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The Livingness of God; or, the Place of Substance and Dynamism in a Theology of the Divine Perfections

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Abstract

Theological reflection on the divine character is serviceable to the extent that it prevents the livingness of the triune God – and so the subject matter of theology – from disappearing behind rigorous consideration of the perfections themselves. The topic of God's livingness, in other words, informs the locus de Deo as a whole. The present article begins with a biblical-dogmatic proposal for the form and content of this livingness: God's life in and for the world, it is proposed, is at every point rooted in the life which God has from himself as Father, Son and Spirit. Two clarifications are subsequently offered. An appeal to the livingness of God should be distinguished both from an abstract rejection of ‘substance’ language and from a conceptualization of reality under a general theory of the forward advancement of the world process.

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