Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume III: Systematic Theology

ISBN : 9780198786528

William J. Abraham
336 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Nov 2018
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Volume III of a tetralogy devoted to Divine Agency and Divine Action articulates a comprehensive vision of systematic theology focused on divine action from creation to eschatology. Volume I developed the foundational conceptual work by showing that the concept of action is a radically open concept that readily makes possible the appropriation of divine action for today. Volume II explained that in exploring divine action one needs to specify the actual divine actions under review and thus showed that there could be no progress with extensive soundings across the tradition from Paul to Molina. Work on divine action requires extended work in doctrinal criticism rooted in the history of theology as a prelude to normative work that communicates a normative vision of divine action for today. This vision is best explored by taking up the great themes of systematic theology from creation to eschatology yet treating them in a deflationary manner that sees systematic theology as university-level, postbaptismal, Christian instruction. Leading scholar William J. Abraham recognises that we live in a golden period of theological studies-the range and depth of material is extraordinary-yet we also live in a period of disorientation and confusion that calls for a fresh engagement with the demands of systematic theology. Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume III meets that demand by insisting that systematic theology has its own content and modes of inquiry; that it belongs intimately to the journey of faith; and that it requires authentic academic clarity and rigor. It reclaims the rightful place of systematic theology as the center of gravity for theological studies but does so in a manner that makes it available to both the church and to the academy.


Introduction: Orientation
1 Prolegomena: Theology as Christian Instruction
2 Prolegomena: Presuppositions and Tasks
3 The Divine Trinity
4 The Attributes of God
5 The Person of Christ
6 Atonement and Work of Christ
7 The Person of the Holy Spirit
8 The Work of the Holy Spirit
9 Divine Creation
10 Divine Providence
11 Human Agents Made in the Image of God
12 Human Action in the Fall
13 The Church: Images, Origins, and Identity
14 The Church: Work, Ministry, and Sacraments
15 Salvation: Predestination, Grace, and Conceptual Orientation
16 Salvation: The Possibility of Conspicuous Sanctity
17 Eschatology: Life After Death
18 Eschatology: The Final Consummation

About the author: 

William J. Abraham is Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Southern Methodist University. His publications include volumes one and two of Divine Agency and Divine Action (2017), The Oxford Handbook of the Epistemology of Theology (2017), The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies (2011), Divine Revelation and the Limits of Historical Criticism (2000), and Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology (1998).

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