William Webb

Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2004.


Reviewed by

Mark R. Kreitzer, D. Miss., Ph. D.

Visiting Professor of Missions, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi



William Webb (Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament at Heritage Theological Seminary. His desire in this path-breaking volume is to introduce into the evangelical academic world a method of interpretation, which he terms a “redemptive-movement” hermeneutic. This perspective on hermeneutics, however, is not new. It was first systematized in the 1950’s by Swedish theologian and Emeritus Harvard Professor, Krister Stendahl (1921-2008) with the term “trajectory hermeneutic.”[1]

Now to be fair, Webb rejects the terms “trajectory,” “developmental,” and “progressive” hermeneutic because, in his view, a “redemptive movement” hermeneutic emphasizes something different. Its focus does not add something extra to Scripture, he claims, but that the “derived meaning [of the hermeneutical process] is internal, not external, to the biblical text.”[2] He desires to maintain his identity as an evangelical who holds to inerrancy. Therefore, the “redemptive spirit,” which must of necessity move beyond the text is already present in the text but only implicitly and in “seed idea” form. As the Christian movement expands through the ages, the seed idea grows ever more in the direction of the divine ideal. That ideal, however, may directly contradict what the opposing “static” method sees in the most perspicuous “words of the text in isolation” to the “underlying spirit” of the canonical context.[3].

To find the underlying redemptive spirit and the direction Scripture is leading involves a careful analysis of three contexts: the Ancient Near Eastern cultures surrounding Israel, the Old Testament’s legal response to this ANE context, and the canonical direction Jesus and the Apostles take in dealing with the same issue. This movement from ANE cultures, to OT response, to NT response gives a direction, which then can be projected outside of the close of the canon toward an ideal which only the later generations and centuries will be able to develop. These later generations will have the perspective of hindsight and a better-developed moral sense than the NT generation.

In summary, then, Webb’s version of a trajectory hermeneutic is a method of interpretation that seeks the ultimate meaning of a text in the “redemptive spirit” of the text, which Christ implicitly brings. It thus rejects a “static appropriation of Scripture, which understands the words of the text aside from or with minimal emphasis upon their underlying spirit and thus restricts any modern application to where the isolated words of the text fell in their original setting.”[4] Scripture thus merely points in a direction, which the redemptive message of Jesus is moving toward. Very few if any persons in the days of the apostles could even imagine what the final outcome of the movement of the Spirit would be in the many centuries after their time. However, we who now live in the most advanced cultures of the world about 2000 years later have gained much greater insight into that ideal, than the apostles and prophets of our Lord, he implies.

William Webb systematically develops this method more than any other volume to date. He is irenic, careful, and very thorough. That is indeed impressive. To test his methodology and apply his careful scholarship, Webb uses three issues found in modernity bound Western culture. The first is slavery, which he believes advanced Western cultures have largely resolved. The intuitive principles that the West used to resolve this issue he then attempts to apply to the issues of male-female roles and last to that of homosexuality. This last issue is crucial because some evangelicals such as Peter Jones and Wayne Grudem claim that there is a slippery slope from this intuitive handling of the slavery issue, to total removal of male-female roles norms in family and church, to total acceptance of homosexuality. They claim that the same trajectory method can be and is applied to all three issues.

This allegation Webb rejects for the issue of homosexuality. First he very adequately demonstrates that Scripture does not move in the direction of liberalizing the ancient understanding of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. Instead Scripture moves to a total rejection of homosexuality in the OT legal and prophetic literature and then in the NT literature. This is the best aspect of the book. He concludes, then, that Scripture’s rejection of homosexuality is not cultural but transcultural and universal. On the other hand, however, Webb, attempts to demonstrate that the issues of slavery and male-female roles within Scripture move in the direction of liberalization, and therefore both are dynamic and fluid. The teaching of Scripture on homosexuality is hugely transformative of ANE culture by its strong negative perspective. However, although Scriptural teaching on slavery and genders roles advances a few small steps away from sexism and a oppressive view allowing slavery, both views are still greatly culture-bound and hence only very tentatively transformative.

