Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Hinze, Bradford

Second Advisor

Bares, Michel

Third Advisor

Hughson, D. T.


The classical Christian doctrine of God has been criticized by various theologians for being adversely influenced by certain facets of Greek philosophical thought. A particularly potent and recurring charge has been that within the doctrine of God, the specific divine attributes of simplicity, immutability and impassability, are dependent upon certain Greek philosophical categories. It is maintained that the classical development of these attributes runs contrary to the doctrine of God based strictly upon the biblical heritage. The battle over the influences upon the early church theologians takes place in a field laden with historical and hermeneutical land mines, any of which may cause severe injury or destruction to reckless or ill-thought theories. Hence, it must be stated at the outset that there is no unanimity among theologians as to either the extent, or the impact of Greek philosophy on the early doctrine of God. The task of this dissertation is not to adjudicate the contentions raised by various thinkers concerning the relationship between Greek philosophical categories and the biblical revelation. Rather, the intent here is to map out the landscape as perceived by those who have either attempted to revise the classical doctrine of God or to develop alternate theisms as a result of the critique of classical theism...



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