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In Karen Kilby’s article ‘Aquinas, the Trinity and the Limits of understanding', Aquinas is consciously apophatic in his way of speaking about God, due to the way he treats aspects of Trinitarian doctrine. This article argues that although Aquinas is informed by a long tradition of apophatic theology, he makes a clear disjuncture from this tradition in at least three important ways. Aquinas nevertheless retreats to apophaticism when attempting merge the neo-Platonic doctrine of Divine simplicity with the Christian doctrine of the trinity.
The popular Hollywood cinema is a precious extra-ecclesiastical resource-cum-entertainment medium than can engage, educate and enlighten an audience, and thus is eminently worthy of proactive utilisation by the profession as quickly as possible. Nor should it be squandered, ignored or derided, especially if discernment, not denial is exercised judiciously.
In this article, it is inquired which reasons are decisive for acting in accordance with divine commands, and whether these can be regarded as moral reasons; the emphases lies on Christianity. To this effect, the position of God as a – basic – lawgiver is expounded, with special attention to the role His power plays. By means of an account of the grounds given (in the Bible) to obey God, the selfish motives in this respect are brought to light. It is questioned whether any other elements can be discerned, particularly from a meta-ethical perspective.
From the Quran and Arabic Language - and all the results apply to Hebraic and Aramaic as well - this paper discusses the real sense of some passages of the Gospel, specially the parable of the Good Samaritan and the episode of Zacchaeus, showing how Exegesis depends on the Semitic distinction between three different “ifs” (certainty, impossibility and doubt) while our Western Languages confound them in only one “if”.
Samuel Alexander identifies the Emergent stages of the process of cosmic development. Bernard Lonergan proposes a cosmic process that develops from stage to stage, with each stage of the process exhibiting greater freedom than the preceding stage, leading to the freedom of humanity to restructure both itself and the world. The complex form of the cosmic process, beginning with the Big Bang, is understandable once the purpose of the process is understood. This purpose is to make possible the free self-creation of new aspects of the being of a created entity, to enable members of that entity to make themselves similar to God in creativity and goodness.
The 200-year anniversary of Joseph Smith’s birth, commemorated in 2005, brought renewed interest and inquiry among scholars into the theological ideas espoused by the nineteenth-century Mormon prophet. One intriguing comparison, however, that has received scant attention, centers on the economic ideas of Joseph Smith, Jr. and the teachings of Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, the Catholic priest who was the guiding inspiration behind the cooperative movement in the Basque country of northern Spain that resulted in today’s Mondragon Corporacion Cooperativa.
Balthasar argues that it is impossible to have any knowledge of God or verify the truth of revelation apart from actually living within a Christian faith-stance. The individual outside of this faith-stance (the non-believer) is unable to come to the Christian faith of his or her own accord. In order to perceive revelation, “eyes are needed that are able to perceive the spiritual form.”
Contrary to postmodernist argument that objective truth is unknowable, the paper argues persuasively that we can and do have objective knowledge of truth. It is the contention of this paper that though human knowledge is partial/imperfect, it is not a sufficient condition to assume that we cannot have objective knowledge.
This paper explores the role of Kierkegaard in Lacan’s semiotic mediation of Freudian repetition. I argue that while Lacan explicitly draws upon Kierkegaard’s distinction between recollection and repetition, he misreads repetition. This has the effect of closing down what could be a potentially beneficial dialogue between theology and psychoanalysis.
This article will attempt to evaluate [the metaphysics of consciousness] in light of the homoousios doctrine of the orthodox Christian faith. In particular it will explore whether a model other than substance dualism may be consistent with the truth about the nature of God revealed in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and thus a reasonable model to explore in consciousness studies.
Our concern here is on gender sensitivity in the Igbo culture. We tried to examine the levels of gender sensitivity in the traditional Igbo society and in the contemporary Igbo society. Our startling discovery is that we had a higher level of sensitivity in the traditional setting than we now have in this contemporary period. The reason is that the irrational approach to the gender question is fast obliterating the differentiation that should exist between the male and the female.
What I shall argue, in this paper, is that even in the simple, straightforward, and yet extremely important essay: “Strengthening the Inner Being” in Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses, the tension between the individual, freedom and God’s grace is never resolved.
Using textually-based, humanist film criticism as the analytical lens, the critical film and religion literature was reviewed and the additional fears of being sacrilegious, criticising or devaluing the faith was copiously explicated and documented herein. It was concluded that popular films are a worthwhile and exciting pedagogic tool, but they require constant monitoring, vigilance and control by faith communities for integrity, protection and quality assurance reasons. Biblically-based counter-proposals and other anti-film defences were proffered to address this tangible concern. Further research into the exciting interdisciplinary field of religion-and-film was recommended.
Historical studies need not defer to current scientific theory, for the question of the supernatural will never be fully answered by science. Therefore, the supernatural falls within the realm of probability as an explanation for the Resurrection. An argument is provided which proves that a supernatural explanation is the most probable explanation for the Resurrection based on the evidence provided in the canonical and extra-canonical books, and living tradition of the Church.
Traditionally, evangelicalism has looked upon feminist and ecological theologians with a great deal of suspicion, but this paper will examine and appropriate elements from McFague’s theology in an attempt to incorporate them into an evangelical theological perspective that takes into account the environmental and nuclear challenges facing the world today. With this purpose in mind, critique will be accompanied by evaluation with the intent to draw out methodology and insights that could be used within an evangelical theological context.
Obedience has always been a central feature of most religions. It is usually understood as being compliant to an external authority or set of norms. In this brief article obedience is presented as a compliant characteristic with the structure of human consciousness. The question of women’s ordination will be briefly explored revealing both the norms of obedience as well as the unintelligence of conformity without exercising the acts of intelligence.
Latin American theology has prioritised the place of praxis in its theological method, which is the distinguishing feature of liberation theology. Gustavo Gutiérrez is, because of both his integral role in liberation theology’s early history and because of the lucidity of his exposition, one of the key spokespersons of the movement. After delineating the place of praxis in Gutiérrez’s theological method the author will examine whether the specific method is as innovative as Gutiérrez himself claims. Secondly, the author will examine another key critique of liberation theology’s methodology, namely that of John Milbank and the associated Radical Orthodox movement.
My point is merely that a theist who can make the case for a Platonic, Augustinian, Cartesian, or otherwise transcendent account of the “true self” has, thereby, a potentially potent response to the traditional problem of evil. If persons are properly identified with something like disembodied (or resurrected) eternal selves that transcend the material world, then the apparently gratuitous suffering of the better part of humanity may be neatly reconciled with the existence of the theistic God. If our suffering is merely apparent, or afflicts only a minuscule portion of our total existence, then theism (on this score, at least) may be salvageable.
This paper examines the metaphysical nature of silence. Since the silence is the dwelling place of the Lord, it must be other than the absence of sound. If the risen dead see God’s face, they must be in that place of silence. The metaphysical structure of being places the dead in the nothing surrounding being’s unconcealment and in the intelligence of the nothing before creation. This suggests that death as such takes place as a reversal in the metaphysical ground of being’s unconcealment.