To demonstrate the postulated difference between homosexuality and the other two test cases, Webb develops eighteen criteria. Sixteen of these are found within Scripture (“intrascriptural”) and two are found outside of Scripture (“extrascriptural”). Thomas Schreiner gives an excellent discussion of these in his review of this volume so I will not repeat them here.[5] My concerns are distinct and presuppositional.

Webb’s desire is to differentiate between culture-bound elements and “transcultural” elements in the Scripture’s ethical teaching. That is very commendable. He begins by assuming that the traditional surface or static perspective leads to a “patriarchal” family and patriarchal ecclesial structure. Although he never clearly defines patriarchalism, he assumes it is present in the text, is negative, and quite oppressive. This is a great weakness, in my opinion. Scripture teaching as it stands perspicuously in the text, thus, stands in contradistinction to a woman’s full new covenant “seed” privilege to grow and be expressed. That full privilege waits until the time when the covert seed principle of full gender equality in status and role overtly grows into full bloom as it has been doing in the 20th and 21st centuries in the West.

His analysis of the 18 criteria leads him to the conclusion that modern Christian culture must adopt one of two alternatives, which hugely moderate or even abrogate totally oppressive patriarchialism. The first of these alternatives, “ultra-soft patriarchialism.” Webb recommends this to complementarians such as Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Ligon Duncan, and Peter Jones. To the other more liberated evangelicals, he recommends “complementary egalitarianism” as the most biblical alternative to naturalistic egalitarianism and traditionalist patriarchialism.

My purpose in this review is to critique the foundational presuppositions of Webb’s thesis, from a classic covenantal perspective. First, several of Webb’s foundational axioms are derived not from Scripture itself but from the surrounding culture. In other words, I will contend that Webb’s foundational premises are not founded upon Christ and his teaching recorded in the Gospels and mediated through the pen of the NT apostles and prophets. Instead these premises are alien to Christ and founded upon empty and deceptive philosophy based on human tradition (see Col 2:4-6). I maintain that Webb rejects the classic Reformational teaching of sola Scriptura and denies the fundamental antithesis between the wisdom of God and the folly of humankind (see e.g. 1Co 1-4). Last, in pointing out the foundational presuppositions of Webb’s work, I do not wish to re-do the excellent analysis and refutation of a redemptive movement hermeneutic in the writings of Wayne Grudem.[6] Those who wish may peruse the works cited below.

I begin my discussion of presuppositions with a slight paraphrase of a statement B. B. Warfield once wrote concerning the doctrine of Scripture. This statement concisely critiques Webb’s main thesis.[7] Warfield was firm in explaining that any person “who modifies the teachings of the Word of God in the smallest particular at the dictation of any man-made opinion has already deserted the Christian ground . . . and is already, in principle, a divider.”[8] He then continues to explain his reasoning: “The very essence of divisive doctrine[9] is that the modes of thought and tenets originating elsewhere than in the Scriptures of God are given decisive weight when they clash with the teachings of God” (B. B. Warfield).

In principle, I contend that Webb is claiming that Scripture is not sufficient in itself to give us a final and authoritative ethical perspective within its completed canon. The ethic in the canon he calls a “less-than-ultimate ethic.” This ethic thus “gathers together cultural and transcultural components, that evidences an underlying redemptive spirit and some movement in a positive direction, yet often permits its words to stop short of completely fulfilling such a spirit.”[10]

A canonically sufficient ethic springs from what he stereotypes as a “static hermeneutic” that seeks to build an ultimate ethic on the “isolated words of Scripture.”[11] Those who hold a static interpretative view, he claims, “cannot provide credible answers for the inquisitive seeker, the critical secularist or the troubled Christian.”[12] Almost certainly Webb here seems to unconsciously adopt the culture-evolutionary perspective of the classic sociologists such as Comte and Durkheim, and of Karl Marx, who founds his view on a Hegelian view of the evolution of truth. Webb implies that a social evolutionary movement toward a Christianized social form of equal individuals is the ideal to which Christ’s redemption must inevitably move humanity. He even asks the questions: “Why did God not simply give us a clearly laid out blueprint for an ultimate-ethic, utopia-like society? How could a God of absolute justice not give us a revelation containing absolute justice. . . ?”[13]

