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Died: Robert Jenson, ‘America’s Theologian’

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The lifelong Lutheran and ecumenical leader shaped a generation with new scholarship on the Trinity, salvation, and systematics.

Robert Jenson, one of the top American theologians of the 20th century, died this week at 87.

Jenson made lasting contributions to Lutheran, ecumenical, systematic, and Trinitarian theology, and was known for the breadth and originality of his scholarship.

Tributes call him “the greatest American theologian since Jonathan Edwards,” “one of America’s most important theologians,” “America’s … most creative systematic theologian,” and a “theologian’s theologian.”

His work “contributed to the revival of systematic theology in the English speaking world,” Scott Swain, president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, told CT.

Robert P. George considered him among the “most brilliant and creative Christian theologians of the post-World War II period.”

“His understanding of Christianity as both a ‘story’ and a ‘promise’ opened a rich vein of inquiry into the relationship between the Christian church in its sacramental, liturgical, and other internal aspects, on the one hand, and the Christian Church in its mission to heal and sanctify the world external to it, on the other,” the Princeton University law professor said.

Jenson influenced a generation of scholars by promoting ecclesial theology through his books such as The Triune Identity and Systematic Theology, Swain noted, as well as his leadership of the Research Institute in Systematic Theology at King’s College London, the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Thought, and the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Biola University’s Fred Sanders, a fellow Trinity scholar, admired Jenson’s boldness and …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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