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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 Israels 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 Gods relation to creation are distinguishedbut not separatedfrom 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.

Review

"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, Princeton Theological Seminary

About the Author

Katherine Sonderegger is the William Meade Professor of Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. She is the author of That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew: Karl Barth''s "Doctrine of Israel" (1992). She resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

George M. Plasterer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Important Contribution even with my disagreements
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2018
This volume challenges some cherished assumptions of some theologians like Barth, Moltmann, and Pannenberg. I am going to focus upon my disagreements with her. However, I think the challenge she brings is a worthy one. She thinks Barth is wrong to dismiss metaphysics. She... See more
This volume challenges some cherished assumptions of some theologians like Barth, Moltmann, and Pannenberg. I am going to focus upon my disagreements with her. However, I think the challenge she brings is a worthy one. She thinks Barth is wrong to dismiss metaphysics. She is right. However, she is not clear as to her metaphysical purchase. She seems highly respectful of Aquinas, Aristotle, and Plato, so I assume some form of that perspective belongs to her as well. Her jump into exposition of scripture is abrupt and ad hoc. She often squeezes out of texts ideas that, even if valid, I am not sure the text itself yields. I found myself frustrated in the first half of the book because I saw no justification of moving from criticizing Barth for abandoning metaphysics to her exposition of the divine attributes with her ad hoc reading of scripture. I agree with her concerning the dangers of dissolving theology into Christology. Yet, she cannot escape bringing Jesus into her Doctrine of God. I do not think it possible or desirable to develop a Christian doctrine of God apart from Christ. She wants to begin with a focus upon the unity or oneness of God, as does Aquinas, rather than the Trinity. She will regularly affirm that God is the attributes of God apart from relation. Yet, if God is omnipresent, to what is God is present? If God is omnipotent in the sense of vitality and dynamism, to whom does this power direct itself? If God is omniscient, what does God know apart from relation? If God is love, what does God love? If we begin with the Trinitarian reflection, then all of these attributes are actions within divine life. If so, then the relational identity of divine life finds its reflection in the relational quality of our reality, which we see in the relational nature of atoms and cells. These questions await further volumes to answer. I am not sure of the direction toward she is heading.
When she says that theological reflection should arise out of prayer, she clearly practices that approach. She allows us to see her devotion. On the personal side, she reminded me of a colleague who read much science. I asked him why he did not just accept the atheistic view of life. His response was that there is “something more” than what science suggests. On page 457, she also says that we might catch up the whole of Christian faith in this little word more. It suggests that we live in a larger room than science suggests. In another case of personal connection, I had a philosophy professor, Duane Thompson in Indiana Wesleyan, who would say that God did not predestinate or even know beforehand. Rather, God knows all the possibilities and probabilities of the future. On page 351, she says that God knows all future contingents, all possibilities, all concepts and logical relations. I like this way of expressing divine knowledge.
I like books that challenge my thinking. It looks like I will disagree with her. She has written far longer on the attributes of God than I think is necessary. However, I am glad to have read it in my book-reading group.
15 people found this helpful
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Thomas Haviland-Pabst
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Modern, Traditional, and Innovative ST
Reviewed in the United States on March 15, 2018
Three words can be used to describe this book: modern, traditional, and innovative. Modern, because the author is sensitive to modern concerns; traditional, because she draws upon and is mainly in agreement with (or is at least sympathetic toward) traditional voices; and,... See more
Three words can be used to describe this book: modern, traditional, and innovative. Modern, because the author is sensitive to modern concerns; traditional, because she draws upon and is mainly in agreement with (or is at least sympathetic toward) traditional voices; and, innovate, because she is willing to rethink traditional theology in a way that addresses modern concerns without completing capitulating to them. For those interested in systematic theology in general and/or systematic theology of a thought provoking variety, this is a must read.
9 people found this helpful
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Customer 7
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The First Full Systematic Theology written by a Woman: Most Excellent
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2016
To provide some background, my favorite systematics are Oden''s Classic Christianity, Bavinck''s Reformed Dogmatics, Calvin''s Institutes, Migliore''s Faith Seeking Understanding, and Grenz''s Theology for the Community of God. Katherine''s work shows real depth in... See more
To provide some background, my favorite systematics are Oden''s Classic Christianity, Bavinck''s Reformed Dogmatics, Calvin''s Institutes, Migliore''s Faith Seeking Understanding, and Grenz''s Theology for the Community of God.

Katherine''s work shows real depth in understanding and research, especially in 20th century theologians, and best of all, it''s very passionate and spirited. Exclamation points are used regularly, but not in an annoying way. She has a gift in addressing some of the finer nuances of various topics without becoming boring. That''s a precious ability that is missing from most systematics of this kind.
It''s also very honest; there''s no questioning about what she means.

Out of hundreds of theologies, this is the only Christian systematic theology in world history written by a woman. It is amazing it has taken this long; it is so good that the project is worthy of praise. It will not disappoint.

In any case, Katherine sets the bar high for all, and her work cannot but benefit all. Highly recommended. Can''t wait for the next volume!
20 people found this helpful
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NCMom
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Challenging but thought provoking
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2017
While difficult to read, this book is very challenging and thought provoking. It helps explain the oneness of God that has sometimes been marginalized by a focus on the three ness of the Trinity.
2 people found this helpful
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Ben DeHart
5.0 out of 5 stars
Metaphysics is No Shame Word
Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2016
Careful and prayerful theology that''s readable and exciting. Looking forward to future volumes.
10 people found this helpful
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C DAVID GINGRICH
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Two Stars
Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2016
I was hoping for in-depth thought.
2 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
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Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2017
Ideal as a gift for my son
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