Clearly his ideal for social justice is that shared by the social democratic movement of Euro-America. Webb’s premise thus implies that Western individualism and Western ideals of a completely egalitarian social democracy is the normative goal for all cultures. This ideal is the direction in which the “redemptive spirit” of Scripture is leading every culture of earth. The movement causes him to postulate a “utopia-like society” in which first, the “movement of the biblical texts on slavery relative to the original social context, an extrapolation of that movement today leads us to the abolition of slavery altogether.”[14] Of course not even the most radical of the Republicans during Reconstruction believed that. Not even the 13th amendment of US Constitution outlaws all slavery. It defines slavery as “involuntary servitude”[15] and clearly exempts imprisonment as “involuntary servitude” for a duly convicted crime. Webb ridicules the OT case laws claiming that finding an ultimate ethic in them demonstrates the “utterly ridiculous nature of a static hermeneutic.”[16] Paul, however, uses the “general equity” of the case laws (see e.g., 1Co 5,6,9; Rom 7:1ff; 1Ti 5:18-19; etc.)[17] and praises the law as “holy, just, and good.” So does the Psalmist many times (see esp. Pss 19, 119).

A second evidence of his social democratic idealism is the following” “Working conditions, levels of income, and disparity between the rich and poor are all issues that the redemptive spirit, evidenced in scriptural movement, ought to impact as we bring these texts to bear on the modern world.”[18] If the state must adopt abolitionism, so implicitly must it address the disparity of the classes. The only way it can do so is through adopting a biblical unjust progressive income taxation, which does not use a single legal standard but multiple standards forbidden by a static perspective on biblical justice. This and several other social democratic measures are systematically discussed in Marx’s Manifesto, which contrary to most is a systematic blueprint to bring social democratic equalitarianism to society by the power of the state.[19]

Third, another set of social democratic documents, the Humanist Manifestos I, II, and III also finds it echo in Webb’s ideal “utopia-like” ethic found outside of Scripture: “Within a pluralistic society, such as we experience today, Christians should actually defend the rights and freedoms of homosexuals to live out their beliefs. We should not legally impose our sexual ethic on others.”[20] He would thus agree with the end result though possibly not the means used when the US Supreme Court invalidated all anti-sodomy laws in US, laws, which were based on centuries of common law contextualization of biblical law as understood by a “static” hermeneutic.

A redemptive movement hermeneutic thus, he claims, “extrapolates the biblical movement toward a more equitable and more loving form. If a better ethic than the one expressed in the isolated words of the ward a more just text is possible, and the biblical and canonical spirit is headed that direction, then that is where one ultimate wants to end up” (Webb 2004, 36). The sentence before this is even more adamant. This new social democratic direction is the “course of action one must pursue.”[21] Clearly Webb denies the Bible‘s own sola Scriptura principle, the biblical antithesis principle, and hence denies its inerrancy principle.

I would assert then that his “utopia-like” ideal is not the Christianized world of the Golden Age postmillennialists such as propounded by Jonathon Edwards and William Carey but the utopia of the social dreamers such as Jan van Leyden and Thomas Müntzer though most likely without their revolutionary implications. This ideal must inevitably move to a singular equalitarian[22] world without gender, age, socio-political, and ethno-national boundaries such as many of the classic sociologist envisioned as the last stage of modernity in their viewpoint. The roots of this ideology, in turn, can be traced to the social holism of the heresies as several scholars have demonstrated in their historical studies of international social democracy and revolutionary socialism.[23] As demonstration of this, the only gender difference Webb allows is the biological distinction between genders; but no distinction in role is normative at all.

The ancient heresies and holistic ideologies is the turbid font behind the error of Webb’s thesis, instead of the clear exegesis of the classic loci of Scripture from which the Reformers derived both their hermeneutic and doctrine of Scripture. These passages clarify that the Israel as described in the “law and the prophets” (Mt 5:19-21) is the paradigm toward which all cultures must move.[24] That Israel—now in the power of the Spirit and including adopted-in gentilic peoples—is the light of the world dispelling the darkness of sin and rebellion in every area of life. It is also the salt, which preserves all that is good in every ethno-culture.