In the following Plantinga's position will be described and then considered in light of the above questions. The assertion here is that Plantinga's position does not make sense of sin, or the need for redemption through the death of Christ. This is because on Plantinga’s view the unbeliever has an excuse for their unbelief, it is not clear that God exists, and human rationality is defective/not properly functioning. For the purposes of this paper it can be granted that Plantinga has established that theists are within their epistemic rights.
Peter L. Berger, the most eminent sociologist of religion in the world today. By questioning the theology produced by professional theologians Berger realizes that theological bureaucrats will hold any activity of “free enterprise,” such as his book, with suspicion. Taking the role of an open-minded skeptic, Berger asks probative questions about religion without being bound by tradition, church, scripture, or personal experience.
Regarding the Christian perspective on capital punishment, there are three basic views, namely Rehabilitationism, Reconstructionism and Retributionism. This paper focuses on rehabilitationism. Proponents of this view comprise those who appeal to the Bible for justification and those who do not. The paper presents the arguments of those in the former group. Contrary to the view of the rehabilitationalists that the aim of punishment is reformatory or remedial, the paper argues that the aim of capital punishment is justice and a good society.
The task of the present paper is to seek answers to following questions: Was Paul accused of teaching an antinomian doctrine that might be called ‘cheap grace’? What happened in the 1st century AD that gave rise to accusation of teaching so-called ‘cheap grace’? If yes, what answers, both direct and implied, did Paul give? And, finally, what pattern of though could the apostle Paul equip us with today in order for us to properly respond to extremes that are unfortunately tied to the genuine biblical teaching on grace?
The doctrine of the imago dei is foundational for Christian anthropology. It informs the nature of humanity as individuals and as a corporate entity. It is the basis of the Christian valuation of human life. And it defines the purpose of humans both now and in the world to come. Unfortunately, what it means to be the imago dei is often not clearly defined.
Anthropologists tell us that in all cultures spiritual practices (religious rituals) are mediated in some way through a recognized agent, that is, priest, shaman, seer, prophet, medium, etc. This paper supports the premise that there exists an interface between spirituality and health in all cultures. Further, there is a need to increase the understanding among the participants in the interface between spirituality and health and show evidence through outcomes.
Even within the Christian tradition, one finds a host of different accounts of what faith is. Some Christian writers have sought to define faith in terms of belief—or, at least, belief formed in love—while other writers have emphasized the notion of trust. Still other writers have been concerned to stress the roles of obedience, confession, or hope.
Many people believe in a relativistic view of morality because they do not believe in any objective moral values or in an absolute standard of right and wrong. There is sufficient justification for the belief that objective moral values exist, and whether or not one holds this view or an opposing view will affect him in all areas of his life.
The Oxford Groups of the early 20th century attempted to recreate First Century Christianity and discipleship. From the New Testament texts, they developed a way of life based on changing one’s life and helping others have deep and effective spiritual experiences that would in turn change their lives. Each member bore witness throughout their daily affairs to the transformation Christ made in their lives. It is an approach based not on eventual rewards in heaven, but in finding a more fulfilling and exciting life in service to God here and now.
Paul Tillich’s name is not ordinarily included in a list of thinkers who have made a significant contribution to the ontological argument. Those who find affinity with Tillich’s thought have tended to overlook what he says about the arguments for God’s existence, influenced perhaps by Tillich’s sometime statements about the improper nature of such arguments.
This paper will examine an aspect of Maximus’ doctrine where the Neoplatonic influence is most evident, namely, eschatology. First, I will focus on his cosmology, specifically the eschatological implications of the doctrine of the creation of the cosmos in time. Secondly, I will examine some key aspects of Maximus’ eschatology, particularly asceticism. Finally, this discussion will allow me to demonstrate Maximus’ role in the development of Neoplatonic philosophy, and to address the major difficulty that his speculative theology introduced into Eastern Christian thought.
Most modern evangelicals classify the Abrahamic covenant as unconditional. But the label is ambiguous. A review of the covenant passages strongly suggests that the blessings promised to Abraham were conditioned on his obedience – making the covenant, in this sense, conditional. On the other hand, once Abraham obeyed God’s commands, the covenant became prophetically guaranteed – and is, in this sense, unconditional.
The Puritan elders of New England primarily proceeded against Hutchinson not for theological reasons but for the very practical purpose of maintaining the implementation of their vision. In this sense I do not vilify the Puritan leadership as others might. For while they might not be viewed as fair or tolerant by modern standards, I do believe that their actions were justifiable given the nature of their task and the realities of the situation.
Augustine’s analysis of fundamental human loves provides insight into some of the anthropological determinants of ecological degradation. This discussion is framed by Augustine’s distinction between caritas. as seeking one’s final end in God, and cupiditas. as seeking one’s final end in that which is other than God.
Moral Technology appears to be our sole shelter that will help us to reach our human goals without leaving behind our human nature. It aims that every scientist puts in his mind the good of the whole people as well as all ethical and moral norms before his own gain or benefit.
A cultural philosophy must have certain underlying logic and understanding. However, it will be a mark of intellectual philistinism to continue to hold that all Africans conceive reality woof and weft from exactly the same.
These are obviously not definitive answers but simply suggestions of comments that Christians might make in response to questions faced during street/ campus evangelism. Our interest in theology must not divorce us from the main task in hand – the sharing of the good news of salvation in Christ.
The prediction and outplaying of [Peter's] denials, as recorded in the four Gospels, is a powerful reflection of a condition of our relationship with Christ—that our faith is more vulnerable than we care to admit. But a small thorny issue surrounds the Gospel accounts of this event, one that is a nagging distraction to serious hermeneutic exposition. The issue has to do with Mark quoting Jesus as saying that a rooster will crow twice after Peter denies Him three times. The problem is that all the other three Gospels quote Jesus as saying, apparently, that the rooster will only crow once.
Should a Christian bear arms? Consulting any basic history of the church shows that the vast majority of the early church did not think so. Many reasons have been cited for this refusal to bear arms. Some propose that it was due to the idolatry of the Roman army. Others have suggested that, at least when it came to the army, it interfered with the Sabbath-keeping of the earliest Christians. These are not the reasons given by the early apologists such as Origen, Justin and others.
Christians have always advocated that God is eternal. But just what does it mean to say that God is eternal?
The question I pose is this: why do people continue to be in conflict, when it seems most people want to have peace. I suggest it is an ancient problem deep within human nature I call “the Dominion Factor,” which is an aberration of a Biblical mandate occasioned by the Fall.
The end of the second millennium after the birth of Jesus rings to Christians of the western world a new crisis of faith. No longer do we seem to have the assurance, at least in retrospect, which seems to us to have characterized previous generations, whether in fact they had this assurance, or not.
The post-exilic context of Judaism has many similarities to the place of Christianity in today's secular world. Bishop Spong has encouraged Christianity to move beyond attachment to forms of worship to embrace the experience of God, the spirit of God. But the struggle has yet to begin- it requires a second Reformation that goes beyond theory and dogma, and politics posing as theological debate.
