When Dr. Morrison’s thirty years of editorial service through The Christian Century began, I was in the eighth grade. During a full half of these thirty years, his mind has been a salutary factor among the many which have been reshaping mine. It is with an acknowledgment of debt, therefore, that I try to set …
Christians believe in a complex God, three co-eternal persons living a single enduring communion. The divine life has varied dimensions and allows human interaction with the triune God to take different forms. God’s channels are open on many frequencies. Christian belief in the Trinity originates in the conviction that only such a complex view of …
No one could deny that a terrible crisis is upon us, and if a crisis brings with it an occasion for the deepest kind of creativity, it is nonetheless fraught with danger. The religious danger of our time is Gnosticism, a danger so elusive that it is impossible to define or circumscribe.
There is an experience of loss among the radical death of God theologians. This loss is not of idols, or of the God of theism, but of the God of the Christian tradition, and this group persists, in the face of both bewilderment and fury, in calling itself Christian.
How has the field of theology changed in terms of topics or method since you first entered it in the mid-20th century? What gives you hope and what discourages you? One great change: I went to Germany to study for the doctorate because that was still where the action was. Just imagine: my rigorosum — …
The two appendices are somewhat more technical in nature. Appendix A is on the canon, the Christ, and the historical Jesus, in which we consider how the authority of the Bible is related to the authority of Jesus. I argue that Jesus the Christ must serve as our “canonical principle’ by which we decide which …
Since early in the Church’s history the Old and New Testament have been recognized as its "Canon", as authoritative over all other writings, beliefs and opinions. But in recent decades there has been an increasing tendency to try to go behind this, to reconstruct the traditions and writings as they existed before they were incorporated …
Anyone who wishes to propose a hypothesis for “what really happened” on Easter is taking on a difficult challenge. Besides the fact that this is an emotionally charged subject, we have no evidence except for accounts written down fifty or more years later by people who had a particular point to prove. Nevertheless over the …
Gnosticism appears to have been abortive. It did succeed in extricating the self from its identification with reason and will, and in this respect it went beyond Socratic and prophetic existence. But it did so in such a way as not to incorporate or fulfill Socratic and prophetic existence but so as to negate them.
According to the claims of classical Christianity, there can be no salvation except through Christ. So what of those who reject or apparently never receive an invitation to join the party? Does God’s generosity, and the generosity of classic Christian spirituality, extend only so far? If spurned, does God turn to spite and everlasting punishment? …
From the religious perception of Dostoevsky as seen through his religious vision and the eyes of his characters Dmitry, Ivan and Alyosha Karamazov, William Hamilton concludes that we ought not trust ourselves to claim that we have Dostoevsky’s final secret, for we may find it possible to receive only part of Dostoevsky’s religious vision today.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Twelve basic affirmations of our Christian faith as each relates to modern man are discussed: What we believe about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, Man, Sin, Experience, Perfection, the Church, the Kingdom of God, Divine Judgment and Eternal Life.
Selected Bibliography (These are arranged in chronological order or appearance) D. F. STRAUSS, The Life of Jesus, fourth edition, 1840 (Eng. trans. 1846). SAMUEL BUTLER, The Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, as Given by the Four Evangelists, Critically Examined, written in Canterbury, New Zealand, 1859-64. WILLIAM HANNA, The Forty Days after Our Lord’s …
The meaning of sin, salvation, and sanctification: Sin is our deliberate act of faithlessness and rebellion. Salvation means getting right with God, and such a state alone can give man full satisfaction. The indwelling presence of God as Holy Spirit at work in life is called sanctification. To sanctify means "to make holy." God saves us by making us holy.
Because the resurrection of Jesus has to do with faith rather than with objective historical fact, it can be described and understood in more than one way.
This chapter looks at a few examples of literary forms that have been used for religious reflection, looking at the kind of religious insights that arise from these forms–Parables, Poems and Autobiographical Stories.
Seminary student Thomas Atherton realizes his internship is under a university chaplain who apparently does not believe that Jesus was the Son of God.
Relatively little of human significance can be discovered in the disciplines of mathematics and the natural sciences, for they are restricted to the objective description of human beings. If these sciences are broadened to include philosophical considerations out of their critical scrutiny of science and technology they will become primes sources of knowledge of man.
Authority is found in experience, the Bible, and the church, but these are all in the world. The Holy Spirit is beyond it. Christ as the Godman is both in and beyond the world. Only when the Holy Spirit can draw from "the things of Christ," using the channels of experience, the Bible, and the church, can we find that authority of the Christian faith which is truly of God, ever beyond the world, and yet also truly in the world for man.
The author demonstrates how our “common sense” has changed over the years.
