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Paul Hinlicky's Critical Dogmatics: Triune Redemption and Hope in the Beloved Community


  • Robert C. Saler


In a host of recent publications, Paul Hinlicky has offered both methodological and substantive contributions to a constructive Lutheran theology that takes seriously the post-Christendom context in which the church finds itself. By elaborating a vision of theology as “critical dogmatics,” Hinlicky adapts pragmatist and perspectivalist motifs to outline a trinitarian picture of the redemption of creation as well as the church's role in anticipating the coming of the Beloved Community. Grounded both in Romans 8 and the trinitarian implications of Luther's joyful exchange, Hinlicky's vision interweaves soteriological, eschatological, and ecclesiological themes to demonstrate how critical dogmatics can test the spirits of a given age in order to determine which features of contemporary existence align with God's ongoing redemptive work, and which must be opposed by the church.