The work suggests a model allowing to explain many religious outlooks, such as expiatory sacrifice, karma, etc. as well as certain paradoxes of modern physics. Besides, this model pretends to play a role of a new ideology.
In biblical exegesis, the interpreter is faced with a number of challenges. Discerning meaning from ancient texts is not such a straightforward task—there are many factors that must be taken into account. This essay is a brief survey of the factors involved.
This paper will focus on economic dishonesty, or fraud. The Old Testament records several passages that state God’s displeasure at economic fraud and His respect for those who are honest.
If those texts, including the story of Jacob and Esau, disclose anything to our modern/postmodern understanding, it is that lawlessness is contrary to the will of the gods, and is punished, because such texts themselves are the product of the law-giving Jacobs of long past, i.e. the products of human culture and civilization. Further, what do we learn by deconstructing those texts in an attempt to discover the narrative of the suppressed Esau?
In proposing a single and objective standard of truth and right, Aquinas draws upon the Realist tradition after the manner of Aristotle. Though Aquinas does not assert that complete truth is divulged through reason alone, he does argue that human beings can discover the eternal, natural law through “speculative and practical reason.”
What can be said concerning God? In other words, can language describe God in God's being? The debate surrounding this question inspired Gregory of Nyssa to write his response to Eunomius' Second Book.
Through his dynamic preaching and powerful influence, John Knox helped bring the Reformation to Scotland and helped bring Scotland back to the pure Gospel. Whereas many other Reformers preached and expounded on the doctrine of justification by faith alone, Knox emphasized the ‘idolatry of the Mass’ in most of his sermons, in his many encounters with Roman Councils and before Mary Queen of Scots.
This paper is about Thomas Aquinas and Siger of Brabant, and the problems of the noetic and intellect. The paper is in Italian with several notes in latin.
Although the Protestant Reformers’ exegetical principle of sola scriptura assumed that the meaning of scripture never changes, their approach to scripture in lectures and commentaries owed much to the innovative interpretive methods of humanism. humanist method and Augustinian theology were the poles between which early Protestant readings of Romans 9-11 moved, with different commentators leaning by various degrees to one pole or the other.
Interreligious dialogue can be interpreted as a relative of labour-management negotiations. While ignoring this business model’s obvious adversarial excesses, there are at least three loving, compassionate tactics that can be profitably employed in the dialogue context.
This paper seeks to link the theological imagination of Henri de Lubac with the literary imagination of Shusaku Endo, with special concern for understanding Endo’s robust Catholicism. In addition, this paper seeks to understand the way Endo’s Japanese culture shaped his Catholicism and vision of Jesus Christ’s meaning for the world.
Given the contemporary posture with respect to religion and the disquieting resonance associated with that term, it is beneficial for academic purposes to detach the wholesome and life-giving aspects of spirituality from the garments that have historically clothed it. Spirituality, as an acknowledged human phenomena, needs to begin to develop its’ own contemporary methodologies in order to explicate this phenomena and contribute to the body of knowledge in a scientific or academic milieu.
Calvin scholars have argued that the notion of unio mystica is “a more comprehensive way” of approaching the theology of the Institutes. Others support this thesis by contending that Calvin’s spirituality is centered on unio mystica. The significance of this theological motif in Calvin’s theology and piety, therefore, justifies a preliminary exploration into his doctrine of our union with Christ.
Can Christian teachers and parents teach Christian beliefs without indoctrinating their students and children? The topic of indoctrination has long been associated with religious beliefs, due primarily to the historical association of indoctrination with religious instruction. This link between indoctrination and religious education is strengthened by the recent call from some educators to support religious indoctrination in schools.
Part one of the essay [looks] to Aquinas’s definition of wisdom, finding in his mention of connaturality a clue for a proper understanding of wisdom; part two argues that connaturality is a necessary a priori condition for all intellectual operations and thus also for Aquinas’s definition of wisdom as right judgment concerning the Divine; part three argues that connaturality is not only an a priori condition but is itself a virtue allowing for right action.
Paul Tillich’s formal definition of faith constituted a brilliantly creative attempt to clarify the meaning of a word that tradition heavily burdened with theological baggage. The question of course concerns the extent, if any, to which his definition of the term was compelling and helpful.
Pragmatism, as an American embodiment of the aspirations of modernity, was initiated by a sense of separation between subject and object. Over time, the place of God as subject and humanity as object was reversed. This reversal led to the replacement of the economy of salvation initiated by God with the pragmatic economy initiated by humanity. These economies are not wholly indifferent to the ones Augustine described in relation to what he called the city of this world and the city of God.
Throughout his works Emmanuel Levinas has used various terminologies to refer to God. In every case God is described as infinite unknowable, unsayable and unsignifyable. Levinas’ God is not a divinity that interacts with the human world, rather this God is that which lies beyond the limits of what humans can ever experience or know. In this sense, Levinas’ terms for God secularize divinity and relegate God to a concept acceptable even to atheists.
As the systematic study of Christianity, theology deals with a number of issues. It attempts to speak coherently of God, as the fundamental subject matter. As Hans Küng puts it, “Man’s ‘demonstration’ of God’s reality is always based on God’s self-demonstration in reality for man”. In theological discourse, therefore, it is necessary to pay special attention to Man’s role in receiving such revelation, thus factors such as tradition, context and hermeneutics must be taken into account.
Over the past half century much has been made of the responsibility of Christian theology and ethics for the current environmental crisis. Christian interpretation of the Biblical stories of creation has contributed to the understanding of the natural world as lacking in divine presence. Within this worldview human beings were seen as just slightly “below” the angels, but clearly “above” and hence removed from material nature and even other living things.
It is the intent of this essay to sketch a comparison between the thought of Hegel and Kierkegaard. I will argue that their respective understanding of the logic of identity and difference, taken together, offers a dialectically holistic analysis of authentic spirit-full selfhood.
In seeking to understand the reasons behind magisterial Protestant interpretations [of Gen 6:1-4], one finds that, though they affirmed the doctrine of sola Scriptura, they did not ignore tradition or metaphysical assumptions altogether. This essay will examine the various reasons why the early evangelicals chose their particular interpretations.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the significance of the Christian doctrine of the atonement in relation to violence. That violence is very much a part of human beings is self-evident. From the murder of Abel to the present, human history is soaked in blood—so much so that we can say with Sigmund Freud that we are homo homini lupus, “Man is a wolf to man.”
Feature films were the artform and lingua franca of the 20th century, and they will continue to be popular well into the 21st century. However, their very existence inspired much fear within religious communities, who were suspicious of films’ nature, purpose and suspected deleterious effects upon viewers.
One challenge to any approach to the problem of evil involves the phenomenological distance- the distance between encountering evil at a safe cognitive and emotional remove and confronting evil when it invades the individualized space of personal experience. This essay examines how the narrative approach adopted by the poet William Cowper provides the discursive framework for a more authentic theodicy by bridging that phenomenological distance and thereby localizing the problem of evil.
According to Frei, there can be no going back to the days when the realistic narrative and the history were unified. The many insights of historical-critical investigation cannot be ignored, and this presents us with several problems not addressed in The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative.