Webb explains, second, that “through a redemptive-movement reading of the Bible, we encounter a God of profound wisdom.”[25] Could it not be that we here are instead encountering a god who fits modern Western culture’s subjective feeling of justice and who rejects the objective biblical teaching of the antithesis between humanist and biblical worldviews? Any redemptive movement the Scripture acknowledges, occurs only within the canon of Scripture itself. To deny this is to reject NAPSaC[26] principle, which the Scripture itself teaches us. It further repudiates the sound exegesis of the best church fathers and the Reformation’s scholars. Scripture, thus, teaches something different. It teaches in very beginning that the two-parent, gender distinct family of mutual love and respect within created role—not the individual-as-an-integer—is the ideal foundational building block of any ethno-culture. Western cultures are crumbling precisely because this foundation among other is fast eroding.

Certainly this more classic alternative to Webb does not have to result in a theonomy such as some of the more extreme Anglo-American Puritans and modern theonomists attempt to develop. Certainly the more moderate proposals of Chris Wright and Walter Kaiser ameliorate these extremes. And certainly the law and the prophets must be interpreted through the lens given by the Messiah and his apostles and prophets (see e.g., Vern Poythress).[27] Our Lord and his messengers, thus, never accommodate an extra-Scriptural ideal. Instead they seek to transform all cultures according to a norm founded in the nature of the unified-yet-diverse God, built into the creation as design norms, and sufficiently revealed in biblical tôranic teaching in both Testaments. Christ’s great Commission is comprehensive when he commanded: “Teach them to obey all that I commanded.” In other words, Scripture reflects who the Triune God is within his community of diverse-unity and in his creation, which reflects his Triune wisdom and glory. “You all must be holy as I am holy,” both Testaments testify.

Third, Webb clearly adopts an anti-Trinitarian Greek dualism.[28] He juxtaposes first, a holistic egalitarian versus a socially divisive and unjust patriarchal ideal; second, a concrete and particular cultural expression of “patriarchialism” versus a unifying transcultural ideal of egalitarians; and third a regressive and parochial static hermeneutic versus progressive and universal redemptive-movement hermeneutic. This dualism adds to Scripture and takes away its sole authority with an extra-biblical ideal, which ultimately rejects the Trinity. God himself is the equal ultimacy of both the universal and particular, the concrete and unifying, the one and the many. God reflects his unified diversity within the design norms revealed in Scripture and perspicuous also in creation to those who look at creation through the lens of Scripture taught by the guidance of the Spirit who inspired it. Maintaining true loving unity and respectful diversity in family, church, and state is thus the responsibility of Trinitarian Christians, not destroying real diversity in the process of finding so-called “unifying and just” social institutions. Therefore, it is clear. Any adding to and taking away from Scripture proves one to be a deceiver (see Dt 4:2, 12:32; Pr 30:5-6).

Fourth, Webb casts doubt upon ethics based on the creation design-norm because he uses a neo-orthodox-like, solely eschatological ethic. Ethics are not based upon a creation restoration and then maturation but on a never-before-seen ideal of the future.[29] Paul does not make an argument based on primogeniture as Webb claims (see criteria 6), but on the fact that Adam was created first with representative authority as the first Man, which the woman surely was not. To deny this is to deny that Adam’s sin was reckoned to his seed. That denial would then also deny that Christ’s obedience and death can be reckoned to his seed as the second Man (see Rom 5:12ff; 1Co 15:20ff). Webb casts doubt upon the so-called static exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:8ff, which is perspicuously built on creation order and design, and thus totally ignores the much more important creational parallels in Romans and 1 Corinthians. Not one word is mentioned of the First Man—Second Man typology of these epistles in his erudite volume.

