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The God Who Acts in History
The Significance of Sinai

PAPERBACK; Published: 1/21/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7467-2
Price: $ 32.99
265 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Did the decisive event in the history of Israel even happen?

The Bible presents a living God who speaks and acts, and whose speaking and acting is fundamental to his revelation of himself. God’s action in history may seem obvious to many Christians, but modern philosophy has problematized the idea. Today, many theologians often use the Bible to speak of God while, at best, remaining agnostic about whether he has in fact acted in history. 

Historical revelation is central to both Jewish and Christian theology. Two major events in the Bible showcase divine agency: the revelation at Sinai in Exodus and the incarnation of Jesus in the gospels. Surprisingly, there is a lack of serious theological reflection on Sinai by both Jewish and Christian scholars, and those who do engage the subject often oscillate about the historicity of what occurred there. 

Craig Bartholomew explores how the early church understood divine action, looks at the philosophers who derided the idea, and finally shows that the reasons for doubting the historicity of Sinai are not persuasive. The God Who Acts in History provides compelling reasons for affirming that God has acted and continues to act in history. 

Table of Contents

1. The Puzzle

2. The Problem Explored

3. Moses Maimonides, Judah Halevi, and Michael Wyschogrod

4. Thomas Aquinas and Classical Theism

5. Divine Agency Problematized 1: Spinoza

6. Divine Agency Problematized 2: Immanuel Kant

7. Colin Gunton, Classical Theism, and Divine Action

8. Models of Divine Action

9. Special Divine Action at Sinai? An Exploration of Exodus 19–24


Catholic Library World
“Bartholomew speaks to some central questions in biblical criticism, and this scholarly study is warmly recommended to all academic libraries.”
The Expository Times
“The Sinai narrative (Ex. 19–24) is of paramount importance within Judaism and, of course, has significance within Christianity as well. Curiously, many Jewish and Christian philosophers and theologians affirm the important of the Sinai narrative at the same time as denying its historicity. How is this stance intellectually coherent? This is the question which Bartholomew seeks to answer. . . . The book does provide an answer to Bartholomew’s question, and his ability to engage with such a range of philosophical, theological, and biblical scholarship is impressive.”
Review of Biblical Literature
“An interesting, courageous, and thought-provoking book.”
Scottish Journal of Theology
“Bartholomew covers at lot of ground in this argument, working rapidly through the myriad voices he discusses.”