The Bible presents God as both transcendent and immanent. Let us take a look at what both of these concepts incorporate. In a symbolic Biblical sense, the name Yahveh expresses the transcendent nature of God while Immanuel refers to God's immanence. Yahveh was considered by the Jewish people so holy a name, that they would even avoid pronouncing it. They sought to protect God's name from what they feared would become an irreverent familiarity and so the name was reduced to the four consonants YHVH. Literally, the word is translated as "the one who will be." The interpretation given to God's transcendence is that God is unlike his creation, that he stands above and beyond everything as the only one who is truly transcendent, thus holly.
Immanuel or "God is with us" is used in the Bible to advocate for the divine nature of Jesus as the embodiment of supreme immanence. Thus immanence is understood as God's presence within His creation. These two twin truths have received much attention throughout the ages. Although the topic is definitely not new to the public, it has however been given different interpretations, thus what has happened is that the interprets have made it actual again and again by shaping its form. Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson have thoroughly explored divine transcendence and divine immanence in an attempt to address theology in a "transitional age." They mostly incorporated the concept of balance between transcendence and immanence that would serve theology's purpose to address old issues in new environments. In the following, we will take a look on what the two understood of theology and at the issues they explored to support their arguments. We will offer a background on some of the relative aspects within Grenz and Olson life so that we may proper relate these to their work as advocates for how theology is to be understood and appreciated within the changes of an era.
Stanley Grenz remained in the history as an Evangelical Baptist theologian and ethicist, but what is probably most relevant is his initiative to propose a postmodern evangelical theology. We will not present any details in regards to his academic career that does speak for itself but rather, since we are more concerned with his views on theology, we would like to present some general facts in regards to the latter. A supporter and a real expert for that matter of Pannenberg's theology, Grenz also spoke fervently about the emerging church, a rather "experimental" initiative of the late twentieth century to resurge and challenge many of the traditional Christian beliefs and practices. Because of his interest in postmodernism and his openness to discuss such strict "evangelical truths," Grentz has often been criticized on the nature of his theology.
Roger Olson continues to adopt a "post-evangelical" position while teaching theology at Baylor University at the present moment. He thrives on discouraging any misconceptions related to evangelical theology while only "exploring" himself with what they really are. This being said, one of the most fabulous ideas incorporated by the "beyond evangelical" movement is that no absolute truth really exists. This is relevant both in Grenz's case as well as in Olson's since they both represent religious movements that hold the Bible, subsequently, God, as the ultimate truth.
Olson stated in an interview that he thought the main three obstacles evangelicalism faces today are as follows: that certain evangelicals who get up to speak for general masses are regarded as a source of definite credibility and, as such, their dismissal of progressive ideas is embraced by the masses who consequently adopt similar attitudes; that general belief proclaims that "evangelicalism" is limited by certain boundaries such as "inerrancy" and third, "perceived dominance of Reformed theology as normative for evangelical faith." (Olson, 2012) All of the points Olson refers to are clear evidence that his embrace of evangelical theology is only viable insofar that it does not limit itself to ancient beliefs, what's more, ancient interpretations. That is to say, progressiveness of evangelicalism is to be regarded not as a definite separation from tradition, but rather as a new approach to understand religious concepts. And one of these concepts Olson and Grenz have theorized on abundantly.
The authors believe that both transcendence and immanence are nonetheless expressions of how God relates…