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Systematic Theology: Volume 1: The Triune God (Systematic Theology)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  105 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The Triune God, together with the forthcoming second volume, The Works of God, develops a compendious statement of Christian theology in the tradition of a medieval summa, or of such modern works as those of Schleiermacher and Barth. Theology, as it is understood here, is the Christian church's continuing discourse concerning her specific communal purpose; it is the hermen ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 3rd 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published July 8th 1997)
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Jacob Aitken
Robert W. Jenson’s systematic theology is refreshingly different from standard models. Loosely drawing upon older medieval and early Reformational loci, Jenson gives us a succinct yet profound model for presenting theology. True, Jenson does cover the standard loci (norms of authority, God, Christology, etc), but Jensons’s theology, either unlike others or more explicitly than others, operates from a common theme. Jensons’s theme is “the identity of God.” The way Jenson works this theme is simil ...more
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
See David Bentley Hart's assessment, both critical and appreciative, of Jenson:

From the article, a conclusion that resonates with my own reading of Jenson:
"So, speaking for myself, I wish to say only that I find it impossible to have done with Jenson's work, or to cease returning to it as a challenge to refine and clarify my own understanding of the gospel. And whenever I make that return, I cannot help but feel that, in a small way, the experience is rat
G Walker
Jenson is not easy reading, but he is worth the effort. This (along with the second volume) is tremendously stimulating and edifying. He is, hands down, one of the English speaking world's, most important thinkers... Not just for protestantism or the West either. His contribution is catholic in the best sense of the word. Fair warning, he is "liberal", and I do not much care for liberal theology... but yet he does remain a faithfully committed disciple of Christ, and this oozes out in what he wr ...more
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is amazingly dense and only for the theological specialists or for those willing to read very, very, very slowly and break apart what Jenson says.

The content is beyond glorious. Jenson has quite the imagination, his main contribution to theology being a radical rethinking of eternity. The short story is "Eternity is time on steroids." God is an event, not a catnap, God is a person, not a form, God is a decision, not a state, and most movingly God is a capacious fugue. (Look that word u
Sooho Lee
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Claiming Athanasius, the Cappadocian Fathers, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, and the whole of Scriptures on his side, Jenson drops the bomb that is his catastrophic assertion that God is not timeless, but is timed. In other words, Jenson takes Barth's notable quote, "Atonement is history," to its noetic heights: the Triune God is history. As a rambunctious theologian, Jenson masterfully swings philosophical and theological acrobatics with rigor and vigor--the Jenson-train cannot be stopped. Th ...more
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
One of the most amazing books I have ever read! I was supposed to read this for a class my last semester of college. I distinctly remember sitting, looking at the pages, completely unable to figure out what he was saying. This try, I read the entire book out loud; it was worth it.

I used to think the trinity was a rather dry concept. Jenson shows the beauty and wonder of the Trinity while also showing how the Trinity practically affects our lives.
Bruce McCuskey
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jenson is among the more readable of the mid-20th century Protestant theologians who deny God's impassability. His attention to the importance of narrative in the gospel and its implications for understanding the Trinity is a thing of beauty, even if one does not agree with it. Nonetheless, some of his readings of the Patristic writers can be vague, arcane, and wildly divergent from what one might expect, especially Gregory of Nyssa and the Council of Chalcedon.
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Philosophically robust, ecumenically oriented, true to the biblical narrative, what more could you ask for in a systematic text. While heavily relying on Barth and Pannenberg for much of his material, Jenson is also conceptually unique and works their ideas into new and fascinating concepts. A must read.
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Thoughtful and provocative, with perceptive insights into the history of doctrine and the Biblical data. Weaknesses include a failure to concisely define terms in places that would help both the reader and the argument as whole and an overreaching evaluation of the early Church Father's reliance upon Greek Philosophy.
Dwight Davis
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Brilliant, to be sure. And I really enjoyed it, so take my criticisms with a grain of salt. But at times it felt far too abstract. The chapter on resurrection was weak in particular. This work is very dense, and my opinion may change upon a re-reading.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Once you get past the first 40 pages of going around the term "theology" in circles, this book can be pretty interesting. It seems to get pretty far with basically just concept analysis. Every now and then everything seems just a bit too spelled out and repetitive but overall it's a good package.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"God is a great fugue. There is nothing so capacious as a fugue."
Dan Boyce
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Read these two volumes!
Jan 04, 2011 is currently reading it
Brilliant, epsecially chapter 3.
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Robert W. Jenson has been a student of Barthian theology for many years and his doctoral dissertation at the University of Heidelberg earned Barth’s approval as an interpretation of his writings. A native of Wisconsin, Dr. Jenson attended Luther College in Iowa and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, before studying at Heidelberg where he was awarded his Doctor of Theology, ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Systematic Theology (2 books)
  • Systematic Theology: Volume 2: The Works of God

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