A theologian I would like to read

American Lutheran systematic theologian Robert Jenson, as read by Stanley Hauerwas*:

[For Jenson,] theology cannot be timeless, for no other reason (and it is the only reason that matters) that the God who is the subject of Christian theology is not timeless. The God of Israel and Jesus, the God we find in Scripture, is a storied God. That we learn of God, or more exactly, that we learn who God is through a narrative is not accidental but rather indicative of God’s nature. God’s storied character expresses, as Aquinas maintained, that “God’s act of being is constrained by no other form than itself.” Accordingly, the biblical God’s eternity is not immunity from time, but faithfulness. “God is not eternal in that he secures himself from time, but in that he is faithful in his commitments with time. At the great turning, Israel’s God is eternal in that he is faithful to the death, and then again faithful.”

” ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ is simultaneously a very compressed telling of the total narrative by which Scripture identifies God and a personal name for the God so specified; in it, name and narrative description not only appear together, as at the beginning of the Ten Commandments, but are identical. By virtue of this logic, the triune phrase offers itself as the unique name for the Christian God, and is then dogmatically mandated for that function by its constitutive place in the rite that established Christian identity. The church is the community and a Christian is someone who, when the identity of God is important, names him ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit.’ “


Hauerwas quotes from Jenson’s Systematic Theology. A narrative reading of the Trinity — awesome!

*in the essay “Only Theology Overcomes Ethics: Or What ‘Ethicists’ Must Learn from Jenson” in A Better Hope.

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