Jesus’ early teachings, as embodied in the Lord’s Prayer, are partly formulated by way of two requests that – whatever their deeper meaning - are undeniably economic in their content: (i) “Give us today our daily bread” and (ii) “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” I propose to explore Jesus’ meaning by taking seriously, almost literally, these two requests and comparing them with related requests that we nowadays would be more inclined to make.
The Bible does not teach the inequality of men and women. Each person, man or woman, stands before God as an individual created in the image of God, and at the same time as a sinner in need of salvation.
Conversion represents an overwhelming possibility for the intersection of human good and divine grace, a good that relates to persons seeking and finding a change of character and disposition.
In his epistles to the Roman colonies of Ephesus and Galatia, Paul makes reference to the Roman Law and Culture in which slaves had an inferior standing, sons had an honored standing, and adoption had a redemptive purpose. A good understanding of these laws and cultures is necessary in order to grasp the total implications of Paul’s metaphorical instruction in these epistles.
By using religious perceptions and insights Jung has managed to bring a potential harmony between modern and ancient thought; his ideas can be used by psychiatrists and mystics alike.
At the root of the demand for a pan-cultural global ethic lays the question of origin. Are ethics created or discovered? Do men and women in response to their world forge moral and ethical demands, or are they to be apprehended, as it were, in the mind of God, received and subsequently mediated by and related to the cultural conditions of the day?
One of the most controversial proclamations made by Kierkegaard in the Postscript is that in order to truly become a Christian, one must first become subjective. This claim is controversial because it seems to go against the generally accepted meaning of scriptures that state simply what one must do in order to be saved.
It is clear that Jesus was leading us away from a structure that served to enforce unjust power dynamics which subjugated one gender to another, and which, in turn, indoctrinated children to continue these social injustices. The message of Jesus is clearly a liberation from this discrimination, from this limitation, and from the injustices that arise from their enforcement.
While the contemporary Jesus of so-called radical theologians speaks to trans-cultural concerns such as gender and international relations and the environmental crisis, the orthodox view of Jesus speaks through legends and myths that have been historicized and teachings of eternal judgment and prophecies such as the Second Coming that have been institutionalized.
Today, more than ever, we are aware that huge numbers of people live beyond the reach of the Christian message, even if as some predict the task of reaching all people is at least on the distant horizon.
Given Barth’s non-foundationalism and doctrine of election one can construct a Barthian theology of religions that is thoroughly inclusivist in the mould of a Trinitarian inclusivism in contrast to the traditional reading of Barth.
At some point or another, one or more faiths have been suspicious of cinemas’ nature, purpose and suspected deleterious effects upon the spiritual, socio-economic and physical aspects of humanity. In fact, these fears still haunt religious communities today, albeit, sometimes suppressed, transmuted or distorted behind rationalistic rhetoric and unthinking God-talk.
Every institution combines structure and culture in order to maintain and disseminate its peculiar purpose. Churches do this as much as corporations, schools or voluntary associations do.
The purpose of this origins cliodialogue (literally the discussion of concepts of history relating to the origins of Israel) will be to focus on two issues central to the historiography of biblical literature. The first is the nature and date of Israelite exodus/Canaanite conquest, and the second is the natural corollary, the evolution of Israel as a nation. For it is clear that the current models fail to satisfy the need for clarity on the issue.
We need something beyond human relationships. Human friendships and service to others is important. But they are not enough. We need to exercise our intellectual-spiritual capacities toward God and the universe around us that our happiness might be perfected.
John Polkinghorne proposes that God interacts with the world by feeding information into chaotic systems. This influences the course of these systems and, since they underlie what goes on in the world, enables God to influence the world.
Beyond the brutes, we are the only (rational) animals equipped for seeing and loving one another in this way, and so to have a kind of personalistic solidarity which is more noble than utilitarian kinds: a solidarity binding a citizenship of persons.
Some Christians have believed that humans are the only embodied creatures in creation to be made in God’s image, and some atheists love to suggest that “if and when one ever detects evidence of an extraterrestrial intelligent. that evidence will be inconsistent with the existence of God or at least organized religion.
Of all the texts in the New Testament canon, perhaps no two have been dealt with more divergently than "the sermon on the mount" and the Epistle of James. While the sermon on the mount has been received as "a perfect standard of the Christian life" and treated with the utmost respect, the Epistle of James has been called "a right strawy epistle" and has at various times throughout church history been viewed with deep skepticism.
In the past half century, the church has been retreating from society at large, becoming more and more of an segregated appendage to modern living, rather than the paragon of real life Jesus intended it to be.
Athanasius made it clear that he would defend the full deity of Christ against great odds — to such an extent that an expression arose: “Athanasius contra mundum” - 'Athanasius against the world.’
In his day Meister Eckhart enjoyed success as a popular preacher and churchman of high rank in his order, the Dominicans. However, Meister Eckhart was the only theologian of the medieval period to be formally charged with heresy. The shock of his trial for heresy and the condemnation of some of his work has cast a shadow over his reputation and a lingering suspicion over his orthodoxy that has lasted to this day.
The popular cinema is the language of the youth of today while the religion-and-film genre is becoming an ever-burgeoning academic industry. Yet, both religionists and educationalists frequently eschew this most accessible of pop culture resources for their congregations and classrooms.
Origen held a firm conviction that not a single rational being will be lost to the darkness of ignorance and sin. Even the most recalcitrant sinner, he argued, will eventually attain salvation. The fire of punishment is not an instrument of eternal torment, but of divine instruction and correction. The word used to describe this universal salvation was apokatastasis, "restoration of all things.
A common archetypal representation of the Self is the tree, demonstrated most forcefully in the Teutonic myth of the world tree Yggdrasil, from which emerges the ancestors of the human race. After much study of such mythological tales and the numerous paintings and mandalas of his patients Jung summarizes his conclusions thus: 'If a mandala may be described as a symbol of the self seen in cross section, then the tree would represent a profile view of it: the self depicted as a process of growth'.
John Philoponus took seriously with the Church of Jesus Christ the Light of the Word of God not only as the source of the Gospel's proclamation to the world but also as the source for the rationality of the physics of the Cosmos. The Person of the Lord Jesus Christ shone in the Creation as the 'Light of the World', and as such provided the personal reality by which both the universe and its mankind might be realized for what they ought to be in God.
Descartes' self-foundation is considered an "epochal turning point" in the western consciousness for 'basic certainty is no longer centered on God, but on man'. This essay argues that William of Ockham's radical defense of the omnipotence and absolute freedom of God unintentionally destroys the certainty once provided by God and nature, and this collapse explains Descartes' turn to the self as the new source of certainty.
The belief in a millennial promise is controversial within Christianity. While some mainstream faiths, Catholicism and Lutheranism for example, are amillennial and have no doctrine of a literal thousand-year period as important in Christianity, many other traditions, large and small, make the millennium a central point of faith. Though only one chapter in the New Testament, Revelation 20, has specific reference to the promise of a millennium, the concept has fascinated theologians and the laity for more than 1900 years.