Since the breakdown of supernaturalism, the claims of Christianity to uniqueness and to finality have continued, but they have required justification.
We liberals have come down the road from historic Christianity progressively using up the capital of our heritage and doing little to replenish it. We have come more and more to mirror our culture, or certain strands within it, rather than to speak to it an effective word of judgment or healing.
Tracy argues for the fully public theological language, an analogical language for the Christian Doctrine. He concludes that any theological discussion in the university must clarify three issues: the fundamental questions of human existence; the proper means to interpret a religious tradition; and the central meanings of any public truth-claims.
The great body of American thought that still looks to natural theology stands between these polar positions: the Thomist, which thinks of God as transcendent and supernatural; and that of Wieman, which presents God as a process immanent in nature.
Liberal theology has always tended to obscure the nature of sin while Neo-orthodoxy has not made clear how redemption actually makes any difference in this life in this world. The clue to the reconstruction of Protestant Christian faith in our time is to recall to ourselves the fact that God, the Lord of life, is both Creator and Redeemer.
Christianity is not the simple religion of God’s Fatherhood and man’s brotherhood, but rather the religion which finds God come to men for their wholeness of life in the person of Jesus Christ; and therefore finds in Him, in who He was, in what He did, in who He is, and in what He does, and in the consequences of those things, the whole substance.
Among the Hebrews the mythical was ethicized and personalized so that the power of the sacred remained overwhelmingly present. Responsibility for ones actions was recognized thus requiring control over ones emotions and thought. So Christian existence is spiritual existence that expresses itself in love. Spiritual existence is explained as a structure of radical self-transcendence, and its power for both good and evil is emphasized.
The author pursues the theme of Jesus as the functional Christ, as he through whom we focus our understanding and faith, he whose life and message are central to the way we choose to live.
"I’m beginning to see that I can be a Christian and appreciate other traditions at the same time. All these either-ors I’ve been living with can become both-ands. You don’t have to give up faith in Christ in order to appreciate what is positive in other religious traditions.”
The language of the eschatological hope of resurrection was used by the followers near the beginnings in order to express the Easter message. Thus a fresh use was found for the idiom of resurrection. It was now employed to describe the exaltation to heaven of a particular person, because his exaltation included the victory over his death.
The word "faith" means so many different things, and it is so easily used to conceal an absence of meaning. The common use of this slippery word falsely suggests agreement where there is none. And yet it is claimed that salvation itself depends upon what it names, or faith is even identified with salvation. But the gospel is not about faith so much as it is about grace.
In the kingdom of God, God rules as Lord but loves as Father and works with us as Companion. Slowly, gradually, like the leaven and the mustard seed, the Kingdom comes as we labor faithfully in God’s service. Some evidences of its coming we see about us in redeemed lives and in a better society; for others we must hopefully wait, labor, and pray.
H. Richard Niebuhr has proposed that Christian affirmations should be understood as the confession of how that which is in itself absolute has been experienced from a conditioned and relative perspective. The suggestion of Reinhold Niebuhr is that the distinctive prophetico-Christian faith as found in the Bible provides an illumination of the socio-historical situation that other faiths and philosophies distort and obscure.
For the Christian, love is the possibility of openness to the other as another and concern for him as such. It is made possible by the gift of an undeserved love, and hence it cannot seek a deserving object for its expression. The possibility of its occurrence consists in a freedom from the sickness of self-preoccupation, and, hence, the prior relation of the other to the self cannot be relevant.
Christianity is on the side of hope. The degree of our need for hope is a function of the seriousness with which we take the threats to man’s well-being. But it is also true that the seriousness with which we take these threats is partly a function of our hope. A man of little hope cannot face the threats.
Thomas sees that people can witness passionately and confidently to the truth of their faith while remaining completely open the truths of other faiths.
From Luke’s Acts, the impression is left that the resurrection was a historical event, that it attributed to the risen Jesus a physical form. Resurrection became a historical event of the same character as the crucifixion. This view of the resurrection remained fundamentally unchanged until it finally collapsed within the last hundred years.
The author asks whether our common sense allows us to discuss God in the first place, and he demonstrates that in spite of a few extremists, it does indeed. Then he looks at the straightforward rules of language for talking about God or anyone else, and at what kind of verification is appropriate.
The wrath of God must not be taken to mean vindictiveness. It means God’s inevitable condemnation and terrible judgment upon sin. It is because sin is so serious and divine judgment is so real that hell (alienation and separation from God by persistent rejection of him) is a reality upon earth and may well be after death. God forces no man to love and serve him; but when we refuse his invitation, we bear the penalty.
Affirming Jesus as Lord is not primarily a matter of beliefs but rather action –discipleship.