In conclusion, then, as a missiological theologian with many years of experience in Africa, I know my orthodox brothers and sisters there would take great umbrage to Webb’s implicit hubris. Contrary to Dr. Webb, Western social democratic individualism is not God’s social ideal. I know that Muslim background followers of Isa would also strongly disagree with a further implication of Webb’s ideal. He clearly states that Scripture does not contain the totality and end-ideal of revealed truth in its clear passages. Only the equivocal and more opaque passages contain that ideal but only in an occult “seed ideal” form. I use that word “occult” deliberately, because Paul stated that his ethic and Gospel were neither veiled nor hidden: “We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God” (2Co 4:2).

Many Muslim-background believers long for the loving and healing wholism that a biblical covenantal view of gender roles and sphere sovereignty gives. They often greatly miss the lost Quranic cultural holism[30] when they experience the dualism of Western evangelicalism with its individualism and privitized religion that destroys the family and the transformative impact of the Gospel. That Quranic holism acts as a beguiling Siren song pulling many back to Islam. The creation-restoration ethic, which teaches that the family includes equal-dignity-yet-created-role-distinctions, which Webb denies, is the very foundation of crumbling Western cultures as well as that of the many emerging Christianized cultures of the world.

Jeremiah speaks directly to this issue—though it sounds quite harsh to modern ears: “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the deceiving pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. The wise men are put to shame. They are dismayed and caught. Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD. What kind of wisdom do they have? (Jer 8:8-9 NAU, slightly modified)



[1]See Krister Stendahl, The Bible and the Role of Women: A Case Study in Hermeneutic, trans. by Emilie T. Sanders. First published in Swedish in 1958. (Philadelphia, PN: Fortress Press, 1966).

[2]William Webb, Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2004), p. 31.

[3]Ibid, p. 82, see 31.

[4]Ibid, p. 30f.

[5]Schreiner, Thomas. “Review of Slaves, Women & Homosexuals Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood,” 7/1 (Spring 2002):41-51 <> accessed 8/16/2008.

[6]See e.g., Wayne Grudem, “Should We Move Beyond the New Testament to a Better Ethic? An Analysis of William J. Webb, Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis,” JETS 47/2 (June 2004) 299–346. “Later Developments ‘Trump’ Scripture” chapter 6 in Wayne Grudem, Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007) and Wayne Grudem, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: An Analysis of More than 100 Disputed Questions (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), p. 358-361.

[7]The Westminster Confession of Faith summarizes the doctrine of sola Scriptura and its classic biblical hermeneutic in chapter 1: 1) Scripture does not contradict itself because there exists a unity and harmony of the whole. All Scripture speaks together as one voice with many instruments (authors, genres, periods of time, and three languages): “consent of all the parts.” 2) Scripture alone interprets Scripture using the “analogy of the faith” (Rom 12:6) principle. Therefore, Scripture is sufficient in itself to interpret itself and needs no external truth category to be understandable or able to be applied to culture. 3) The singular true and full sense of Scripture (not many deeper meanings) is found when the clear Scripture interprets the less clear. 4)No opinion or authority of man supercedes Scripture.

[8]Original wording: “heretic.” I modify this because of the harshness of the word in contemporary English. The word comes from ai[resij [hairesis], meaning “to divide, cause schism.”

[9]Original wording: “heresy.”

[10]Webb, op cit,, p. 57.

[11]Ibid., 2004, p. 56f. He adds in the footnote at this point: “By ‘isolated words’ I mean an understading of the words of the Bible that fails to draw upon the foreign, domestic and canonical contexts in order to discover the ‘spirit’ ccomponent of meaning” (Ibid, p. 57, n. 26).



[14]Ibid., p. 37.

[15]“1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

[16] (Webb 2004, 37).

[17]See, Walter Kaiser, Jr,, Toward an Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan1978); Idem., “The Current Crisis in Exegesis and the Apostolic Use of Deuteronomy 25:4 in 1 Corinthians 9:8-10” in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 21 (March 1978): 3-18; Idem., Toward Old Testament Ethics (Grand Rapids: Academie/Zondervan, 1983); Idem., Toward Rediscovering the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987); Idem., “A Single Biblical Ethic in Business,” In Biblical Principles and Business: The Foundations, ed. Richard C. Chewning, (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1989), pp 76-88

[18]Ibid., p. 38).

