Articles by Fred Sanders

How to Teach the Doctrine of the Blessedness of God [Part 4]

Article by   January 2015
Divine blessedness is fruitful. Of course the divine blessedness itself, the beatitude of God, is fruitful, as the source of everything that has come into being. But my point here, as in the earlier articles in this series, is that the theological doctrine of God's blessedness is also fruitful, and that once it has been recovered for Christian life and thought, it will be productive of a hundred insights and connection points. Some of those will seem strikingly new because they have been so thoroughly forgotten in modern theological discourse (and we do well to remember that blessedness was not benignly or accidentally forgotten from such discourse, but was aggressively banished with extreme prejudice) continue

Modern Opposition to Divine Blessedness [Part 3]

Article by   January 2015
The doctrine of divine impassibility has been much discussed, and it deserves to be: it is crucial for the Christian church to be able to confess the right thing about the omnipotent God precisely at this point, at the foot of the cross where the rulers of this age crucified the Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8). For most of Christian history, theologians considered it utterly axiomatic that the divine nature was not capable of suffering continue

Divine Blessedness in Non-Christian Theologies [Part 2]

Article by   January 2015
Christians ascribe blessedness to our God, but we were not the first to call a God blessed. Other worshippers in other religions, and other thinkers in other theological systems, have also considered beatitude to be an attribute of divinity. In fact, even the key terminology used in the Christian tradition for the theology of blessedness is language taken over from the pre-Christian Greco-Roman theological background: the crucial Greek word makarios, by the time it shows up in the New Testament to describe God (most prominently at 1 Tim 1:11 and 5:16), has a long history of attachment to those unscrupulous characters, the gods of Olympus. The terminology was pagan before it was Christian. continue

The Gospel of the Glory of the Blessed God

Article by   January 2015
In 1 Timothy 1:11, Paul says that he has been entrusted with "the gospel of the glory of the blessed God." It is a weighty phrase in every way, but Paul's use of the word "blessed" is especially striking. In only a handful of instances in the New Testament is God explicitly said to be "blessed." More often the word is applied to humans: blessed (makarios) are the peacemakers, blessed are they who did not see but believed continue
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