What is the good life? Aristotle acknowledges that luck has a role to play in the good life, but to what extent does luck effect the good life? If the good life is dependent on external factors, then it would appear that it could not be considered self-sufficient. However, Aristotle argues that the good life is self-sufficient, but communally self-sufficient.
The majority of popular apologetic approaches appeal to some form of evidentialist theory, which says that if enough evidence is presented in favor of Christianity the unbeliever and the skeptic would be required by the dictates of rationality to accept it as true. Many well-known authors make remarkable claims concerning the veracity of human reason, empirical verification, and the supposed obvious objective truth of Christianity.
This paper will primarily be a topical expository analysis ultimately reducing the study to a focus on the relevant Ephesians and Corinthian texts concerned with marriage. In doing this, we will be better able to bring out what can be explicitly said about Paul's position on marriage.
Being inclined to Arminianism, I am not at all ready to abandon free will. We can and do make choices and our choices have consequences. They are not always in accord with some vast, eternal plan. Say God permits evil, if you will. But never that God creates or commits evil. I am not at all ready to accept that.
The shattering of the ontological divide between the holy and the quotidian is the establishment of ‘God-in-the-world’ in the very purest of senses because the transformation effected is that of spirit into flesh.
Inerrancy’s biggest struggle, comes in the very foundation of its premise that the Bible is inerrant “only in the original manuscripts.” This premise raises several textual critical issues as well as questions of authority.
The purpose of this essay is to discuss the theme of Johannine love as it occurs in three writers: the proto-Reformer, Gabriel Biel (1445-1495); the Cappadocian theologian, Gregory of Nyssa (335-395); and the anonymous Syrian monk known to scholarship as Pseudo-Dionysius ("The Aereopagite": d. ca. 500).
There is something very deep within us that resonates intuitively with the impossibility of contradictions. But what made the notion of a true contradiction especially odious was not simply the contradiction itself, but also that classical forms of logic were explosive. It is thus not surprising that both philosophers and even theologians at their dialectical extremes, have been unwilling to affirm true contradictions.
Whatever the merits of Plantinga's arguments against metaphysical naturalism, his account of warrant is compatible with a wide range of theistic and non-theistic belief systems. Plantinga mentions Judaism, Islam, some forms of Hinduism, some forms of Buddhism and some forms of American Indian religion in addition to Christianity. Adherents of these belief-systems could claim that the metaphysical/ontological presuppositions of these systems are prima facie/deontologically justified.
The Bible may be viewed as a message or communication from God to man. Can communications technology teach us anything about God’s communication? In fact, a number of intriguing parallels may be found between practical and spiritual communication.
Through the scriptures and the Apostle Paul’s words, it is evident that Christianity is not a new religion, but that the Old Testament sacrifices are types pointing to the ultimate sacrifice and atonement that was accomplished through the death of Christ.
The “inner meaning” of Scripture, then, is what the Spirit intends to communicate in the words of the Bible, and it is the job of the interpreter to seek this “spiritual” meaning. The “method” employed by Origen is the same used by philosophers “to find symbolic meaning in the texts of Homer and the other poets” - the allegorical method.
There is an ethical requirement for Catholics to listen and to take into account the human experience of other traditions in articulating their own understanding of full pastoral care in light of the church's teaching.
What better way to show personal support for your own faith than to officially represent it to religious Others in an official public context? It is akin to representing your country at the Olympic Games. and sometimes it can be nearly as exciting and tension-packed.
Prayer is participation in the Trinity. In this participation is societal redemption and not merely a spiritual agenda. Prayer as participation in the God who breaks forth is also the essence of what a holy life means. It is this holy habituation in which humanity truly becomes human.
These [Masters of Wisdom] are characterized as men who were perfected in former periods of evolution through special training and education and thus serve as models of human development. And they have developed many unseen, hidden powers and attained spiritual knowledge which ordinary humanity will eventually acquire after passing through a series of reincarnations during the present process of evolution.
The specific task of this paper is to address one aspect of the church: the role of the Holy Spirit. It is an attempt to present a more pneumatological ecclesiology, over against models that have centered on the establishment of the church solely around the person of Christ, especially when this is seen as an historical event.
The development of the doctrine of the Christian Trinity is explained by many historians of religious thought as the need to retain monotheism but also to afford divine status to the Son and Paraclete. However, from a psychological perspective it is the other way round, viz. that the unconscious psychological disposition was already trinitarian, which required an ontological theological explanation.
Critics of dualism appeal to those passages that equate soul with body and spirit with wind such that human beings appear to be simply natural agents. But epistemological rationalists have offered additional material for naturalists to consider. They suppose that there are philosophical considerations to warrant the belief in mind-body dualism.
Through the physical experience of wandering in the wilderness, the Hebrews learned a spiritual lesson of faith and saw how their corporate faith affected the quality of the natural environment for the entire nation. This timeless lesson, if applied today would result in significant environmental improvement worldwide.
The theological concept of the Imago Dei should delineate a radical difference between human beings and all other creatures on earth. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether some aspect of the Image of God is empirically observable. Specifically, is the capacity for speech evidence of the Image of God in human beings?
Metaphysical naturalism, also called materialism, holds that everything can be explained in natural, material terms and that these are the only explanations necessary or possible. The belief that humans are identical with their physical bodies, that mental states just are physical brain states, is called physicalism.
What is important about Gorringe's reading is that it suggests that failing to read a thinker such as Barth contextually not only misses what he is up to, but also too readily anaesthetises the radicality of his message.
We give a complete panorama of the behavior of [the star named] Mira as arises from the last four centuries. If we assume the same behavior two millennia ago we have statistical arguments to add to our hypothesis on the identification of Mira as the Bethlehem Star.
Liberation for the individual should be viewed as stemming from, and perhaps within, social constraints and duties. How one finds freedom in doing one's duty, albeit in a specific context, is essentially the same process for both Hegel and Mahayana.
Is immediate, prereflective experience of God possible? There is no question that humanity possesses a religious impulse that goes to the very heart of what it is to be human. But what is it that motivates our belief in a realm of reality beyond that available to sense perception?
The effort to attain the last stage of existence is one of intense personal conflict. It requires honesty, devotion, and deep probing into one's own psyche. There is an emphasis on "becoming"; one progresses, becomes, and moves into the future.
A careful look at Anaximander's statement will show us that his was not a call for thinking, nor even a step toward thinking; rather, it was an interpretative attempt to answer the boldest and most profound question that has ever been asked.
An historical event and its metaphysical interpretation are often separate, but not unrelated issues. If one accepts that Jesus and his contemporaries thought that he performed successful exorcisms, one can go on to ask how best to interpret this data, metaphysically speaking; and the data itself must play a role in this process.
If evil is not a substance, and all that is, is good, then the only material cause for evil is a good substance. So, the material cause for evil must be, at least accidentally, a good substance.
Different belief systems understand the same event in different ways. Consider the emergence of the universe, for example. Radically different world views all acknowledge that the universe exists. Yet they share much more than this.
Tyrrell probed into religious experience and with the aid of scientific thinking desired to express intellectual meditative understanding in a new frame of reference.
