Christopher Holmes on Eberhard Jüngel
What marks off Jüngel's work is his rigorous attempt to articulate a doctrine of God's attributes and therewith God's glory on the basis of the cross. While Barth and Krötke resonate with Luther's sense that God is revealed sub contrario, it is Jüngel who presses Luther's christological insights to their limit as he develops the doctrine. The cross, for Jüngel, is definitive for the doctrine as all that can and must be said of God arises in relation to the passion and death of Jesus. Or again, the doctrine is but a gloss, for Jüngel, upon the scandalous truth that God dies a human death in the Word become flesh. All the attributes of God, then, are occasioned by this path and subject to the refining fire that is Jesus' passion and death. Indeed, at the cross God's glory issues in a life which undergoes death for the sake of life: God's glory is revealed sub contrario for the benefit of life. Benefit because the cross is the enactment of the salutary distinction between God and the world which as such distinguishes human beings from their sin, and an act of God's own self-determination in which God is shown to be faithful to the other in Godself in a dying man, a faithfulness which justifies fallen humanity. The cross of Christ, for Jüngel, demonstrates God's freedom to live and die humanly in accordance with God's own self-relation which is God's very glory.—Christopher R. J. Holmes, Revisiting the Doctrine of the Divine Attributes: In Dialogue with Karl Barth, Eberhard Jüngel, and Wolf Krötke, Issues in Systematic Theology #15, ed. Paul Molnar (New York: Peter Lang, 2007), 225-26.