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Category Archives: Arthur McGill

It really is Good Friday

The glory of God that calls forth our worship is not God’s absoluteness, that is, not an identity perfected by secure possession of it. God is not God because God holds the divine identity and does not let anyone else have it. That is the mark of Satan. God is God because God shares that […]

But not so with you. . .

A quote for 9/11: In his teachings and in his life Jesus stands completely opposed to all powers that victimize, to all energies of violence and rage throughout this world. He allows no ground for treating these forces as really good, to be affirmed as agents of God’s will and expressions of God’s power and, […]

The Power of God

In regard to understanding the nature of God’s power, a subject that is much misunderstood and contended over in theological discourse I have found no one as helpful as Arthur McGill. McGill’s book, Suffering: A Test of Theological Method is one of the most under-read books out there. I strongly suggest that everyone get a […]

Nicene Theology as Paganization

In his discussion of the controversy between Athanasius and Arius over the nature of God, Arthur McGill makes a rather delightful observation: “[For Arius], to apply the notion of ‘begetting’ to God’s own substance is to take a notion from Greek mythology and apply it illegitimately to the Biblical God. According to the entire Hebrew […]

Arthur McGill’s Death and Life: A Review

I’ve blogged in the past several times about the work of Arthur C. McGill, a little-known theology professor who taught at Harvard.  The few small books he has left behind are all amazing treasures.  Here is my review of what I take to be his best book, Death and Life: An American Theology.  Honestly, I can’t […]

Identity as Sin

“Identity-in-sin means not to live from God, not to honor God as the constant source of our being, not to be thankful to God as the one who constantly gives us ourselves.  Identity is sin when persons imagine that their being has been conferred over to them, when they try to live out of themselves in […]

Sacrifice, Gift-Giving, and Philanthropy

The works of Kathryn Tanner offer a great deal to the contemporary theological community.  Her theology is deeply centered in the development of two key concepts: a theology of divine transcendence and the principle of noncompetitiveness.  Her development of these themes was portrayed most clearly in her Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic […]

Our Existence in its Questionableness: The Nature of Theology

“Christian theology is not a detached, purely theoretical abstraction, which has somehow to be made practical.  It itself is the voice of man’s actual existence in movement from darkness toward the light.  We cannot treat the ignorance and confusions of our rational minds as merely preliminary problems, which if once solved, still leave us unfructified […]

‘Force is no Attribute of God’

“‘Force is no attribute of God” – that is the basic principle for the Trinitarian theologians.  God’s divinity does not consist in his ability to push things around, to make and break, to impose his will from the security of some heavenly remoteness, and to sit in grandeur while all the world does his bidding.  […]

Arthur McGill: We Worship the Fecundity of God

“The Christian worships not the absoluteness of God but the fecundity of God, the fact that the Father engenders the Son who carries the fullness of divinity.  God is not God as superior, as superior to us in holding onto the divine reality.  We do not worship God as self-contained divinity.  We worship God for […]

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