The love that is expressed in the willingness even to die for others is called in the New Testament agapé. We could only hope to move toward such a love if that love is grounded beyond ourselves. And it is.
Ross talks about God. He notes some aspects of reality that point towards God. He addresses a few questions about the nature of God before suggesting a few images that might help to communicate our understanding of God.
The Jewish doctrine of resurrection had not only preceded the rise of Christianity, but was also the necessary background for the expression of the Easter faith in terms of the resurrection of Jesus. In the course of time resurrection was increasingly orientated to the interests of the individual person, so that it became the Christian form of the hope of personal immortality, guaranteed by the affirmation of the Easter proclamation.
Socratic man identifies himself with his reason, which he recognizes as one element within his psyche. Spiritual existence is constituted by the emergence of an "I" that transcends reason and passion and will as well as itself. To incorporate such an "I" is impossible without ceasing to identify oneself with one’s reason, whereas the reason of Socratic man can be incorporated into spiritual existence.
It is our Christian hope that Christ, who rose triumphant over sin and death, will reign forever in God’s eternal kingdom and that we shall know the glory and blessedness of his presence.
The objectivity and universality of the good news should guard us as Christians against the dangers of privatism and individualism. It should establish a sense of our solidarity with all men in receiving the wholly unanticipated and undeserved gift. We are members of one another, and what God has done for us he has done for us all.
The term ‘resurrection of the dead’ should not be interpreted as a hope for the prolongation or restoration of our own conscious existence, but rather a hope that human life has meaning, that when our conscious existence is ended, the historical life we have lived may be raised before the eternal Judge, and may be vindicated, as being of some value for that Kingdom which is eternal and for whose fuller manifestation on earth we ever pray.
The question of Jesus’ authority is considered. Several reasons are put forth to support the choice of Jesus of Nazareth as our compass, but it is recognized that in the final analysis it is a question of values, of the heart.
A look at some more traditional doctrinal themes to see if a positive reconstruction for their use today can be found. It is concluded that the continue our use of the concept of “sin” must be continued, but that the ideas of “original sin” and “salvation” are too tied up with an unchristian view of God and must be discarded.
The meaning of the cross must not be forgotten in the meaning of the resurrection. It is the Jesus who truly died who has been raised to spiritual life in a new form in the community which bears his name. Life does not mean the endless prolongation of a conscious self but a life of such quality that, having no further concern for self-interest, can transcend death and rise to a fresh mode of manifestation in the lives of men who follow.
The author proposes the category of Christian Myth as a positive category for those aspects of the Christian story which exemplify or reinforce Christian values but which can no longer be taken as true. There is no reason for this to be seen as a negative classification. He looks at various aspects of the Jesus story to see what would qualify.
Some of the themes of a Christian life are described briefly: self-acceptance; right relationship with God, self and others; and a balance between passion and perspective.
What does it means to live faithfully specifically with reference to possessions and the use of money? Two alternative ways of living faithfully are explored: the radical response and the uncomfortable middle.
The question of wealth in the consideration of economic systems is pursued. The conclusion is reached that neither in the capitalist systems nor in the socialist systems are the solutions to be found. Neither is in itself the problems nor the solution. The challenges confronting our own democratic capitalism is considered.
A brief consideration of the new spirituality which we need to encompass the whole of life, along with a look at the sacred, worship, prayer, work, and the nature of the Church.
This chapter considers what the social sciences may contribute to the comprehensive philosophy of man and his becoming. The differences between the natural sciences and the social sciences are discussed.
The chief arguments used to support the traditional view of the empty tomb story — known as ‘bodily resurrection’, and why many scholars today fail to find them convincing.
Because everything matters, we can endure without rest and without self-satisfaction. We matter as individuals. Our every hope and fear, our angry and generous feelings, our little gestures for good and ill — all are important. We are people of worth.
This chapter emphasizes the importance, even the necessity, of metaphorical language for a greater insight and understanding of “truth”: in contemporary theology, in the New Testament, and in theological reflection.
The secret of Christianity’s contribution to the cultural works of man is that in the Christian faith, with a clarity found in no other, we see that all of life, its evil as well as its good, has a meaning which supports an ultimate hope, if we but accept the truth which God has offered in Christ and begin to respond to it.
Tracy examines a language he identifies as Analogical Method, which he views as second order to the standards of image, metaphor, symbol, myth, and ritual, yet important in relating to and in discussing God.
The author looks at why we cannot simply assert the truth of the Bible over our modern common sense and shows that Biblical literalism/inerrancy is an approach to the Scriptures that is unacceptable both to our reason and to our faith.
