Jüngel and the difference between ‘evangelical’ and ‘philosophical’ theology

[A] theology which is responsive to the crucified man Jesus as the true God, knows that it is fundamentally different from something like philosophical theology in this one thing: single-mindedly and unswervingly, based on its specific task, it attempts to think God from the encounter with God… (Eberhard Jüngel)

One division of theology that still has me asking questions about its approach to doctrine is the analytic philosophical kind.

I’m not saying I understand it as I should so the nature of this post is part exploratory and part an ice-breaker in the sense of initiating a discussion on the ways and means of doing theology this way. To this end, I introduce Eberhard Jüngel whose proposal for doing theology looks a little different.

While AP is a cluster concept and includes many methods and teachings, I suppose the one voice that I find speaks the loudest from the theological quarter is that of the conceptual and logical analysis that attends and undergirds the formalism of arguments. While certain doctrines are assumed as normative for Christian belief, they are still brought to the bar of a particular system of logic, albeit striped of their scriptural and doctrinal setting, for the sake of coherence and plausibility. Doctrines typically discussed in this mode include God’s existence, the presence of evil, the metaphysics of God’s omnipresence, Christ’s hypostatic union and the perichoretic relationship of the Trinity. Continue reading


“God for the ungodly!”

The message about the cross announces the death of Jesus Christ as Eberhard Jungelthe decisive event for the life and death of human beings and the world in which they live. In this message there is to be found a focusing on the proclamation so that it is hard to imagine it being more focused or a more notable proclamation: God for the ungodly! Life for those threatened by death, for those enslaved by death! The hope of salvation for a humanity which is hopelessly lost in a slough of despond of its own making! Liberating truth for people who suppress the truth (Rom. 1:18 ) and who, in the way they handle truth, entangle themselves and their fellow human beings in a deadly sham existence (p. 1)

Eberhard Jüngel, Justification: The Heart of the Christian Faith. Trans. Jeffrey F. Cayzer (T&T Clark, 2001)