• Freedom Un/Limited: a Sympathetic Critique of Libertarian Freedom in the Open Theism of Clark Pinnock

      Ansell, Nicholas John; Hocking, Jeffrey S.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008-12)
      This thesis lays out a critique of the libertarian autonomy in Clark Pinnock's open theism. It contends that libertarian autonomy (defined as the choice to do otherwise) is unable to do justice to the fuller sense of freedom described in the biblical narrative. Offering more than a critique, this thesis suggests an alternative definition of freedom by qualifying Karl Barth's "freedom as obedience" as 'freedom as faithfulness'. As such, true freedom is contrasted to the autonomy that leads to evil, and is found beyond the false dichotomy of compatibilism and incompatibilism, heteronomy and autonomy. Freedom is recognized as a good gift of creation and a promise of the eschaton, and thus must be distanced from the shadow of evil which haunts human autonomy. Ultimately, this thesis contends that faithfulness to God as the source and call of life leads to responsive, transformative, and eschatologically unlimited freedom.
    • From Ground to Ocean: Robinson and Keller at the Beginnings of Divinity

      Ansell, Nicholas John; Basden, Stuart Jeffrey; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2007-09)
      Observing the movement in recent Christian theology, I examine the change in depth metaphors and theological works, as they move from tendencies of solidity and proposition-forming, to more fluid imaginations in their substance and style. I conduct an indirect comparison between John A.T. Robinson and Catherine Keller, engaging Buber, Tillich and Virginia Mollenkott, specifically focusing on themes of depth and working through a filter of social and ecological justice.Throughout the essay I acknowledge the importance of the continuing re-articulation of theology, the necessity of exploring the roots of Christianity, and I affirm the need for new language for the task of articulating an appropriate image of divinity and humanity. I contend that while Keller is well able to continue Robinson's theological project for the next generation, his work is still valuable in contributing Christology and New Testament studies, both of these being somewhat absent from Keller's work.
    • Perspective vol. 22 no. 4 (Aug 1988)

      Institute for Christian Studies (1988-08-31)
    • Perspective vol. 24 no. 3 (Jun 1990)

      Institute for Christian Studies (1990-06-30)
    • Perspective vol. 42 no. 2 (Sep 2008)

      Institute for Christian Studies (2008-09-30)
    • The Politics of Jesus and the Power of Creation

      Ansell, Nicholas John; Parler, Branson L.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005)
      This study examines the theology and social ethics of John Howard Yoder with a view toward how creation and redemption are related in his theology. The first chapter examines Yoder's aversion to certain construals of creation and argues that he is not inherently hostile to creation as such, but is cautious with respect to the possible abuse of creation as a theological and ethical category. The second chapter evaluates the nature of the state in Yoder's theology, examines his view of the Powers in this context, and argues that his view of redemption can be seen as a restoration of an eschatologically open creation. The third chapter compares Yoder's theology and social ethics with those of J. Richard Middleton, arguing that there may be a potential for interconnection between Yoder's Anabaptistic focus on the politics of Jesus and Middleton's Reformational emphasis upon the goodness of the power of creation seen in the imago Dei of Genesis I.
    • Reading The Brothers Karamazov in Burundi

      Ansell, Nicholas John; Atfield, Tom; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005-10)
      In 1999, aged eighteen, I read 'The Brothers Karamazov' by Dostoevsky. I read this novel in Burundi, where I witnessed the suffering of others. The country's basic problem was civil war, which is best described in this terse note: "Rwanda, the sequel. Same story, different location. Nobody cares." The well-publicised problems in Rwanda in 1994 didn't end, they went next-door. The only thing separating the problems of those two countries was the most heavily landmined stretch of road on the planet. It was on this road, which was littered with the remains of vehicles and people, that I experienced the immediacy of 'the problem of evil'.I had hoped that the book I held in my hands on those lifetime-long hours on the road would resonate with my experience. Ivan Karamazov's accusation of the God who creates a world of atrocities seemed fuelled by an unflinching look at senseless, disteleological suffering. I had hoped that Ivan, with his face turned against God, could countenance the horror I saw. Karamazov's stance has been seen as the antithesis of theodicy, which is the attempt to reconcile faith in God with the existence of evil. This antithesis seems to overcome the distance between the experience of real suffering and the account of that suffering given by academic theodicy. Ultimately, however, that distance remains. Dostoevsky's protagonist in his railing against God connects no more with the victims in this world than a writer of theodicy does with her defence of God.
    • Theologizing in Vain: a Dialogue with Ellul Between Truth and Reality

      Ansell, Nicholas John; Jesse, Daniel E.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008-05)
      In this study, I propose through the thought of Jacques Ellul that humanity has perverted the original creation. In doing so, we have constructed what I will call a Counter-Creation; a second creation. In this counter-creation, mankind has replaced the creativity and the fluidity of the original. Along with this I argue in the second chapter that we have socially constructed new gods, which I will call sacred myths. These sacred myths are unquestionable, and hold power over against humanity. In the third chapter, I depart from Ellul, and go beyond his reflections on the vanity of life, on the vanity of socially constructing the world around us. Through the story of Cain and Abel, I propose that in Qoheleth there are two types of vanities in play: One that is unrighteous and one that is righteous. In doing so, I hope to help people recognize their finitude, while not being paralyzed or being tempted to plunge into chaos due to the meaninglessness of life.
    • "The Woman Will Overcome the Warrior": a Dialogue with the Feminist Theology of Rosemary Radford Ruether

      Olthuis, James H.; Ansell, Nicholas John; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1990-08)