I wish to make it quite clear that many beliefs, associated with religious faith in the past, must be abandoned. They have had to meet the direct challenge of science: and I believe it is true to say that, in every such direct battle since the Renaissance, science has been the victor.
Culture proceeds from the cultivation of nature. The interaction between humans and nature is such that humans shape nature and, in turn, nature influences humans.
Theology, the science of God, reflects the trend toward greater intellectual divergence, especially in the post-Barth era. In this respect theology presents a picture similar to that which obtains in the social sciences, including philosophy itself, which, as with all intellectual undertakings, undoubtedly also reflects its broader historical and social context.
Scholars instead tend to concentrate on the economic and ecological implications of population control. The literature seems more focused on avoiding poverty and protecting the earth rather than concern for the lives of children that may be rejected in the name of population control.
Apparently among many contemporary dispensationalists there is agreement that 'the city of God is the common destiny of all the redeemed'. However, the question remains, if ultimately both share a common destiny, then wherein lies the 'distinguishing factor,' namely, the distinction between Israel and the Church?
The death of God has heralded nothing more than a crisis in language and communication between church and an increasingly secular society and nothing less than the literal annihilation of transcendent deity.
For some conservatives [absolute inerrancy] eventually became a test of orthodoxy; that theologians such as Martin Luther and John Calvin did not share this view reveals the force of modernity's influence. Looking beyond the current evangelical view of Scripture, a postmodern world provides room for an even stronger commitment to the Bible's authority, though one that does challenge certain evangelical assumptions.
The religious language of fables and myths were the original language of poetry. Religion is humanity's immediate nature by its proximity to human origins. Religion, like poetry, is formed by the passions and comes before philosophical reflection.
Maybe it is due to a misplaced generalization of the scientific method, looking at the natural world rather than along it, that more people do not experience the world as a natural sign.
In this time of ecumenical dialogue it seems that most of the Oriental Orthodox Christology that Eastern Orthodox learn is derived from second-hand and erroneous accounts that twist and distort what Oriental Orthodox have always believed. The teachings of St Severus, answering many of the same objections as are heard today, are an antidote to such misinformation and promote the dialogue between the Churches.
One of the distinctives of the contemporary Pentecostal movement has been the understanding that there are two distinct baptisms. Many do not realize that this is not original.
For those intent on improving the human race and its evolutionary trail, it would seem today that hope is in the chips.
Pastoral theology, being a theology of the church's practice rather than a theology of the church's doctrine, is set within the context of self-reflection as an existential philosophy. Pastoral theology is unlike the theoretical theology of interpretation of the church's beliefs.
The Christian can be confident in a discussion on the nature and use of science, precisely because the Christian theistic worldview can provide the necessary preconditions for the intelligibility of scientific inquiry.
When we feel unfulfilled by earthly experiences of happiness, these glimpses of incomplete happiness are signs of a greater happiness to come. The happiness we now experience in part will be more fully known beyond this life.
The belief that humanity is enslaved to sin and that it is only by sovereign election that God saves a person formed the basis for Luther's conviction of justification by grace through faith.
While for centuries goodness and profundity were expressed in terms of height and elevation, now man thinks of profundity in terms of the depth of experience.
A static worldview prevailed until well into the Scientific revolution. It is still the most widely-held general view of the world. But the world is not static. The universe has a time dimension. It moves on, in process.
To talk about principles of natural law is to talk about a set of objective ethical principles which are somehow fixed. If they are fixed, then it implies there must necessarily be an essence in man, a stable "what-ness" in man, so that it may give rise to this fixed set of ethical principles called natural law.
The real question then is not whether or not evolution is possible but whether or not it is probable.
Outside of this Great I-AM, the human race remains captive in the darkness that lies outside of the Light that He is for us.
This questioning of the value of philosophy has probably been engendered by the constant controversy with all the differing theories and viewpoints employed in philosophy. People who find philosophy nugatory might say the following: Why should we even consider this viewpoint or that viewpoint? It is not as if we are going to arrive at some conclusive answers.
Scripture's affirmation of the sanctity of all life and its prohibition against doing injury or harm to ourselves or to others compels a different approach to helping people die in comfort and with control and dignity than the misguided proposals of euthanasia or assisted suicide.
The essence of any creative event, be it going to the theatre or attending a church service is communication: something must pass from the event to the audience.
How often our assessment of acts of worship is just a critical analysis of what was said, how long it lasted, who led, whether or not the music was to our liking, debates about the building and seating arrangements.
Christian assumptions should be continually re-examined in the light of new discoveries in physical science. We should not fail to learn from the Church’s wrong-headed opposition to Galileo and Copernicus.
Perfect Being for Greeks meant limitation and finitude; for the Christians, the perfect Being is infinite. Limitation for the Christians denote imperfection; while for the Greeks, imperfection was implied by infinity.
As much as the quantum theories from the early part of this century have sparked trouble for the design argument by introducing fundamental randomness into creation, so also have the theories from the same era provided much fuel for the teleologist by introducing large-scale order and ultimately a very delicate balance between order and chaos.
Studies in the late Victorian era are our weakest links in reconstructing the evangelical tradition in America. One reason this area remained understudied resulted from scholars' abhorrence for the conservative evangelicalism of this period. But even more likely a reason for the oversight is American historians' inability to fit religion into the narrative of modern America.
Compared with God, man is slow of intellect and in order to learn, must have recourse to metaphors. A person of powerful intellect gleans much from little, whereas the slow of intellect need many examples to understand.
In writing his Gospel, Matthew set out to illustrate that Jesus, in his life and in his death, fulfilled the prophecies and effectively made Judaism “complete.” Matthew wrote his Gospel in the hopes that it would inspire a new kind of Christian-Judaism for future generations, in which the Jewish tradition would serve as a foundation to the truth and teachings of Jesus.
If we persist in perpetuating these distorted types of relationships which are the result of the Fall, it is a clear message that we want to avoid allowing the gospel to teach us the proper Christian relationship between men and women.
While Baudrillard's notion of the simulacra is a compelling notion for postmodern cultural studies, it is also quite limited in its scope. Even if we are able to affirm that the simulacra is an adequate appraisal of modern culture, it is very difficult to ascertain why the simulacra exists and therefore what its outcome may be. In this essay I will argue that Simone Weil offers us a far more persuasive and adequate philosophy of culture through her metaphor of roots.
How does God affect fellowship through His Son? Furthermore, why is such a deed on God's part necessary? This is the focus of the following pages. In particular we will look at man's fall, its cure and the Chalcedonian formulation of Christology in order to see if Chalcedon presents the church with a Christ who can save.
This paper is, in intention, a pleading to reinforce the concept of Romanian Christianity; that is in the sense of a Christianity (doctrine and tradition) of original, special type. This originality is given by a century-old process in the specific historical condition and proves that the Romanian cultural phenomenon is marked by the synthesis of the folkloric universe with christian spirituality.
