THE DIVINE WISDOM AND THE
PAUL T. NIMMO
This article offers an initial exposition of the divine perfection of wisdom, and proceeds by way of atten-
tion to and development of the apostolic witness to Jesus Christ found in Scripture. The first section offers
a concise reflection on method, and outlines a path of inquiry that affords primary attention to the apos-
tolic proclamation of Jesus Christ. The second section outlines the contours of an account of the divine wis-
dom derived in this way. From this perspective, light is shed on the relationship between the divine
wisdom and the divine acts of creation and providence. The final section briefly considers the implications
of pursuing this trajectory into theology proper, that is, its possible implications for the doctrine of God.
To venture to write on the divine wisdom is always, at best, an aporetic endeavor.
Attendant at this dogmatic juncture are not only the general dangers that befall any
sinful creature – even a justified sinner – who seeks to speak positively of God and
of the perfections of God. Attendant here also are the particular risks of seeking to
conceive a perfection – the divine wisdom – that Scripture so consistently portrays
as being in opposition to the best of human wisdom.
With caution in mind, this article seeks to offer an initial exposition of the divine
perfection of wisdom – given the constraints of space, it can only hope to proceed by
way of sketching a broad outline in brief compass. The article falls into three distinct
sections. The first section offers a concise reflection on method, and outlines a way
of proceeding that affords primary attention to the apostolic proclamation of Jesus
Christ as it is revealed and received in Scripture. This Christocentric move involves a
deliberate turning aside from the way pursued both in some recent work in
Protestant dogmatics and in many traditional presentations of Christian doctrine.
The second section outlines the material contours of an account of the divine wisdom
derived in this way, and is ordered precisely so as to indicate the desirable centrality
Paul T. Nimmo
University of Aberdeen, Divinity - King’s College, Aberdeen AB24 3UB, SCOTLAND
And were this not enough, the particular venture of this article is undertaken in full knowledge of
the excellent conference on divine wisdom (and foolishness) which took place in the University of
Geneva from 23–25 May 2013, whose proceedings have since appeared as The Wisdom and Foolishness of
God, eds. Christophe Chalamet and Hans-Christoph Askani (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2015).
2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Modern Theology 34:3 July 2018
ISSN 0266-7177 (Print)
ISSN 1468-0025 (Online)