What for the chaplain is an obstacle to faith is to Thomas its very content. Could there be more than one way of being a Christian?
A presentation of ontological and psychological ideas that underlie the descriptive treatments of the several structures of existence.
Christ rightly interpreted is the Word of God’s eternal love become historic, of God’s universal love become personal. Can anything be more universal; can anything be more needed? Here we have the answer to Judaism, to Islam, to Baha’i. Christ can be and has been falsely interpreted so as to block communication, but he can and should be understood in such a way that an open, concerned community is created.
The fundamental Thomist vision of finite existence as pointing to its self-sufficient cause is fully compatible with a doctrine of God that can embody the real strengths of the Thomist position without entailing its religiously and logically unsatisfactory conclusions.
Rightly we celebrate on Easter God’s gift of eternal life. But as John’s Gospel repeatedly assures us, eternal life begins here –where we are — as we "believe" in Christ. It begins as we accept him as our Lord and find our lives anchored to God through him.
Salvation means: 1. That we are given healthy lives, rightly adjusted to the things that are, and delivered from allegiance to the things that seem to be; 2. That we who are unwell in our inner spirits may have the healthy life of God’s charity; 3. That we are delivered by this fact from faithless fears and worldly anxieties.
Tracy first continues to examine neo-Thomism and process traditions, then looks at analogical languages within Protestantism, starting from a negative dialectics view. He concludes that that the languages of analogy and dialectics, too long ignored by many Christian theologians, deserve their traditional central place in the genuinely public theological discussion of God.
As Thomas thinks about it, the study of the Bible and the history of the church makes everything about Christianity seem less fixed than he has always assumed.
The function of the humanities is to disclose human beings as unique persons. Each discipline reveals man as a dynamic unity of matter, reason, and spirit, the differences among the disciplines reflecting different aspects and components of the total life of individual persons.
The Personalists have achieved a remarkable synthesis of philosophy and theology that satisfies their own criterion of comprehensive empirical coherence. In this way they have shown the reasonableness of the Christian faith and the absence of any necessity of absurdity and paradox in its formulation.
We cannot live to ourselves alone, much less be saved alone. That is why the church is essential.
God’s unity is His goodness. God’s goodness is His love. God’s love is that creative and redemptive power which works unceasingly in all times and places to bring to fulfillment a universal community of free and loving beings.
Metaphor, along with parable, is a prime resource for a theologian who is attempting an “intermediary” theology, which can speak to a generation that has lost much of the background and language of traditional religion.
A description of what distinguishes the structure of human existence in general from the structure of subhuman animal existence in general.
The question of whether we can conceive of God as going “zap” — intervening in the physical processes of the world in particular instances — is examined. This forces us to confront the problem of suffering, for this is where this question matters the most. He concludes that neither our reason nor our faith in a loving God can allow us to conceive of God as acting in such a capricious way.
We do need honestly to recognize that what is most important and precious in our lives we owe to a history of which Jesus is the hinge. The attempt to understand ourselves more fully and more critically will then lead us to seek a clearer understanding of him as well.
Is man good or bad? God made man good. This is his essential nature. Man’s fallen nature is not his real nature, but only the actual condition of his nature. What does it mean that man was created in the image of God? God is infinite and perfect Love. Man is finite, made for love. The image is absolute; the conscience is relative. Man himself lives in the conflict of the perfect and the sinful, the unconditional and the conditional.
The age-long tradition of the ‘events’ of Easter day, so old that it was caught up in the New Testament itself, can no longer be defended as an historical description of the resurrection of Jesus.
There is no real contradiction between the Holy Spirit as God himself and as his gift to us of guidance, grace, and power for every need. Though we may never fathom the full mystery of God’s nature as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we still can know the glorious fact of his presence in our minds and hearts.
Civilization depends on and makes possible a high degree of rationalization of the reflective consciousness. Prior to the rise of the great civilizations of antiquity, from the fourth millennium before Christ on, rationality played a minor role in human life.
Cobb’s three lectures deal with three challenges to showing today that God truly exists: how to think of God in a way that is compatible with our scientific world view without removing God’s presence and efficacy from our lives and our world; how to think of God as the one in whom we place our complete trust and yet acknowledge the truth and greatness of a Way (Buddhism) that ignores or denies God; and how to free our thought of God from sexism without losing the profound values that have been bound up with the masculine images of God as Father and as Son. In this chapter he takes on the first challenge: science.
For Wieman, we devote ourselves to the service of God because God produces the good. His theory of value has a remarkably wide range of relevance but fails to achieve the universality he seems to claim for it.
