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Reading the Decree


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Table of Contents

Contents; Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; Chapter 1: Calvin, Barth, and Christocentrism; Introduction; 1. Christ and election; 1.1 A theological distinction; 2. Exegesis and election; 2.2 A hermeneutical distinction; 3. On comparing Calvin and Barth; 4. Plan of the present study; Chapter 2: Christology and Election; Introduction; 1. Jesus Christ as the Subject of Election; 1.1. Christ as author; 1.2. The trinitarian basis of election in Calvin; 1.3. Christ as electing God; 1.4. The trinitarian basis of election in Barth; 2. Jesus Christ as the Object of Election; 2.1. Christ as the Mediator of election itself; 2.2. Christ as the Mediator of salvation flowing from election; 2.3. Christ as elected man; Conclusion: Trinity and Election; Chapter 3: Community and Election; Introduction; 1. Calvin on Israel and the church; 2. Barth on the community; 3. Romans 9:1-23; 4. Romans 9:24-11:36; Conclusion: Covenant and Election; Chapter 4: Hermeneutics and Election; Introduction; 1. The hermeneutics of election in Calvin; 1.1. The location of Christology; 1.2. The location of election; 1.3. Christology and election; 1.4. Christology and revelation; 2. The hermeneutics of election in Barth; 2.1. Election and Epistemology; 2.2. Scripture as witness to revelation; 2.3. Jesus Christ: Scripture's object and content; 2.4. Mediatio: Scripture's parts and Scripture's whole; Conclusion: Revelation and Election; Conclusions; Bibliography.

About the Author

Francis Watson is Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham and was formerly a holder of the Kirby Laing Chair of New Testament Exegesis in the University of Aberdeen (1999-2007), as well as a Reader in Biblical Theology, King's College London. Previous publications include: Paul, Judaism and the Gentiles, Text, Church and World, Text and Truth and Agape, Eros, Gender. David Gibson is Assistant Minister at High Church Hilton, Aberdeen. He studied theology at Nottingham University and King's College London, and completed a doctorate at the University of Aberdeen.


'Dr Gibson's exploration of the complex of issues that arises in the theological intersection of Christology, election and Scripture in Calvin and Barth is deft and dear, and painstaking and fair. The way in which he approaches his task, by fashioning illuminating methodological tools to interrogate the two theologians, is very well done. The result is a fascinating and valuable study.' - Paul Helm, Regents College, Vancouver, Canada 'Debates about the future of Reformed theology often tend to focus on the nature of the legacy of two men in particular: John Calvin and Karl Barth. Much ink has been spilled in examining the theological, social, intellectual, cultural, and even psychological backgrounds of these two men as a means of establishing their respective significance; but, in this work, David Gibson addresses these matters via a close study of their exegesis as a means of establishing just how faithful each was to their own stated scripture principle. Gibson's work represents a constructive and insightful development of contemporary discussion of the nature of Reformed theology.' -- Carl R. Trueman, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, USA 'For those who deplore the "dumbing- down" of so much Christian publishing nowadays, this volume will offer a refreshing change' Churchman, Sept. 2010 'There is much to commend about Gibson's study. He offers the reader a clear, careful and fair reading of Calvin and Barth... He is refreshingly appreciative of the ways in which the connections and motifs internal to Barth's own thought are deeply indebted to the Reform tradition, and particularly to Calvin... this study deserves a wide reading, and will be of particular interest to Calvin and Barth scholars.' Journal of Theological Studies This rewarding study is a model of theology which is systematic in the best sense: it perceptively illumines the coherence of doctrine, and it does so through analysis of two towering figures in the Reformed tradition. Its most valuable contribution, however, is the care with which it examines the exegetical decisions which attend these doctrinal formulations. -Journal of Reformed Theology 4

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