The confessing church in our time treats lightly the doctrinal deposit of its theological inheritance. The clamor of competition for the reconstruction of belief-systems has too often neglected older and more secure moorings. In a postmodern age that countenances individual belief-idiosyncrasies and accords them sanctity, the answer to the ordinary man's question, "What is the gospel?" is often clouded and confused. Against doctrinal uncertainties and insecurities, The Immediacy of God brings back into prominence a number of foundational issues related to the doctrines of God and salvation, of theology and soteriology. In doing so, it anchors its thought-structure in the basic apologetic presupposition that God is, and in the fundamental hermeneutical principle of divine covenantal purpose.
The originality of Vickers' argument lies in its proposal of new perspectives on its chosen subject-range and, as it becomes necessary for the elucidation of biblical belief, its critical response to proposals for new theological paradigms. The organizing core of the book's argument is its proposition regarding the immediacy of God in his being, his knowledge, his will, and his actions. That core proposition spills its influence to aspects of human salvation. On such levels, questions are raised that strike to the heart of the meaning of the divinely instituted redemptive process. Divine actions within that process are understood to be "immediate," rather than "mediate." Redemptive actions of God are "immediate" in the sense that no mediating causes exist between those actions and their effects and outcomes in the human condition.
Table of Contents:
Part One: Foundations
1. Preliminary Considerations
2. The Immediacy of God
3. The Immediate Imputation of Sin
4. The Immediate Imputation of Righteousness
5. Immediacy in Sanctification
Part Two: Applications
6. The Christian Mind and the Mind of Christ
7. The Justification of Christ?
8. Adoption and the Paradox of Faith
Douglas Vickers is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts. Among his recent titles in doctrinal and apologetic theology are When God Converts a Sinner; The Texture of Truth; Divine Redemption and the Refuge of Faith; Christian Confession and the Crackling Thorn; and The Fracture of Faith.