Something happened when he turned the world upside down. Men saw their lives in a new and very disturbing light. It was disturbing because on the one hand it showed them things about themselves that, once having seen, they could not forget, whereas on the other hand there was no adjustment of their lives which could comfortably reconcile them to this new truth.
The author considers different ways of “explaining” miracles, but points out that miracles are in fact not religiously significant — a point apparently recognized by Jesus himself.
Thomas is not satisfied. "It seems to me that Christians are those who say Jesus was divine — human, of course, but not only that. He was completely unique, the one human being in whom God was incarnate. If not, isn’t our continual preoccupation with this one human being inappropriate, even silly?"
The abyss between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world has opened up before our eyes. We are perplexed to know what to make of our tragic world history, and to know how as Christians we are to live in it. We must examine the roots of this perplexity, and show why its solution lies in an interpretation of the creative and redemptive work of God which is other than that of either liberalism or neo-orthodoxy.
We must recognize that the proclamation of the death of God is a Christian confession of faith. For to know that God is dead is to know the God who died in Jesus Christ, the God who passed through what Blake symbolically named as “Self-Annihilation” or Hegel dialectically conceived as the negation of negation. Only the Christian can truly speak of the death of God, because the Christian alone knows the God who negates himself in his own revelatory and redemptive acts.
For Christians, the Bible "…is God’s eternal Word to every generation." When we read the Bible with receptive minds and hearts, God speaks to us through it.
The idiom of resurrection came to be used as language in which men could express their hope for the future.
Prayer is to be seen as the relating of our wills to God’s Will.
This chapter analyzes the primary model of Christian language, believing and life, the parable. One major task of the theologian is to reflect theologically upon this model; and thus to help the preacher and the people hear the word of God today.
The second part of TeSelle’s book deals with various forms of Christian reflection: the poem, the story, and the autobiography. This chapter examines the poem as a source for parabolic theology as it attempts to integrate language, belief and life-style. Christian poets in particular have helped place the imagistic language of tradition into fresh contexts so that dead metaphors may become alive and effective once more.
Three concepts of "Life Everlasting" are discussed: 1. Eternity as a quality of life is participation without the right of duration, in the case of man, in the life everlasting; 2. Life as a continual stream of choices and consequences, of living and dying, of repeated reincarnations in this world; 3. God reawakens us to life after death in another realm beyond this earthly existence. The final outcome is in God’s hands. We can trust him for the best result possible.
The Christian today who chooses the orthodox image of Christ is making a wager in which he stands to forfeit all the life and energy of a world that is totally alien to the Church’s.
In the middle part of the millennium before Christ a new type of thinking arose, reflecting a new type of existence, called by Karl Jaspers, "axial period," and what distinguished axial man was the new role of rationality in the structure of his existence.
Ross concludes that we have a good general idea as to what Jesus said, and we proceed from this to develop two rules of Christian belief — to identify when a belief is appropriate for Christians and when a belief may be required of Christians.
Eastern religions have probed the human depths with remarkable penetration and seen much that we in the West have neglected. Yet they have not found God. Perhaps the question today is not whether or not we believe in God but how we understand inclusive reality and whether within that understanding we find it appropriate to designate the whole or some element as God. Cobb examines the religious insights of Buddhism, and concludes that Buddhism and Christianity ask different questions to which each gives different answers.
If history has no Lord, and if we individually do not stand under the moral judgment of a transcendent maker, then does our continued concern for critical openness and historical responsibility make sense? There is a cry of terrifying Love, to which it is so much more comfortable to shut our ears and hearts. This cry leads us to the God whom we have been trying to heed as liberal Christians. It is not a figment of our imagination or a product of our wishes. It is there to be discerned if we will be attentive and perceptive.
Thomas learns that orthodoxy about Christ didn’t fall from heaven. It was not even taught by Jesus himself, and can only with difficulty be read back into the writings of Paul. What is orthodox gets decided in every generation in very human struggles within the community of faith.
Out of our earth-world there comes to us the message that death is the end of every creature and every form of finite life, but that always beyond death there is new life of some kind. This observation constitutes a ground for hope — a hope that finds an appropriate idiom in the word ‘resurrection’.
"Theological positivism" reaffirms the hostility of the Reformers to the Scholastic confidence in philosophical reason, and it employs this hostility more systematically as a methodological principle than was possible or necessary for the Reformers themselves. Responsible theology is not essentially different from Biblical exegesis. It can have no second norm beside the revealed Word of God. Since that revelation is self-authenticating and self-interpreting, it needs no second norm.
Christian hope which gathers up all particular human hopes and yet is deeper than any is founded upon the fact of the present creative and redemptive working of God in human life.
