Thursday, September 15, 2022

How do you describe ultimate reality?

I've been reading through Roger Olson's The Essentials of Christian Thought recently. As I said to a friend, it's a good book, but at times a bit redundant, as he wants to make sure his reader understands what he is trying to say. It would make a good introductory text paired with something like The Universe Next Door, a book he references. He also, to his credit, frequently cites Emil Brunner, probably the best twentieth century theologian (as you know if you have been reading this blog for very long, I prefer Brunner and Bonhoeffer to Barth).

I'll be excerpting from the book for the next two to three weeks. Here's the first one:

Nothing could be clearer to the unbiased Bible reader than that it depicts ultimate reality as not a thing or object or mere force or power but as someone who thinks, deliberates, acts, enters into relationships with others, and has freedom to determine himself. And it depicts ultimate reality—that which is beyond appearance, upon which all else depends, the source of all that is—as more than nature, not part of nature, even the author of nature who is free to intervene in it. What words are better suited to describe such an ultimate reality than personal and supernatural—even if they are inadequate and problematic?—The Essentials of Christian Thought, 54 (emphasis original)

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