I will first explain two topics concerning God's omnipotence which are crucial to understanding my analysis. Second, I will explain Mackie's objection. Third, I will discuss relevant segments of Plantinga's Free Will Defense and show that he accepts either as a nonlogical or logical limit on God's omnipotence. Fourth, I will analyze the Paradox of Omnipotence and show that there is only one objection which is valid for the theist and which entails claiming.
I make the case that a coherent theology must be true to both the evolutionary origins of humanity as well as to humanity's ubiquitous religious experiences. The development of this theodicy is a prerequisite to the overall theodicy project of this paper. Here, I consider as separate topics: (1) moral evil and the possibility of free will and (2) natural evil and divine action.
This essay seeks to explore the issues present in the relationship between Eucharist and eschatology. The next section examines the historical background of this relationship, while also discussing the reasons for its decline. Following that, a section explores some of the fruitful images that can come about by refocusing on the eschatological elements of Communion, looking at some of the implications for our liturgy and life. The final part of the paper sifts through the most recent prayer books of the Episcopal Church, USA.
It may be through the differences in doctrinal conviction that God facilitates change in the church. The rise of the nonconformists, is a case in point, where men and women after examining the Bible, came to different beliefs about worship and salvation than those promoted by the established church.
Philosophically, the criteria of personal identity continue to be debated, while, for theology, any meaningful conception of a personal God must be underpinned by an adequate description of the nature of the human person. Firstly, we need to understand what it is to be a person, if we are to assist in the positive development of human beings as individuals. Secondly, if we are to encourage the progress of humanity as a whole, our perception of individuals must include an appreciation of their interrelation.
The purpose of this discussion is to present the entire portion of Scripture which relates to environmental principles whereby we may develop a Bible-based, 21st Century prescription of environmental conservation. Some 2,463 verses have been topically organized into nine sections. This compilation of verses constitutes approximately eight percent of the Bible.
The name of Martin Luther is inextricably linked with the doctrine of justification by faith. Reformed Protestantism's historic distinction between the passive or imputed righteousness of Christ given in justification, and the active or infused righteousness given in sanctification, has its genesis in Luther's thought. As Alister McGrath has pointed out, Luther introduced a theological novum into the Western church tradition which marks a complete break with the tradition up to this point.
In this paper I intend to present an outline of a thesis that argues for the idea that Radical Theology is a modern form of Wisdom Literature and, as such, subverts the dominant view of Christianity as a prophetic tradition. Radical Theology can be seen as a constituent part of a 'Wisdom counter-culture' that has informed and reformed Christianity throughout history.
In the course of this essay, I will consider the specific advantages of autobiography in extending woman-centered theological models. Therefore, will give attention to the foremothers of womanist theology: Katie Cannon (specifically Black Womanist Ethics) and Cheryl Sanders (Empowerment Ethics for a Liberated People). I am particularly interested in the question.
Since love implies the gift of self, which implies the limiting of one's freedom on behalf of another, which implies the possibility of committing one's freedom to another, which implies the knowledge of the other, hence where there is not knowledge of the other, then, there is no love. But to impede love by way of impeding knowledge is contrary to the major precepts. Therefore it is not morally praiseworthy, and hence not to be recommended.
The nothingness of the world and the nothingness of the poets of the Beat Generation and my own nothingness were very important in my experience. No one has ever easily expressed the torment that exists in one's life when we would think to articulate the existence of 'le néant' or 'das Nichtige' in the world. It is these exquisite kinds of torment most never try to explain.
Martin Luther's theology lends itself to certain key existential analyses, making it possible to view Luther in light of existential thought. Luther's theological formulations of justification by faith, the bondage of the will, God hidden and revealed, anfecthung (affliction), and the God - man dialectic invite existential interpretations.
Heresy is a serious charge, for if it be true, preterists are outside of Christ and in peril of eternal condemnation. Is heresy a justifiable charge against preterists? This article will examine the nature of heresy and the validity of the primary charges issued against preterism, particularly as enumerated in ecclesiastical documents.
The gift of death is the gift of the irreplaceable singularity which responsibility demands. And the refusal of death by theology is the denial of its distinctive promise. On the other hand, a theology located in the gaps and fissures of our existence, a theology inscribed by a lack and threatened by the promise of a Holy God, is a theological realism that gives death its place and promise. A theological realism can never be exhaustive of the infinity of the possible, but no promise is more secure than the promise of death.
In order to discover what the Biblical understanding of the office is, we shall 1) review the metaphorical uses of poimhn and its cognates in the New Testament, as well as its equivalent in Old Testament Hebrew; 2) attempt to discover synonomous offices/titles in the New Testament literature and similarly trace their usage; 3) tie the material thus gathered into a biblical "job description" of the pastor as that role is conceived in the Scriptures.
Aristotle, some three hundred years before Christ, noted the fact that everything which existed in the world was contingent, that is, it depended on something else for its existence. From the contingent nature of everything in the world he argued that there had to be a non-contingent or self-existent entity, a God, to account for those contingent things. He also argued that God could not love man. He had analyzed friendship and love and he concluded that the only true love or friendship was between beings who were similar and equally good. This ruled man out. God could only love another being, another entity, who was similar to God.
The Bible tells us that the Word of God is established eternally in heaven. However it is not the Christian claim that the Bible itself has existed eternally in heaven, or that the Bible will be needed once God's people leave this world and go to heaven. This contrasts with the Muslim claim about their book the Quran. Muslims believe that, although it was only finally revealed on earth through Mohammed approximately 1300 years ago, the Quran is a transcript of a tablet preserved in heaven.
This is the second in a two-part series examining Western Europe's role in the development and facilitation of "racism". This paper will attempt three things: [a] to provide an objective though limited account of the relation between slavery and Western theology; [b] to enforce the distinction between Scriptural theology and those contextual elements which may reside in theological formulations; and [c] to provide a case study of this distinction through a treatment and analysis of the Ham story. This subject matter covered will be limited to [a] longstanding traditions developed in the 3rd and 4th century Church which remained until changes occurring in 1965 with Vatican II, and [b] popular theology within the Antebellum (i.e. pre-Civil War) South.
The dates which mark the boundaries of this study have been chosen to make it roughly contemporaneous with the life of George Adam Smith (1856-1942). Part of the significance of Smith's life is that he ministered in three denominations: the Free Church of Scotland (from 1882-1900), the United Free Church of Scotland (1900-1929) and the Church of Scotland (1929-1935 ). The changes that occurred during the century from 1840-1940 were momentous, and this paper will attempt to mark the significance of these changes on the Scottish ecclesiastical scene.
Western Europe's eighteenth century, the self-proclaimed age of Enlightenment, was an era in which men of learning or means advanced to new depths questions of society, religion, science and humanity. These men were the "philosophes", Lovers of Wisdom, whose writings characterize the era and hold the status of classics in contemporary libraries. This paper will examine in particluar the philosophes' treatment of what would become a nebulous topic which perhaps has impacted later history to a greater degree than any other from that era. Eighteenth century European science and philosophy regarding non-European/non-white peoples put processes in motion which to this day remain influential and which directly contributed to the death or oppression of tens of millions of non-whites through slavery or conquest.
