Natural And Cosmic Theodicy And The Call For A Trinitarian Panentheism Essay

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2. The Significnace of Natural/Cosmic Theodicy and the Call for a Trinitarian Panentheism According to Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, “A lacuna in Christian theology is the forgetfulness of the cosmic dimensions.” That is, “In the biblical and patristic traditions, ‘cosmic’ Christologies and pneumatologies are present,” and the retrieval of tradition is “important both for the sake of interfaith hospitality and improving Christianity’s self-understanding” in interdisciplinary dialogue. Kärkkäinen points out that the cosmic Christology of the NT (John 1:1-14; Col. 1:15-19; Heb. 1:2-4) points to “the integral link between Christ’s role in creation and in reconciliation.” This universal Christology resonates with patristic theologies, but “unfortunately was by and large lost by the time of modern Classical Liberalism and its highly reductionist conception of Jesus merely as a ‘spiritual’ teacher of personal piety.” In the same vein, Christopher Knight also points out that for the patristic fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, the Cappadocians, Maximos the Confessor, and many others, “The Logos in His kenosis, His self-emptying, is hidden everywhere, and the types of His reality, whether in the forms of persons or teachings, will not be the same outside the Christian world as they are within it.” This anthropocentric Christology and doctrine of salvation are inseparably connected to the loss of the cosmic pneumatology found in Scripture and the patristic

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