[Reading] ➭ The Hidden and the Manifest ➵ David Bentley Hart – Horse-zine.co.uk

The Hidden and the Manifest chapter 1 The Hidden and the Manifest , meaning The Hidden and the Manifest , genre The Hidden and the Manifest , book cover The Hidden and the Manifest , flies The Hidden and the Manifest , The Hidden and the Manifest 9752b21140661 Rowan Williams Says That David Bentley Hart Can Always Be Relied On To Offer A Perspective On The Christian Faith That Is Both Profound And Unexpected The Hidden And The Manifest, A New Collection Of This Brilliant Scholar S Work, Contains Twenty Essays By Hart On Theology And Metaphysics Spanning Hart S Career Both Topically And Over Time, These Essays Cover Such Subjects As The Orthodox Understanding Of Eucharistic Sacrifice The Metaphysics Of Paradise Lost Christianity, Modernity, And Freedom Death, Final Judgment, And The Meaning Of Life And Many

10 thoughts on “The Hidden and the Manifest

  1. says:

    This book consistently challenged my mind and spoke to my soul As a series of essays, like any collection of diverse essays, it is uneven A few of the essays, such as the one on Milton, will be slightly uninteresting for most readers honestly, unless you re a Milton fanatic, do you care if Milton was a Monist That aside, the vast majority of the essays in this collection are brilliant Further, they do tie together nicely so while you know you are reading different works brought together from different contexts, you still feel a progression.For me, Hart is most challenging when he writes philosophy Just thinking about the first 150 pages of The Beauty of the Infinite still makes me sweat The first essay in this book is easily the most challenging as Hart dives into Heidegger Once past this first essay, the writing shifts to theology and is a bit easier going, at least if you re already into theology.A few big themes emerge here Hart offers up the best demolition of God understood as primarily power, the God offered by Calvinism, Jansenism and much other theology in the West This understanding of God flows from the voluntarism of the late middle ages Prior to this, God was understood to be the ultimate good Thus, God acts in accordance with his own nature to be good, loving, just etc Voluntarists saw this as constraining God s freedom For them, God can do whatever God wants Much Reformation theology swallowed this understanding and thus we end up with theologians saying God elects a group of people before the beginning of time for salvation while all the rest are created solely for eternal torment Within this scheme words like good and just lose all meaning though Hart argues for an analogical understanding of terms, that the words we use must be similar when applied to God In other words, torturing millions is not all of a sudden good because God does it Hart pulls no punches He has no time for such ideas as God determines everything that ever happens Hart pushes us to have longer memories, to recognize that there is a whole long tradition of understanding God before voluntarism Further, he argues that it is precisely this God as power that is rejected by the atheists of the 19th century And rejecting this God was a good thing as such a God needed to be rejected to clear our pallets and return us to a better view of God What better view of God Hart describes a God of self giving love For Hart, the Trinity is central to who God is Hart describes God as not becoming self giving love in the incarnation Rather, the incarnation reveals to us what God has always been like God then creates not out of necessity but as an extension of this love We get our being from God, who is Being itself We are welcomed, through grace, to participate in God s self giving love Of course, Hart would argue none of this is new Its all there in the early church, in people like Gregory of Nyssa and others.There are a lot of other essays here on topics such as the Eucharist and the relationship of Roman Catholics to Orthodox The final essay caps off the whole book as Hart adds to his critique of Calvinism by discussing hell It seems as if Hart says a God who predestines all people to either heaven or hell makes sense then a God who allows people to freely choose hell In other words, Hart is not consoled by the free will defense of hell Of course, the God who predestines some to hell is not loving But just as a father who allows his insane child to freely run into traffic, a God who allows his children to freely self destruct is not much loving either Hart concludes by arguing for universal reconciliation all people will be made new in Christ For Hart, this all flows out of a belief in God s self giving love revealed in Trinity and God s choice to create I am not sure I am 100% convinced, but I do have to say its the best argument I ve heard for this.The whole thing drives me to want to know God, to want to worship, to want to tell others God as described by Hart is beautiful and amazing I am moved to tell people that God is way better than you ve ever imagined God is not a sadistic parent who has to torture people for all eternity to get others to love God is a loving parent who will keep burning off all that corrupts until we see the beauty and freely embrace Honestly, it sounds too good to be true Every bone in my recovering fundamentalist body resists it Hell has always been the ultimate check on bad behavior, the ultimate threat I ve pretty solidly moved into the annihilation camp the Bible seems clearly, if taken literally , to teach that souls apart from God cease to exist I guess the question I m at now is, what if that s not how the Bible is meant to be understood What if theology funnels everything through who God is as revealed in Jesus and we end up with something beautiful than we can imagine Hart and others do offer scriptures to support universal reconciliation a somewhat surprising amount But stillI grew up with hell as punishment and threat Just asking such questions would place me in hell, at least according to some Christians.Yetwhat if its true What if God is beautiful than you ve imagined To be fair, Hart writes as a theologian and not a preacher He s Eastern Orthodox so he doesn t have to worry about conservative evangelical backlash All I can say is maybe we who grew up conservative evangelical need a large does of the sort of theology Hart is writing Its so much better than many of our own options, from your best life now seeker sensitive self help garbage to God loves you but if you reject it then God will torture you in hell for all eternity garbage I think its worth seeing if God is better than all that.Now I m rambling I ll end by saying, if you re into theology, take the time to dive into Hart Its not always easy, but its good.