If the Christian in all humility subordinates himself to God and recognizes his sin and weakness and his complete dependence on God for his existence and his salvation, there is nothing wrong in thinking that man is the supreme object of God’s concern. Jesus apparently believed this, and so may we.
If we have in us any of the stuff of goodness, God will indeed take us to Himself. If we have no such stuff of goodness, we are, in fact, alienated from God — alienated by our own choice and desire. The former is Heaven; the latter, Hell.
Gautama rejected the quest for a transcendent self, and he purified the reflective consciousness from the last traces of mythical influence. This, he believed, also broke the power of the bond that held the successive moments of experience together in the unity we have called the soul. In the process, therefore, reason was vigorously active, but the goal of this activity was a final passivity of the reflective consciousness toward what is given in the unreflective consciousness.
Brunner’s theology rejects both liberalism and orthodoxy, both subjectivism and objectivism. Liberalism, he declares, has become man-centered and has sought to subject the mystery of God to human reason. As a result, it has become an expression of human religiosity rather than of Christian faith, and its spokesmen have substituted the science of religion for Christian theology.
Cobb holds that if we have in Newton’s God transcendence without wholeness and in Tillich’s God wholeness without transcendence, we need an understanding of God as inclusive of both. We need to think of God as the prod and the lure to liberation and transcendence, and at the same time the inclusive wholeness to which that transcendence distinctively contributes. Now the contemporary women’s movement has raised new questions about God. Does God agree with our deepest attitudes, and thus also oppress women? Although Christianity has been male-oriented in the past, it need not remain so.
What we attend to determines to a great extent how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our vision of reality. Worship is one very important means of influencing what we attend to. It makes a lot of difference whether and what we worship.
In many ways the rise of the new state of Israel is the modern counterpart of the use of the idiom of resurrection to express in metaphorical form the hope of an historical renewal after the national life has been near to the point of extinction.
In the conception of the meaning of history at which we have arrived, we interpret our present life as having its course within and under the reign of Christ. God has revealed His love in Christ with decisive power and clarity. He has made it possible for us to believe in the victory of His love, and to see its beginnings. Yet the victory is not consummated.
The author looks at the resurrection and concludes that indeed some special experience took place, but that the resurrection does not have religious significance for us today.
This chapter considers the story as a form of Christian reflection, and the way in which it is a source for a parabolic theology as it attempts to bring together language, belief and life.
Christ was not just a very good man. The mystery of Christ is the union in Him of God and man, of true deity and true humanity.
Salvation from sin means more than personal sanctification. A regenerated Christian looks outward in sympathy and service to other people — all people of all races, classes, and nations. He takes so seriously the injunction to love God and his neighbor that he cannot be at ease before injustice, evil-doing, or the suffering of others.
Thomas complains, “You seem to think all religions are equally good, that there are many ways to salvation, and we should all just mind our own business. This relativism is just what I feared would happen if the orthodox creeds are abandoned!”
Thomas asks how can one person be both fully God and fully human? Are not deity and humanity external to one another? The Chaplain replies that the more fully God is in us — we call that grace — the more genuinely human we are. Jesus was fully human because he was fully divine.
This chapter discusses autobiography as a source for parabolic theology, as it integrates language, belief and life. It discusses the art and content of true autobiography, then illustrates with religious and secular autobiographies the way in which they provide an important tradition, and provide a theology understandable to contemporary readers.
Grace is the final word of worship and the underlying experience of Christian life. This chapter attempts to make real the historic meaning of grace. Life is grace. It is given to us, and what is given is good. That is the gospel, and it can renew itself in all its strangeness to the modern ear.
Homeric man distanced the world aesthetically and projected into that distance both the numinous powers and his own motives and emotions. Insofar as he was conscious of himself, it was of himself as he appeared in the public world.
If despite all objections, Barth shows the possibility of a theology of revelation that receives its principles from revelation and applies them in turn only to revelation, then all criticism ceases. We must stand either within or without the closed circle of revelation.
The question of Jesus’ divinity is considered. Jesus’ divinity is not Biblical. It is logically impossible (as opposed to a paradox), violates our common sense, and is unnecessary and even unhelpful.
Our faith, our worship, and our life are all knit together in the fact of our Christian membership in the Church.
We do not know God in Christ through one channel only; we know him through the Bible, through the great Christian heritage of the Church, and through the best possible use of our minds. Our experiences in all of these areas are made real, personal, and vital through the Holy Spirit. One channel taken by itself may be deceptive.
Man’s hope depends upon the assertion that through the transforming power of God it is possible for men to love one another.
The distinction between faith and doctrine is highlighted. Faith is the way we live our lives, doctrine is the intellectual explanation of this, so one may have a valid Christian belief that is not factually accurate, if this belief leads one into right relationship.
