An exploration of a conceptual distinction between Calvin's theology as christocentric in a soteriological sense, and Barth's as christocentric in a principal sense. Reading the Decree explores a conceptual distinction between Calvin's theology as christocentric in a soteriological sense, and Barth's as christocentric in a principal sense. Calvin's exegesis of election reveals a doctrine of election which may be described as christocentric (if by this we understand Christ to be central to salvation-history and the effecting of redemption within the economy). Allied to this, Calvin's exegesis of election is explained by a hermeneutical approach to Scripture which is extensively christocentric - his reading of the whole of the biblical narrative is shaped by his understanding of how Christology functions within that narrative. Conversely, Barth's exegesis of election reveals a doctrine of election which, when carefully nuanced, may be described as christocentric in a methodologically principal way.This exegesis is best understood in tandem with Barth's theology of interpretation which is intensively christological - his reading of the Bible privileges the name of Jesus Christ in ways which go significantly beyond Calvin's understanding of how Christology functions in exegesis. To show this, Chapter 1 examines Calvin's and Barth's exegesis of different biblical texts to show understandings of Christ's role in election that are soteriological (Calvin) and principal (Barth). Chapter 2 examines their exegesis of Romans 9-11 to show how their different forms of christocentrism continue to exert interpretive influence when they interpret the same biblical text. Chapter 3 offers an account of their wider theologies of interpretation and shows that here Christology structures different accounts of the hermeneutical enterprise in both interpreters. "T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology" is a series of monographs in the field of Christian doctrine, with a particular focus on constructive engagement with major topics through historical analysis or contemporary restatement.
Reading the Decree by David Gibson; Francis Watson was published by Continuum in September 2009. The ISBN for Reading the Decree is 9780567468741.