  2. says:

    The Hidden and the Manifest brings together a number of Hart s academic essays from over the years and so demonstrates his intellectual and stylistic range quite well In fact, one of my favorite parts of reading this collection was to feel how much Hart s writing style matured over the years The earlier essays, published in the late 1990s and early 2000s, required of me a genuine discipline of the will to read, comprehend, and appreciate purely on account of their verbal excess, mind you whereas the latest, published in the last few years, are simply delightful, though still properly challenging in other respects For my own interests and theological development, the most valuable essays were those concerned with Trinitarian metaphysics the eponymous essay, The Hidden and the Manifest, as well as The Mirror of the Infinite Gregory of Nyssa and the Vestigia Trinitatis , divine impassibility or apatheia specifically, No Shadow of Turning On Divine Impassibility and eschatology The Whole Humanity Gregory of Nyssa s Critique of Slavery in Light of His Eschatology, and God, Creation, and Evil The Moral Meaning of Creatio Ex Nihilo, which is Hart s most sustained defense of universal salvation, or apokatastasis, to date There was much to be gained from the other essays, of course, but it is in these areas that Hart s most important work is done.Highly recommended to the student of theology.

  3. says:

    This is an amazing collection of essays DB Hart is probably my favorite theological mind right now, and I love that he is unabashedly committed to classic Christian thought This collection of some difficult and interesting theological discussions is as good I ve read from his since his book, The Beauty of the Infinite A few highlights His essay No Shadow of Turning On Divine Impassibility is an extremely cogent defense of the concept of apatheia as it was developed in the church fathers, against those like Moltmann and Eberhard Jungel who see it as an impersonal or unloving important from Greek philosophy For them, God becomes through suffering passions Instead, Hart argues that apatheia is actually necessary for love love is no primordially a reaction, but the possibility of every action, the transcendent act that makes all ese actual it is purely positive, sufficient in itself, without the need of any galvanism of the negative to be fully active, vital, and creative 57 Ultimately the affirmation of God s impassibility apatheia is also an affirmation that God is truly good, that creation is freely worked and freely loved, that evil and violence and all the cruelties of human history enjoy no metaphysical or divine warrant, but stand under the everlasting damnation of the cross that God simply is the fullness of charity, and so remains as he ever is in creating and redeeming and joining to himself creatures whom he summons into being not out of need, but for the much higher purpose of serving his delight 69 This is perhaps a crystallization of much of Hart s thinking Other highlights include the amazing The Destiny of Christian Metaphysics Reflections on the Analogia Entis, The Mirror of the Infinite Gregory of Nyssa and the Vestigia Trinitatis and really all his essays somehow talk Nyssa , the really incredible The Whole Humanity Gregory of Nyssa s Critique of Slavery in Light of His Eschatology, and probably the best defense of universalism I ve ever read, God, Creation, and Evil the Moral Meaning of Creatio ex Nihilo There s so much in here, so much that makes me want to read so much else His essays are little provocations that spark my theological curiosity and impel me to think deeply about reality What else could you ask for

  4. says:

    I ve read a few of these essays in PDF or HTML form over the past decade, and it s a relief to have them all in one place While there isn t much new material here just a couple shorter essays , this is Hart s first properly academic scholarly publication since 2003 , and thus quite welcome Somehow he managed to publish three volumes of occasional writings in his attempt to be Mencken or Chesterton or whoever before coming out with this volume still, I ll take what I can get Hart is arguably the greatest living theologian despite his faintly absurd writing style and much of the material here is first rate e.g., The Myth of Schism is, I think, the greatest single essay ever written on Catholic Orthodox relations and I ve read a lot of them Highly recommended

  5. says:

    This has to be one of the most interesting and most difficult books I ve ever encountered.

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