Abstracts Of Recent WTS Doctoral Dissertations -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 64:1 (Spring 2002)
Article: Abstracts Of Recent WTS Doctoral Dissertations
Author: Anonymous

Abstracts Of Recent WTS Doctoral Dissertations

Adoption In Christ

David B. Garner

Neglected frequently in the history of Reformed theology, the theological concept of adoption (υἱοθεσία) vividly depicts the familial character of the gospel. While used only five times in his writing, υἱοθεσία embraces substantial theological content for the Apostle Paul. Though many emphasize sociological, etymological, and legal strains in υἱοθεσία, the biblico-theological focus of the New Testament leads us to conclude that υἱοθεσία is primarily a theological, or more precisely, an eschatological concept in New Testament biblical theology.

Proceeding with this eschatological priority exposes the renovative cast of adoption, taking a doctrine generally perceived as exclusively forensic in character, and unveiling its reconstitutive telos. This realized and unrealized renovative content, expressed explicitly in Rom 8:23, actually permeates the doctrine in each of its other occurrences (Eph 1:5; Rom 9:4; Gal 4:5; Rom 8:15). Whilemany attempt to conflate the sonship metaphors of Paul and John, Johannine and Pauline sonship models actually differ substantially. Yet, the authors’ underlying shared redemptive-historical commitments further attest to the eschatologically renovative cast of Pauline adoption.

The implications of the biblico-theological investigation of adoption are applied to Reformed systematic theology. Specifically, the broader Pauline covenantal/creation-to-consummation construct solidifies the necessity for and reality of adoption’s renovative cast. In fact, the reconstitutive telos of adoptive sonship actually fits squarely under the scope of the Pauline notion of Christ’s sonship—in its pre-temporal, ontological precedence (archetype), its created replica (ectype), its covenantal anticipation (type), and its redemptive, messianic fulfillment (antitype). In addition to its forensic element, adoption in Christ the Son of God must be renovative, because Christ’s adoption (Rom 1:3–4) was renovative. In his resurrection/adoption, the messianic Son attained an unprecedented constitution of sonship, accomplishing the telos of creation— now realized redemptively and eschatologically for those adopted sons in solidarity with him.

This christological and eschatologic...

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