Holiness might seem like a simple concept. Yet, when one compares the array of objects that are called “holy” in the Hebrew Scriptures and Christian New Testament, there may seem to be no points of similarity between God, humans, time, land, temple accoutrements, etc. However, in this book, James M. Arcadi hypothesizes a unitary account of the definition of holiness. What unites holy objects, Arcadi argues, is divine ownership. Holy objects belong to God. In application to God, this motif has profound implications for how one conceives of God and the God-world relation. In application to humans, this book argues that the ownership theme unfurls new insights on a range of doctrinal loci including the doctrines of the imago Dei, justification, atonement, sanctification, and liturgical theology. Bringing biblical studies in conversation with contemporary analytic philosophy, this book offers an analytic systematic theology of holiness.
James M. Arcadi (PhD, University of Bristol) is the rector of All Souls Anglican Church in Wheaton, IL, and teaches theology at Wheaton College Graduate School.
Chapter 1 Prolegomena
Chapter 2 The Holiness of the Panentheistic God
Chapter 3 A Panpsychist Panentheistic Incarnational Model of the Holy Eucharist
Chapter 4 God the Holy Person
Chapter 5 Homo adorans: Giving Back to God What Is God’s Own
Chapter 6 “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy”
Chapter 7 Redeeming Ownership: Transignification and Justification
Chapter 8 Unlimited Ownership: The Anglican Articles on the Means of God’s Ownership of Humans
Chapter 9 Sanctification as Joint Ownership and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
Chapter 10 Pledging Allegiance to God and God’s Holy Kingdom
This is a first-rate study of a neglected and often misunderstood biblical idea: holiness. Arcadi surveys the state of the question as to what holiness is and then provides his own answer – and that's just the first chapter! The rest of the book tests his proposed definition by examining it in relation to various doctrinal loci. The result is a biblically based, freshly articulated, and conceptually clear analytic and systematic theology of holiness.
Few theological topics are as central and as challenging as holiness. Bringing together expertise in biblical studies, philosophy, and church practice, Arcadi has gifted us with an invaluable overview of Christian theology seen through the lens of holiness. Highly recommended!
This is a book that should be read with care for it touches on a central theological idea with enormous implications for doctrine and practice. What is it for something to be holy? How can diverse objects and persons be all said to have the same property, holiness? James Arcadi's treatment of this topic is simply superb. It is clear, well-reasoned, and fair-minded in is approach. But more importantly, it is a work that will make its readers think again about a topic that matters to all those with a vital interest in living religion.