The sacred is what is, what is real, what is most real by virtue of it being the sacred. The sacred is the path and goal of all religious traditions which teach the wisdom of living in contact with the sacred while realized that the sacred can be a dangerous experience because it is like fire: it can give warmth and light, but it can also burn and destroy if approached without regard for its power and difference from the profane.
Regardless of the historical era or geographical location, mystical experiences have fascinated men and caused them to ponder their existence and universe. Not only did such experiences claim some kind of knowledge of the Divine or Absolute, but they also implied by their very existence that such experiences are available to humanity. Entire philosophical schools and religious sects grew up around the possibility of attaining some kind of insight or experience of Highest Reality. And those who claimed to have had an original mystical experience hitherto unknown soon found themselves with disciples searching for the same experience.
"One of the most contentious questions, and one of the most important ones, concerns the issue of what God seeks from us, and how we should be related to him. Does He seek those who will adhere to a sort of a religious structure, keeping a set of customs that have been deemed, rightly or not, in some manner holy? Or, does He seek those who have a heart that is His: They long to know God, even as they imperfectly put that into practice in daily life? What sort of relationship with God is a "normal" one, and is it the same as the "usual" one? Is the typical, "Christian" lifestyle and practice in fact the kind that God seeks? Or is there something else, something more?"
In this atmosphere of increasing anxiety, potential violence and death, it is imperative that people calmly consider the specificity of biblical statements concerning the parousia, particularly the unequivocal imminency of that event in the minds of the NT writers. There is no question that Jesus and the apostles believed the parousia would occur within their own lifetimes. The supposition that this did not occur has caused among some a crisis of confidence in the authority of Scripture and the claims of Christ, as well it should. It is one of the great ironies in the rise of fundamentalism and subsequent evangelicalism that its distinctive emphases concerning the inerrancy of Scripture, grammatico-historical interpretation or biblical literalism, and the future second coming of Christ should in fact be so capable of being pitted against one another.
"This paper will attempt a brief interaction between the views outlined in Kevin Vanhoozer 's "Is There a Meaning in This Text?" (Zondervan Publishing House, 1988) and Stephen Fowl's "Engaging Scripture" (Blackwell Publishing, 1998). Conclusions will be drawn regarding their degrees of compatibility and whether or not one can coherently hold to both hermeneutics simultaneously."
"This article's thesis is that religion and science are ultimately about the same thing, that they affect one another, and that people in the two fields therefore need to communicate. The authors begin by discussing the importance of ethical transformations to a life of love and character, arguing that the development of a technological society does not free us from ethical demands. They then move to advocating dialogue about the shared truths of science and religion. Wanting both, and positing that the former is a foundation for the latter, the authors state that Einstein's famous logian cannot be ignored: "The situation may be expressed by an image: Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind"
Observation of the Christian year and the use of a corresponding lectionary are two aspects of liturgy which many Protestant denominations have removed from their worship order. Their removal occurred during or immediately following the reformation, when many sought to distance themselves as far as possible from the Roman Church. But where some opted for complete removal, others sought reformation. This latter effort included the work of John Calvin, Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli, all of whom proposed their own versions of the lectionary and interpretations of the Christian calendar.
Because little has been written on Matthew's understanding of this concept, this paper will endeavor to examine the major passages in which the motif occurs, and offer a proposition based upon the exegesis of these passages.
Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God is, in one sense, quite simple; God is that-than-which-no-greater-can-be-thought, and he must, therefore, exist, for otherwise he would not be that-than-which-no-greater-can-be-thought. Careful analysis of Anselm's Proslogion and his Reply to Gaunilo, however, will show that Anselm proposes not one, but six ontological arguments which, while relying on common premises about the nature of thought and the identity of God, differ in their contents, sometimes markedly.
The major problem for the Christian Church is that from the beginning it dug itself into an almost immovable intellectual position. It firmly identified itself and its teaching with Judaism, tying itself to the categories and concepts of the Old Testament.
"Few movements in church history have received as much attention--the accolades, the condemnation, or, indeed, the critical study--as the development in early and middle 19th-century English history of what is know variously as "Tractarianism," "the Oxford Movement" or "Puseyism."
This essay will examine Thomas Hobbes' (1588-1679) physical philosophy and epistemology with special attention given to their impact on biblical interpretation and authority. A central aim of this essay is an evaluation of Hobbes' central philosophical principles and their implications toward the communication of religious content.
This essay argues that the concept of nature, found in the treatise on the person of Jesus Christ by John Philoponus, Sixth Century Alexandrian, presents the Church with a definition of nature that is helpful for relations between Science and Theology today. This was a concept over which the East and the West of the Church have been divided.
"Perhaps the most ubiquitous thing in American life, second only to Coke and "The Simpsons," is the public opinion survey. Surveys are interesting in several ways. They are interesting to those who want to use them to see what people think about a certain issue, tracking changes in societal attitudes. They are interesting to politicians in search of their next passionate commitment. They are interesting to me in the amazement that so many people think surveys are worth much. However, despite my jaded attitude, there are some things of legitimate interest in public opinion surveys."
"Has there in fact been an "end of metaphysics"? What would such an "end" look like? And what could it possibly entail for anyone not particularly instructed or interested in the subject? The more one is eluded by answers to these questions, the more enigmatic or radical postmetaphysic explanatory systems undoubtedly appear. For at the heart of any postmetaphysic attempt at reconstruction or deconstruction, whether literary, social or theological, lies the core conviction that the end of metaphysics has been irrefutably demonstrated through modern continental philosophy."
This paper aims at setting forth a perspective on religious epistemology. As will hopefully become clear through the course of this essay, I understand accurate discussion of issues pertaining to religious epistemology, or more specifically of an epistemology of belief, as necessarily grounded in general epistemology. Thus this essay will begin with a discussion of general epistemology in order to set a foundation for its discussion of belief.
In the ongoing debate of whether or not God is in time or out of time, one of the most fascinating arguments that has emerged in favor of divine atemporality is that the doctrine of divine immutability necessitates divine timeless eternity.
It is most likely that if God leads you into ministry in His Church, preaching will be a method used by you in the normal discharging of your responsibilities. Preaching - especially evangelistic preaching can be over-rated of course. There are many areas in our world and in this land where it is very difficult to encourage people to listen to preaching. The person who needs an audience to be successful as an evangelist needs to become more flexible in the winning of souls.
This paper will briefly examine several key tenets of physical philosophy and their relation to contemporary deconstructionism. The aims of this inquiry are a more thorough understanding of deconstruction philosophical foundations and examination of its more recent conclusions involving theology and religion in general.
In many evangelical circles, there is discussion of a fairly recent, but rapidly growing phenomenon: Messianic Judaism. There are very popular national television shows about it, and no less a publication than Christianity Today magazine has recently done a major article about it. Students at Christian colleges and universities are asking about it. And churches are divided, in the words of the CT writer, "taking turns supporting and condemning" this new happening.
The parables of Jesus are powerful stories that, when they were told, spoke meaningfully about the kingdom of God. The reactions that many of the parables received indicate that they were more than simple moralistic stories, but were subversive speeches meant to garner a significant reaction.