[19]Compare Nobel Prize economist F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd, 1944) to Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (Penguin Books, 1987).

[20]Ibid., p. 40.

[21]Ibid, p. 36.

[22]This alternative spelling of egalitarian I use deliberately.

[23]For a more complete discussion of the presuppositions and sources of such utopian ideologies, see Igor Shafarevich, The Socialist Phenomenon, William Tjalsma, trans. (New York: Harper and Row, 1980); Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages (London: Paladin Books, 1980); Jacob Leib Talmon, The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy. (London: Seeker & Warburg, 1952); Thomas Steven Molnar, Utopia, the Perennial Heresy (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1967); Frank E. Manuel and Fritzie P. Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western World (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1979); James H. Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (New York: Basic Books, 1980); Erik Von Kuenehlt-Leddihn; Leftism Revisted: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot. With a Preface by William F. Buckley, Jr., (Washington, D.C. Regnery Gateway,. 1990); Eric Voegelin, Science, Politics, and Gnosticism: Two Essays (Washington, D. C. Regnery Gateway, 1990)

[24]See in this connection: Walter Kaiser, Jr,, “The weightier and lighter matters of the law: Moses, Jesus and Paul,” in Current Issues in Biblical Interpretation: Studies in Honor of Merrill C. Tenney Presented by his former Students, ed. Gerald F. Hawthorne, 176-92 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975); idem., “The Current Crisis in Exegesis and the Apostolic Use of Deuteronomy 25:4 in 1 Corinthians 9:8-10,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, vol. 21 (March 1978): 3-18; idem., Toward Old Testament Ethics. Grand Rapids: Academie/Zondervan, 1983); idem., Toward Rediscovering the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987); idem., “A Single Biblical Ethic in Business,” in Biblical Principles and Business: The Foundations, ed. Richard C. Chewning, pp. 76-88 (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1989). Also see, Christopher J. H. Wright, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2004)

[25]Webb op cit., p. 57.

[26]Necessity, Authority, Perspicuity, Sufficiency, and Canonicity of the 66 books of the OT and NT.

[27]Vern Poythress, The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth and Hyatt, 1991).

[28]See, Colin E. Gunton, The One, the Three, and the Many (Bampton Lectures) (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1993); R. J. Rushdoony, The One and Many Problem — the Contribution of Van Til, in Jerusalem and Athens: Critical Discussions on the Philosophy And Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til, ed. E. R. Geehan, pp. 339-348 (Philipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1971); idem., The One and The Many: Studies in the Philosophy of Order and Ultimacy (Fairfax, VA: Thoburn Press, 1971).

[29]See critique of solely eschatological ethics in, Carl E. Braaten, Eschatology and Ethics: Essays on the Theology and Ethics of the Kingdom of God (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1974); Douglas J. Schuurman, “Creation, Eschaton, and Social Ethics: A Response to Volf+ in. Calvin Theological Journal 30 (1995): 144-158; idem., Creation, Eschaton, and Ethics: The Ethical significance of the Creation-Eschaton Relation in the Thought of Emil Brunner and Juergen Moltmann (New York: Peter Lang, 1991); Albert M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985); Gustaf Wingren, Man and the Incarnation: A Study in the Biblical Theology of Irenaeus, trans. Ross Mackenzie (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1959); idem., The flight from creation. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg 1971); idem., Creation and Gospel: The New Situation in European Theology, with an introduction and bibliography by Henry VanderGoot (New York: Edwin Mellon, 1979). The best alternative is a creation-restorative eschatology and ethics based on that. See e.g., Michael. Williams, “A Restorational Alternative to Augustinian Verticalist Eschatology,” in Pro Rege XX/4 (June 1992): 11-24; and idem., Far as the Curse is Found: The Covenant Story of Redemption (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2005).

[30]I am using “wholism” to mean a comprehensive perspective, but “holism” to mean a monistic-dualist ideal.