Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Jesus, Providence, and Ideological Colonization

I thought I’d do some reading today; this is what I’ve just read:

When its content is not specifically defined in relationship to the incarnation of the Jewish human being Jesus of Nazareth, the doctrine of providence becomes vulnerable to ideological colonization. Reflection on providence, therefore, must proceed in light of the fact that there is only ever one divine Subject of the doctrine: the particular God revealed in the covenant with Israel and the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Providence is not primarily about abstract concepts like omnipotence, sovereignty, or causality, but about how the God who brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt, became a Jewish human being, and was crucified and resurrected continues to be in an active relationship to creation. Contemporary reflection on the doctrine of providence begins by affirming that God never acts otherwise than God has acted in Israel and Jesus. Theological accounts of providence must fix their vision on the concrete particularity of Jesus Christ.

Matt R. Jantzen, God, Race, and History: Liberating Providence (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2021), pp. 145–146

I agree with everything in this quotation one hundred per cent!

Matt Jantzen’s book is very good. I’ve almost finished it and am due to review it for International Journal of Systematic Theology. Jantzen explores how racialization shapes the doctrine of providence and how the latter informs the former. He looks at G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Barth, and James Cone to do so. The book is on the expensive side – praise the Lord for review copies! – but is definitely worth reading if you can track down a copy. Hopefully a paperback will be out sooner rather than later.

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