Book Review Article of Divine Simplicity: A Dogmatic Account by Paul R. Hinlicky

November 6, 2019

Divine Simplicity: Article Reviews and Responses
By Paul R. Hinlicky and Steven J. Duby

Book Review Article of Divine Simplicity: A Dogmatic Account

Paul R. Hinlicky

Paul R. Hinlicky is Tise Professor of Lutheran Studies, Roanoke
College and Graduate Faculty, Institute of Lutheran Theology

Steven J. Duby, Divine Simplicity: A Dogmatic Account. London and New York: T & T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology, 2016.

Steven J. Duby has written an excellent work of theological scholarship in support of what is, to my mind, a dubious cause. He writes as a restorationist of Reformed scholastic orthodoxy (pp. 3, 122), and in “dogmatics” he deploys a pre-critical method of garnering and systematizing propositions found in Scripture (Lindbeck’s “propositionalism”1). This restorationism hinges upon two special commitments which recur regularly throughout the work: first, the interpretation of Trinitarian persons as modalities of the single deity-person (pp. 24, 121, 155, 158, 218, 227-8), a move which, following Augustine, confounds the crucial distinction between ousia and hypostasis worked out by the Cappadocians between Nicea and Constantinople; and second, also following Augustine, the corresponding assignment of God taken “absolutely” to the category of “nature” or “essence,” treating, then, Father, Son and Holy Spirit as the same divine substance taken “relatively” (e.g., p. 222)….

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