church to the bedrock of Israel’s confession of the lord of the covenant, the lord of our Lord Jesus Christ. The doctrine of divine attributes, then, is set out as a reflection on Holy Scripture: the One God as omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, and all these as expressions of the Love who is God.
Systematic theology must make bold claims about its knowledge and service of this One lord: the Invisible God must be seen and known in the visible. In this way, God and God’s relation to creation are distinguished—but not separated—from Christology, the doctrine of perfections from redemption. The lord God will be seen as compatible with creatures, and the divine perfections express formally distinct and unique relations to the world. This systematic theology, then, begins from the treatise De Deo Uno and develops the dogma of the Trinity as an expression of divine unicity, on which will depend creation, Christology, and ecclesiology. In the end, the transcendent beauty who is God can be known only in worship and praise.
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“Rather our metaphysical reading of Scripture’s subject matter rests on a careful determination to not conflate genre with subject matter.” (Page 15)
“Rather, the Oneness of God is pressed upon us by tradition and by philosophical coherence, both ingredient in a churchly reading of Scripture, and thus to dogmatic theology as a whole; but even more Divine Oneness is recommended principally by Holy Scripture itself.” (Page 9)
“Proper theological method is neither paradox nor idolatry. Theological compatibilism frees doctrine from having to settle highly technical and finally irresolvable debates about the finite and its purported ‘capacity’ for the Infinite.” (Pages 82–83)
“By saying that creatures are not God, we affirm God’s surpassing reality as the One, Free God. And it is a glorious liberty.” (Page 30)
“Though these foundational questions are properly twofold, their referent is altogether One, simply God. Almighty God does not ‘possess’ Perfections, nor ‘have’ a nature: His Objectivity is not under the aegis of His Subjectivity. The Lord God, rather, is simply personal, Person, in all His Nature and Substance: He is this Living One, this Identity altogether in His full Reality.” (Page xiii)
Astonishing in scope and breadth, beautiful in language, profound in spiritual perception, this is a monumental work, comparable to Rowan Williams and T.F. Torrance at their best. I expect it to be a standard point of reference in Christian theology for years to come.
—George Hunsinger, professor of theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
This first volume of Professor Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology presents one of the most distinguished treatments of the Christian doctrine of God in recent decades. It is a reflective expansion of a single, utterly arresting thought that oneness is the fundamental divine perfection by which all talk of the attributes of God is to be governed. As it follows the prompting of Holy Scripture, its exposition of the divine nature, and of God’s omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and love is at times cross-grained, uneasy with some elements of contemporary Trinitarianism and with the christological inflation of some modern dogmatics.
—John Webster, professor, St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews
The first volume of Katherine Sonderegger’s systematic theology starts with the heart of the matter: the doctrine of God. She opens new vistas on the doctrine by doing what almost no one (with the possible exception of Barth) has done so well: making ‘the perfections of God’ exciting.
—James J. Buckley, professor, Loyola University Maryland
It’s like no other book I’ve ever read. Captivating and beautiful, it leads the reader into worship of the one true Lord. From a scholarly perspective, it’s one of the few “systematic theologies” written today that (I suspect) people will be reading 50 years from now. Do I always agree? No. But her project is stunning, and it weaves together biblical exegesis, prayerful doxology, and philosophical sophistication in a breathtaking way.
—J. Todd Billings, professor, Western Theological Seminary
Professor of Theology, Virginia Theological Seminary.