The God we serve is the giver of this life with its obligations and possibilities. There is no situation in which the Christian cannot find meaning and hope. There is no social or private struggle which cannot yield new hope when we discover that God does not leave us forsaken.
Socrates identified himself with his reason, now understood as active conscious thought based on what is given by the unreflective consciousness and tested against it. The resultant bifurcation of the soul passed through the reflective consciousness itself, recognizing the emotions as part of that consciousness but regarding them as alien to the self.
The Jewish belief in an eschatological resurrection became part of the Christian expression of hope.
Worship is the offering to God of that praise which rightly belongs to Him.
The question is asked: Could people find salvation through other religions — Buddhism, for example?
Trusting grace by no means excludes reasoning. The tendency to disparage reason on the part of both the human potential movement and some existentialists must be countered. The question is not whether to think but what to think about. If we try to decide what to think about by thinking alone, we are driven into a fruitless circle.
Two things must be said unequivocally: first, that it is God who saves us and not we ourselves; and second, that God saves only those who in penitence and obedience respond to his proffered grace. If we do not so respond, we fail to meet the conditions he lays upon us and thus we cannot lay claim to salvation.
For the thoroughgoing existentialist, the death of God means the absolute aloneness of the existent individual and the absence of any given structure of meaning whatsoever. Hence, the question of sin and forgiveness in the Christian sense cannot even arise. The all-important quest is for meaning, and this quest is foredoomed to failure in so far as meaning is still conceived as something given for the individual. Since God, the objective source of meaning, is dead, the only possible source of meaning is the self. The existentialist finds himself, finite being as he is, in the lonely and sovereign role of God, the author of purposes.
Thomas visits a Buddhist group and is severely shaken in his inability to witness to them about his own faith in Christ.
Prophetic man accepted responsibility for the outcome of the conflict of forces within his soul, thereby identifying himself with a center transcending reason and passion alike.
God can never be introduced as a factor into the explanation of this-worldly events. He is radically transcendent, and his acts can never be placed alongside other causal influences in the interpretation of what occurs. From this principle there can be no exceptions, whether we are dealing with events recorded in the Scripture or with the religious experiences of mystics. These events are all subject to explanation in terms of this-worldly causes.
Grace touches us in the very ground of our being at that point of gnawing anxiety about ourselves which is deeper than all the particular worries and fears in which we express it.
The consideration of traditional themes is continued by examining the titles used to answer the question “Who is Jesus of Nazareth?” Looking at traditional titles such as “Savior”, “Lord and Master”, “Son of God” and “Messiah”, we find none of them satisfactory. What is meant by Jesus as “the Christ” is explained.
The Church is the body of which Christ is the Head. It must have no other head but Christ; the governing authorities and all else within it must be subject to him. It exists to exalt the lordship of Christ over all of life. When anything or anybody else becomes supreme, idolatry has corrupted its nature and distorted its function. Christ is the incarnate Word of God, and he alone must reign within it.
The early Christians did not believe in the resurrection, as such, but in the risen Christ. The Easter faith was not an affirmation of the resurrection hope, but an affirmation about Jesus himself; expressed in terms of the idiom of resurrection.
The Eucharist is the crown of Christian worship yet not the whole of it.
The private prayer of a Christian will be given point and significance as it leads to and is itself enriched by regularity of attendance at the public services of the Church.
The Christian is a citizen of two cities, that of God, which in the Church is partially realized; and that of Man, in which he must strive for the relative good which is possible in the realm of space and time.
God condemns, but he does not reject us. Mercy, not judgment, is God’s last word. Therefore, we should not be surprised to find that "there is no conflict between the justice of God and the mercy of God; both spring out of His infinite love for His children." And if this is true, it is certainly true that in response to his self-giving love he bids us love both him and our neighbor.
In his ontology, Tillich places himself in the main stream of Western thought from the pre-Socratics through the great Christian philosopher-theologians down to the German idealists and especially Schelling. His intention is not to develop speculatively a particular form of ontology and defend it against all others. He seeks rather to lift out certain basic features indispensable to philosophical thought.
In three to four centuries before Christ, the resurrection idiom found a new mode of expression, by which some Jewish believers proclaimed their hope for the final vindication of the faithful at the end-time.
On every Lenten journey many people stumble over the paradox of the Christian story. Jesus’ death saves the world, and it ought not to have happened. It fulfills prophecy, but it was the work of sinners. It is a "good bad thing." The attempt to give the crucifixion a general moral (die to self, be …
(ENTIRE BOOK) A primer of traditional Christian doctrine, including creeds, salvation, prayer, death, worship, practice and faith.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A fascinating presentation of sensible answers to many of the questions in the minds of ordinary church people. It is written by a committed Christian who is convinced that much of what the Church has taught as doctrine for most of its twenty centuries is just plain wrong.
