reflected the views of the French philosophes, who held that Reason must be liberated from its bondage to the "monkish ignorance" of Christian faith.
Knowledge of early Christian literature and the dialogue between Christianity and Greek and Roman thinkers reveal....
that the Christian church attracted gifted intellectuals who defended the faith (using reason).
True or False: for the early church, "thinking was part of believing".
True or False: the early Christian figure, Origen, believed that the desire/longing to know the truth was implanted in us by God.
a religious group that prided themselves on being free from tradition, no longer needing to defend their teachings by appeal to authority or sacred scripture.
In seeking to know and express faith, where did Augustine begin?
Augustine, like other Christians, began with the facts of revelation, narrated in the Scriptures.
Who said the following: ""It is the same fault to demand demonstration of an historian as to be content with probabilities from a mathematician."'
John Henry Newman
True or False: Augustine distinguishes between (a) historical and (b) mathematical knowledge.
True, the former requires indirect and dependent testimony.
True or False: the term "believe" means that you are speaking of absolutely certain truth?
False, it means that you are speaking of knowledge that is probable, not certain.
What is the distinctive feature of "historical knowledge"?
knowledge based on the testimony of witnesses worthy of trust.
witness - one who bore witness to the resurrection by their words.
Authority / auctor
In Augustine's day, the word authority (auctor,Latin) referred to one who guaranteed the validity or authenticity of a legal document.
According to Augustine, what is the first task of the serious interpreter?
to give (surrender) oneself to the author
What is the consequence of Augustine's insistence that authority is a crucial part of interpretation and knowledge?
Augustine shifts the question from "what should I believe or accept?" to "whom should I trust?"
Who said "authority invites belief and prepares man for reason. Reason leads to understanding and knowledge."
True or False: for Christians, historical knowledge is the primary object (basis) of faith.
False, for Christians, the primary object of faith is God the Father, known in Christ (through the Spirit).
True or False: Origen reminds us that there can be knowledge of God without faith.
False, Origen insists that faith "in the strict sense is embracing with one's whole soul the object of faith at baptism".
True or False: the knowlege of God is intimate, personal and direct (i.e., not mediated by another person or text).
False, knowledge of God is both (a) intimate and personal; and (b) mediated (through the witness of the biblical authors).
W.K. Clifford (1845-79)
believed that anything worth believing must be proved saying "“it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”
True or False: when Christians say that the proof for God's existence lies beyond reason they mean that its "proof" is contrary to reason.
False, Christians actually believe that proof for the existence of God lies beyond reason, but is not contrary to it.
Why did Pascal refuse to follow Aquinas?
Pascal refused to accept that the philosophical "god" of the proofs was anything like the living God of the Old and New Testaments
True or False: Pascal believe that the human heart also had its reasons for belief (i.e., the gift of longing for God).
"Faith seeks Understanding"
an approach to belief and knowledge taken by Anselm of Canterbury in the eleventh century.
Martin Luther uses this term to speak of faith as "trust" or "confidence" in a faithful God.
What are the three dominant characteristics of Luther's understanding of "faith":
Faith is personal (rather than strictly historical)
Faith concerns trust in the promise of God
Faith unites the believer to Christ
What is the following: "Now we shall have a right definition of faith if we say that it is a steady and certain knowledge of the divine benevolence towards us, which is founded upon the truth of the gracious promise of God in Christ, and is both revealed to our minds and sealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit."
a classical definition of faith by John Calvin
What, according to Luther, does it mean to "master the fine art of abusing liberty"?
It means to imagine that we can be truly Christian without a clear sense and understanding of the Creeds, the Lord's Prayer, or the Ten Commandment.
When McCormack says that "theology—in its most academically rigorous form—has become an orphan..." what is he getting at?
McCormack suggests that both the Church and the Academy have turned their backs upon Christian theology.
What is Barth saying about "faith" in the following: "In God alone is there faithfulness, and faith is the trust that we may hold to Him, to His promise and to His guidance. To hold to God is to rely on the fact that God is there for me, and to live in this is certainty."
Barth is claiming that faith is trust and confidence in God who is for us (pro nobis).
What does Luther's Heidelberg Disputation teach us about our powers of observation?
We only truly know God revealed in the midst of his suffering and the cross - this "hiddeness of God" disrupts our confidence in reason.
True or False: Luther challenges us to come to the end of our natural gifts of observation and reason.
In light of today's lecture, is it our task to make God relevant to our age?
No, God's self-revelation is already highly relevant, and we must be determined by God.
What is the goal of Christian theology?
...is to bear witness to the triune God and the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ.
Theology as Nachdenken
Theology as "following after" revelation - hearing and attending to something outside of ourselves.
Who said the following: "the Word of God is no neutral announcement but rather the critical moment of history and the communion between God and humanity".
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