Speaking on the subject, “God, Evil, and Possibility” over the course of a week, Blocher addressed the persistence of the category of possibility in responses to the problem of evil. He gave the example of the popular evangelical theodicy that, in order to create persons who would love him freely, God had to create them with free will, that is, the possibility of sinning, and thus risk their self-alienation from him. Blocher objected to the suggestion that evil could be such a metaphysical possibility, as if God were the author of evil itself by creating the possibility of it. “I deny that there is anything about metaphysical evil in the Bible,” he insisted. “Creation is good.” But he claimed the solution to this conceptual issue was not to reject the argument but to refine the definitions of “the possible.”
Blocher’s major contribution in these lectures was this differentiation of kinds of possibility. He argued that we should not think of evil in the pre-fallen state as a “real” possibility, that is, as something God built into the created order. Rather, we need only posit evil as a logical possibility, the simple negation of the divine command. Only the human commission of evil creates it as a real possibility.
Another argument, potentially controversial, concerned the question of possibility for God, especially whether it was possible for God to create a world that did not entail evil. Rather than attempt an philosophical response, Blocher appealed to 1 Corinthians 13:12, the best translation of which he said was that we see now “in an enigma” (see DLNT). He argued that the mind’s inability to penetrate some mysteries was precisely the hallmark of evil, that it corrupts our organ of understanding.
Lecture 1: Introduction: Evil possible—a misleading facility
Lecture 2: Exploring the quasi concept and the area of evil
Lecture 3: Thinkers on ‘possibility’
Lecture 4: ‘Possibility’ in biblical perspective
Lecture 5: Was evil ‘possible” before it arose?
Lecture 6: Possibility and Salvation
Dr. Williams presented a series of six lectures on Karl Barth and election, with particular emphasis upon the pastoral function of the doctrine. Beginning with a discussion of the issues that arise in debates about election, Dr. Williams details Karl Barth’s view on the topic of election and the related topics of Christian perseverance and particular atonement, including an exposition of Romans 9-11. Dr. Williams then developed Barth’s single predestinarian view and addressed the doctrine of assurance in conversation with Barth’s own views. Taken together, the lectures applied fresh perspective to the views of Karl Barth on the election of grace.
Lecture Series Outline
Lecture 1: The different ways of understanding God that surface in debates about election
Lecture 2: A lecture on Barth on election integrated with Barth’s views on Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms
Lecture 3: The question of election as a determination of destiny, specifically, the problem of perseverance
Lecture 4: The question of election and particular atonement, working from the John Owen/McLeod Campbell debate
Lecture 5: Election, regeneration and faith
Lecture 6: An exposition of Romans 9-11 offering a positive proposal on election, prepared for in lectures 1-5
The God Who Graciously Elects: Seven Lectures on the Doctrine of God
In this lecture series, Professor Bruce McCormack constructs his original and thoroughly post-metaphysical doctrine of God. McCormack begins his ambitious lecture series with a ‘deconstruction’ of current trends in evangelical theology. The corrective, he suggests, involves a return to the very earliest of doctrinal thinking. Thus, McCormack provides us with a masterful survey of the doctrine of God in both the ancient and modern world, as well as the New Testament attestation to the mystery of the Trinity and the Deity of Jesus Christ. The major contours of Professor McCormack’s project include a Christology derived solely from the narrated history of Jesus of Nazareth as attested in Holy Scripture and in turn, and a doctrine of God developed solely on the basis of that Christology. Along the way, McCormack tackles serious challenges posed to Christology by modernity, including the unity of the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ as it pertains to the communication of his attributes, his agency and his psychological development.
Lecture 1: Is the Reformation Over? Reflections on the Place of the Doctrine of God in Evangelical Theology Today
Lecture 2: From the One God to the Trinity: The Creation of the Orthodox Understanding of God
Lecture 3: The Great Reversal: From the Economy of God to the Trinity in Modern Theology
Lecture 4: The God Who Reveals Himself: The Mystery of the Trinity in the New Testament
Lecture 5: Which Christology? Refining the Economic Basis of the Christian Doctrine of God
Lecture 6: The Processions Contain the Missions: Reconstructing the Doctrine of an Immanent Trinity
Lecture 7: The Being of God as Gift and Grace: On Freedom and Necessity, Aseity and the Divine “Attributes”
In the inauguration of the Kantzer Lectures series, distinguished Professor John Webster delivers a rich reflection upon the perfections and presence of God. The question at the center of this lectures series is the nature of human fellowship with God. The Investigation of the nature of this fellowship entails for Webster, a comprehension of the divine perfections and their relation to the Trinitarian relations and missions. From the nature of God, the Trinitarian relations and the nature of Divine presence more generally, it can then be understood more clearly what scripture means when it speaks of the Word becoming flesh. Webster offers, therefore, an extensive reflection upon the human history of the divine Word and the nature of his presence in the flesh. Finally, Webster moves to discuss the nature of the resurrected and exalted Lord’s presence, a presence manifest in his Lordship over his creatures and in the practices and Sacraments of the holy church.
Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: God’s Perfect Life
Lecture 3: God Is Everywhere but Not Only Everywhere
Lecture 4: Immanuel
Lecture 5: The Presence of Christ Exalted
Lecture 6: He Will Be With Them