Introduction to Vol. 6

Our Sixth volume of JAT opens with a wonderfully cross-disciplinary endeavor into the ways in which contemporary cognitive science and traditional Christian theology and be mutually informing and supportive with Leigh C. Vicens’ “Sin and Implicit Bias”. There are many fine things written today about the theoretical consistency of contemporary science and traditional Christian doctrine, but this brilliantly original approach to practical mutual support to further human flourishing inside and outside the church should be a clarion call for imitation.

Next we move to another way human sin is addressed that also applies recent cognitive science: transformation by the Holy Spirit as understood through attachment theory. Steven L. Porter and Brandon Rickabaugh, in “The Sanctifying Work of the Holy Spirit: Revisiting Alston’s Interpersonal Model.” They defend an “interpersonal” model of sanctification whereby indwelling need not be literal to be fully biblical. In fact, they argue that Alston’s life-sharing model is not more sensitive to the intimacy of holy spirit transformation but less so.

After this pair of explicitly practically minded and empirically-based articles comes a pair on the nature of Christ’s body and mind. Crucial to the traditional doctrine of salvation, which leads to sanctification is the sacrificial death of Jesus. Yet Jesus death presents puzzles, given that he is active while dead and takes his body back up in resurrection. Andrew J. Jaeger and & Jeremy Sienkiewicz’ “Matter Without Form: The Ontological Status of Christ's Dead Body” provide an Aristotelian model for how to think about Jesus’ body as it lay in the grave prior to resurrection.

But for Jesus atonement to be effectual, it is not enough that he die: his death must be that of God. This of course presents puzzles about full divinity and full humanity inhering in a single human person. Andrew T. Loke’s “On the Two Consciousnesses Model: An Assessment of James Arcadi’s Defense” takes up a prior JAT publication proposing that it faces a serious problem about the combination of limited and unlimited consciousness in the same person.

Jesus’ atoning death is meant to provide hope after this life, but there are puzzles about how our identities work in the next life. Jonathan Curtis Rutledge’s “Purgatory, Hypertime, and Temporal Experience” appeals to the metaphysically-advanced notion of hypertime to show that an apparent inconsistency between the doctrines of Purgatory and the Parousia can be evaded.

Rounding out this issue are a pair of articles indicating the real and apparent limitations of analytic reflection on theological subject matter. First, Darren Sarisky’s “The Bible and Analytic Reflection” offers two ways in which analytic reflection can help biblical theology and defends it against one common objection. Then, Lydia McGrew’s “Of Generic Gods and Generic Men: The Limits of Armchair Philosophy of Religion” argues that a recent attempt by Tom Crisp to provide grounds for a new version of Plantinga’s “Problem of Dwindling Probabilities” objection to the historical case for the veracity of the resurrection of Jesus proceeds in far too a priori a manner. She suggests that this is all too common in contemporary philosophy of religion.

We are very pleased at the coherence of this volume, which almost unfolds like a planned book, and we hope the reader will agree. N. T. Wright’s AT lecture and a host of book reviews will soon be added as rolling publication of this volume continues.

This volume would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of two invaluable graduate assistants. Brandon Rickabaugh, Baylor University, served as our manager of the review process and Jeffrey Snapper, University of Notre Dame, served as our production manager. Many thanks to them!

Founding co-editor Trent Dougherty is stepping down June 1, 2018 when his research sabbatical from Baylor University Starts. Some of his present writing commitments include areas of analytic theology, so he will be maintaining contact with the world of AT. It is with a hint of sadness but great satisfaction at the product that has emerged that he steps away. He maintains his belief that this area of reflection is crucial to the flourishing of theological reflection.

The Editors

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The Journal of Analytic Theology is a publication of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame.

ISSN 2330-2380 (online)