Tuesday, August 30, 2005

11th Edinburgh Dogmatics Conference

I'm here in beautiful Edinburgh at the Dogmatics (or 'dogs' conf) and it is lovely. Moving shoulders with theological giants that I have only read about.

The opening worship on Monday night was by David Wright who spoke on "The Lamb who was slain: God's human history".

The first day of the conference had papers by Pierre Berthoud on Divine Compassion, Oliver Crisp who gave a insightful critique of Jonathan Edward's a priori argument for the Trinity, and John Webster on Divine Asceity.

For me the highlights were Henri Blocher's presentation on "God and the Cross" which was a great interaction with Jungel and Moltmann. Even better was Bruce McCormack's paper on Open Theism from a Barthian perspective which was full of insights. Personally, I fail how to see that Open Theism can even be perceived to be consistent with historical orthodoxy. I'm just in a different theological galaxy from guys like Pinnock. On the Open Theism perspective the incarnation must be seen as plan 'B' and not the divine purposes of God before the foundation of the world, since God's handing over of the Son entailed the use of human agency which, on their perspective, God could not control or gurantee the result of. That God suffers with us is of little consolation if God himself cannot gurantee the final victory over evil and suffering. Even better was McCormack's remarks about Evangelicals and Barth where he noted:

1. Barth was not an evangelical
2. Barth is an ally on the hot-button issues over and against liberalism
3. On those hot-button issues (I'm assuming here things like grace, sin, etc) Barth offers evangelicals a series of resources that they did not otherwise have

Ben Myers of Faith and Theology has an enormous respect for McCormack and know I understand why.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to papers from Carson, Wright and Helm - some big names there too!

1 comment:

Sean du Toit said...

I can't help but asking if you've read Boyd and Sanders on Open Theism? I think there's a lot of misrepresentation around. Pinnock was my teacher for a semester on Open Theism and he made alot of sense, although I'm not sure I would follow wherever he leads...