God in Himself
How do we know God? Can we know God as he is in himself?
These longstanding questions have been addressed by Christian theologians throughout the church's history. Some, such as Thomas Aquinas, have argued that we know God through both natural and supernatural revelation, while others, especially Karl Barth, have argued that we know God only on the basis of the incarnation. Contemporary discussions of these issues sometimes give the impression that we have to choose between a speculative doctrine of God driven by natural theology or metaphysics and a Christ-centered doctrine of God driven by God's work in the history of salvation.
In this volume in IVP Academic's Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture series, Steven J. Duby casts a vision for integrating natural theology, the incarnation, and metaphysics in a Christian description of God in himself.
"A seminal work and one of the most compelling restatements of the classical Reformed doctrine of God provided in a generation. This learned work engages with both the Thomistic and Barthian theological legacies simultaneously, while also navigating core challenges from Kantian and analytic philosophical traditions. God, analogy, the immanent Trinity, and the incarnation are all discussed with sophistication and judicious discernment. This book can serve as a touchstone and exemplar for future projects in Reformed Thomistic thought."
"Steven Duby has written a lovely book! He writes with a pastor's heart, showing with great insight the importance of God in himself in the life of the disciple and for a pilgrim theology. We have much to learn, following Duby's lead, from this neglected but altogether crucial teaching."
"This is a magisterial book; every Christian theologian should read it. With clarity and charity, Steven Duby cuts through the misunderstandings that have grown up around the doctrine of God. By the end of his book, the treasure of the God who reveals himself in Jesus Christ is shining forth with renewed brilliance, and our speech about him has been purified so as to be fully capable of praise. Duby accomplishes all this by drawing on the patristic and medieval traditions as received and engaged by Reformed thinkers, in conjunction with a broad mastery of modern philosophy, biblical exegesis, and theology. An amazing accomplishment!"
"Showing his characteristic depth, Duby articulates an insightful and profound recovery of classical Christian theism for constructive theology today. Keeping an eye on contemporary instincts, Duby mines the tradition to clarify misunderstanding, critique overreactions, and suggest ways to appropriate the wisdom of our tradition. I highly recommend it!"
"This rich and rewarding study demonstrates how the contemplation of God himself, theologia, is not some idle speculation—a distraction from the Christian life or descent into abstraction—but is in fact a spiritual exercise that fuels our communion with God and affirms the shocking nearness of God to us in Jesus Christ. God in Himself is a courageously scriptural work of theology, for Steve Duby dares to let Scripture lead where some have supposed that only metaphysics will take us: to gaze upon the resplendently complete life of the triune God."
"To know the only true God through Jesus Christ by the Spirit is eternal life (John 17:3). With the combination of deep and reverent scholarship that we have come to expect from him, Steve Duby seeks to retrieve the supreme object of Christian theology—God in himself—by rehabilitating topics like natural theology, metaphysics, and analogy for the practice of Christian theology. In doing so, Duby demonstrates how the proper coordination of these topics contributes to the supreme end of Christian theology, communion with the Holy Trinity. This is a masterful work of biblical, historical, philosophical, and dogmatic theology by a master theologian that deserves a wide readership."
1. Theologia within the Divine Economy
2. "Preparation for the School of Grace": The Role of Natural Theology
3. Incarnation in Context: Christology's Place in Theology Proper
4. Theology and Metaphysics Revisited
5. "To whom will you compare me?" Retrieving the (Right) Doctrine of Analogy