Thursday, July 05, 2007


Mark Mattes has written a great little book, The Role of Justification in Contemporary Theology. In his chapter on Jüngel, he writes,

Theology, for Jüngel, is not primarily construction, as it often is presented today, but Nachdenken, following after the Triune God on the various paths that God has taken and takes. Its constructive work is wholly accountable to the divine journey as presented in the biblical narratives. Both the divine and the human are seen in terms of correspondence--not of mind to thing, but of words to realities which re-orient life and convey God's coming as transcending the opposition between presence and absence. The order of knowing then matches the order of being, being-as-arrival. The order of being is based upon concord, not dissonance that recognizes the irreconcilable disharmony that faith never accords with sight this side of the eschaton... In Jungel the Bultmannian paradox between history and eschatology is channeled into a Barthian analogy of faith, giving rise to the "analogy of advent."


D.W. Congdon said...

I find this book to be extremely problematic. I took Mattes to task in a paper I wrote last year for his criticism that Jüngel's doctrine of Entsprechung turns "faith into sight." This is just not the case. The main problem with Mattes is that he is simply regurgitating the thoughts of Gerhard Forde without really entering into Jüngel's thought. As great as Oswald Bayer is, he is not nearly as sophisticated as Jüngel.

jack kilcrease said...

Gerhard Forde and Bayer are far better theologians than Juengel. Mattes' criticisms are justified. Juengel is a theologian of glory like Barth. The theologian of glory reads into the event of revelation and seeks God hidden in majesty. Comprehending God in majesty he or she seeks to correspond to God in his majesty. Juengel and all the modern German Protestant theologians have followed Barth indirectly basically take this route. The law and the gospel are therefore not distinguished. The law is used as in Barth as a means to correspondence- that is, like Aquinas an ordering principle. Theology is about the proclamation of the crucified one as law and gospel. It is about discovering God where hidden himself and acted upon humanity as law and gospel- not created an analogy whereby we might correspond to God in his glory.