Fortress Press

Divine Complexity: The Rise of Creedal Christianity

Divine Complexity

The Rise of Creedal Christianity

Paul R. Hinlicky (Author)


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Paul Hinlicky reads the history of the early church as a genuine, centuries–long theological struggle to make sense of the confession of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Protesting a recent parting of the ways between systematic theology and the history of early Christianity, Hinlicky relies on the insights of historical criticism to argue in this historical survey for the coherence of doctrinal development in the early church. Hinlicky contends that the Christian tradition shows evidence of being governed by a hermeneutic of "cross and resurrection." In successive chapters he finds in the New Testament writings a collective Christological decision against docetism; in the union of Old and New Testaments, a monotheistic decision against Gnostic dualism; in the resulting sweep of the canon a narrative of the divine economy of salvation that posed a trinitarian alternative to Arian Unitarianism; and in the insistence upon the cross of the incarnate Son, a rebuke of Nestorianism.

This book is written with the student of early Christianity and the development of doctrine in mind.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800696696
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 304
  • Publication Date November 1, 2010


Chapter 1;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Introduction;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Contents;   Adobe Acrobat Document

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"Throughout his career, Paul Hinlicky has shown a talent for finding new angles on much–treated topics. He has done it again. It is apparent that the biblical stories about God envision anything but a monadic simplicity. And that has been the problem for a religious culture antecedently dedicated to just such deity. Read Hinlicky for an illuminating new take on how we once worked through that."
—Robert W. Jenson
Professor of Religion Emeritus, Saint Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
Cofounder of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology
Senior Scholar for Research, Center of Theological Inquiry (Ret.)

"Divine Complexity, Paul Hinlicky's tour de force, is a demanding yet lucid account of the Christian tradition's understanding of God, the world, and the kingdom. One could not ask for or find a better examination of the essentials of Christian faith than this one."
—Michael Plekon
Baruch College, City University of New York
Priest in the Orthodox Church in America

"As he traces the development of creedal Christianity, Hinlicky deftly engages a myriad of early church fathers, conversing along the way with sixteenth–century Reformers, modern biblical critics, and theologians. This is a fresh and timely proposal of a 'generous orthodoxy' that is as evangelical as it is catholic."
—Cheryl M. Peterson
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio


Chapter Summaries and Research Topics;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Discussion Questions;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Glossary;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Works Cited;   Adobe Acrobat Document

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