Articles by Nate Shannon

Modifying Classical Theism: Chalcedonian Theology Proper and Reformed 'Tradition'

Article by   July 2014
The campus tour offered to prospective students by the admissions office at Westminster Seminary emphasizes the institution's five distinctives. One of those distinctives is what founding professor of systematic theology John Murray called a "radically non-speculative" approach to dogmatics. All he meant is that we don't make things up. The first fact of theology is that the self-existent triune God has non-necessarily moved to create and to reveal himself to his creatures. In the words of another founding faculty member, this means that man is to be receptively reconstructive of the authoritative speech of God. Autonomy is to be avoided always. This second founding professor, Cornelius Van Til, distinguished himself by arguing that this radical prioritization of the voluntary self-revelation of God applies to all of creaturely knowledge and action, not only to dogmatic theology. Not only our doctrinal theology but our knowledge of all things is receptively reconstructive of divine revelation. Van Til had learned from Geerhardus Vos that Scripture did not drop out of the sky, offering a sect of post-Jewish religioners an exciting new way of looking at the world; rather, Scripture is the Spirit-inspired, redemptively efficacious record of the triune God's eschatological covenanting with image-bearers: a voluntary, divine condescension in the Son from beginning (alpha) to end (omega) continue
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