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Paradox in Christian Theology : An Analysis of Its Presence, Character, and Epistemic Status - James Anderson

Paradox in Christian Theology

An Analysis of Its Presence, Character, and Epistemic Status

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Published: 1st March 2007
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The case presented in this book has significant implications for the practice of systematic theology, biblical exegesis, and Christian apologetics.

Does traditional Christianity involve paradoxical doctrines doctrines that present the appearance (at least) of logical inconsistency? what is the nature of these paradoxes and why do they arise? What is the relationship between "paradox" and "mystery" in theological theorizing? And what are the implications for the rationality, or otherwise, of orthodox Christian beliefs? In Paradox in Christian Theology, James Anderson argues that the doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation, as derived from Scripture and formulated in the ecumenical creeds, are indeed paradoxical. But this conclusion, he contends, need not imply that Christians who believe these doctrines are irrational in doing so. In support of this claim, Anderson develops and defends a model of understanding paradoxical Christian doctrines according to which the presence of such doctrines is unsurprising and adherence to paradoxical doctrines cannot be considered as a serious intellectual obstacle to belief in Christianity.

Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Abbreviationsp. xv
Introduction: The Problem of Paradoxp. 1
Paradox in Christian Theologyp. 1
Paradox Definedp. 5
Outline of the Bookp. 6
The Presence of Paradoxp. 9
The Paradox of the Trinityp. 11
Introductionp. 11
Early Trinitarianismp. 13
The Road to Niceap. 13
The Nicene Settlementp. 16
The Post-Nicene Fathersp. 21
Recent Trinitarianismp. 31
Modalistic Interpretationsp. 32
Social Trinitarian Interpretationsp. 36
Relative Identity Interpretationsp. 47
Concessions to Paradoxp. 54
Conclusionp. 58
The Paradox of the Incarnationp. 61
Introductionp. 61
Early Christologyp. 63
The Road to Chalcedonp. 63
The Chalcedonian Settlementp. 68
Post-Chalcedonian Developmentsp. 77
Recent Christologyp. 80
Kenotic Interpretationsp. 81
Dual-Psychology Interpretationsp. 90
Concessions to Paradoxp. 101
Conclusionp. 105
Responding to Paradoxp. 107
Introductionp. 107
Theological Anti-Realismp. 111
Anti-Deductivismp. 114
Dialetheismp. 117
Doctrinal Revisionismp. 126
Semantic Minimalismp. 131
Complementarityp. 137
Conclusionp. 152
The Propriety of Paradoxp. 153
Warranted Christian Doctrinesp. 155
Introductionp. 155
What is Warrant?p. 158
Warranted Beliefp. 159
Internalism and Externalismp. 160
Coherentism and Foundationalismp. 164
Reliabilism and Proper Functionp. 167
Warranted Theistic Beliefp. 172
Warranted Christian Beliefp. 177
Revelation, Scripture, and Doctrinep. 189
Four Perspectives on Christian Doctrinep. 192
Evaluating the Four Perspectivesp. 196
Warranted Christian Doctrinep. 199
Epistemic Defeatersp. 209
A Model for the Rational Affirmation of Paradoxical Theologyp. 217
Introductionp. 217
The Character of Paradoxp. 220
Apparent Contradictionp. 220
Equivocation: Unarticulated and Articulatedp. 225
Paradox and the Doctrine of Analogyp. 233
The Origin of Paradoxp. 237
The Doctrine of Divine Incomprehensibilityp. 237
Divine Incomprehensibility and Paradoxp. 241
The Rationality of Paradoxp. 244
Mystery Definedp. 244
Defeaters Revisited: Defeater-Defeaters and Defeater-Insulatorsp. 246
Mystery as Defeater-Defeater and Defeater-Insulatorp. 250
Warranted Belief in Paradoxical Christian Doctrinesp. 256
Conclusionp. 262
The Model Defendedp. 263
Introductionp. 263
Biblical Concernsp. 267
The Fount of Doctrinal Paradox: Creeds or Scripture?p. 267
Logic as a Hermeneutical Toolp. 271
Paradox as Defeater for Biblical Inspirationp. 273
Theological Concernsp. 275
The Practice of Systematic Theologyp. 275
Defining Orthodoxy and Excluding Heterodoxyp. 278
Alternative Cognitive Design Plansp. 281
The Apologetic Mirror Problemp. 283
Philosophical Concernsp. 285
Contradictions: Real and Apparentp. 285
Consistency as Intellectual Virtuep. 288
Alternative Notions of Rationalityp. 290
Intuitional Inertiap. 293
Comprehension and Conceptionp. 297
Conclusionp. 306
Conclusion: The Prospects of Paradoxp. 307
Implicationsp. 308
Further Researchp. 309
Paradox: A Blessing in Disguise?p. 311
Bibliographyp. 313
Indexp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781842274620
ISBN-10: 1842274627
Series: Paternoster Theological Monographs
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 1st March 2007
Publisher: SEND THE LIGHT
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.6 x 14.9  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.5