Questions directly related to Christian doctrine rarely hit the headlines in Britain these days, and there has been no public theological debate since the furor created by Bishop John Robinson’s Honest to God in 1963. But the publication of a volume titled The Myth of God Incarnate earlier this summer sparked off another controversy that …
Bonhoeffer is undermining the traditional Christian confidence in language, argument, debate; in short, our assurance that we can persuade an indifferent world that it really needs God. He is forcing us to shift our center of attention from theology, apologetics, criticism of culture, the problem of communication, and even from hermeneutics, to the shape and quality of our lives.
The purpose of this study guide is to suggest questions that will encourage frank discussion about Christology.
(How do Christians understand their faith in light of insights gained from history, social science, natural science and other modes of inquiry? How, for example, do Christians understand the book of Genesis in light of scientific investigation into the origin of the universe and of the species? How do they understand theological references to …
(ENTIRE BOOK) Examines, in interesting story form, the question “Was Jesus a religious genius, or was he God in human form, apart from whose saving work we are all condemned to hell?” An excellent tool for undergraduate and adult discussion groups.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminded us that grace is free but not cheap, gratis but not banal, gratuitous but not superfluous. The reformers of the 16th century defined the cost of grace by a single word: repentance. Repentance comes about when “terror strikes the conscience” (Melanchthon). Only thus can grace be truly free: in recognizing our sin, …
More often than we’re comfortable admitting, I think, we find ourselves feeling what many recent theologians say we should: a twinge of uneasiness at speaking of heaven outside of church; the sense that Jesus’ death and resurrection can’t quite be brought to bear on our daily routine, our social life, our moneymaking, our recreation; an …
This is the seventh book in a series of twelve volumes entitled Basic Christian Books.
“Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity.” George Bernard Shaw Peter L. Berger, the most eminent sociologist of religion in the world today, many of whose sociological works as Berger says “read like a treatise on atheism,” has written a mature and skeptical affirmation of Christianity in his new book Questions of Faith: A …
(ENTIRE BOOK) The author critiques both liberal and neo-orthodox presuppositions and then suggests an alternative theological foundation.
Christians are often urged to get over their exclusive focus on Christ’s death. There have been numberless crucifixions, numberless religious sacrifices, we are told. It happens all the time. Yet Christians talk about this death as ‘once for all." They sing: "For my pardon, this I see, / Nothing but the blood of Jesus; / …
The author explains the plan of her book: It has a Foundational part, which looks at metaphor and parable as forms which provide for theological reflection a method of uniting life and thought; and a Constructive part, with poem, story and autobiography as sources for parabolic theology.
The Purpose of this small book is to state the timeless truths of the Christian faith in terms relevant to the perplexities and confusions, the aspirations, joys, and sorrows of modern man in a troubled world. In short, we shall try to see not only what Christians are entitled to believe but also how these …
The author finds himself compelled by Scripture, reason and experience to disagree with much of what constitutes traditional doctrine.
Mason outlines the 1977 Tuohy Chair public lectures by David Tracy and John B. Cobb, Jr. Their theological stances and approaches to meeting them are discussed.
Reluctant as I am to be party to the proliferation of contemporary theologies, much preferring to talk simply about “Christian theology,” I find that the word “theology” appears no longer to have the more or less unequivocal meaning it once had. My preference, therefore, is to identify with “liberation theology,” though I have found this …
More human beings live in abject poverty now than at any moment in the history of the planet. The wars of our century have set records for destructiveness. We have seen genocide practiced with a technical efficiency, that might have caused Genghis Khan to blanch. To the long list of ancient pestilences has been added …
Last year Popular Mechanics announced that a team of British scientists, assisted by Israeli archaeologists, had fashioned “the most accurate image” of the face of Jesus. Assuming that Jesus would have looked like a typical Galilean Semite of his time, the scientists gathered skulls from that date found near Jerusalem and proceeded to reconstruct Jesus’ …
(ENTIRE BOOK) There is a need to make solid theology generally available. The attempt is made here to fill the gap between popular and professional theology.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Says the author: “I have tried in these chapters to share as a liberal Christian with other liberal Christians an understanding of where we are and where we are called to go. I am convinced that liberal Christianity has little future unless it can articulate its stance to itself in such a way as to differentiate itself from the activist, mystical, and psychological movements toward which it gravitates from time to time.”
(ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Cobb provides an overview of contemporary Protestant theology. This theology is confronted by a wide variety of ideas that sometimes agree and sometimes do not. If we are to judge ideas intelligently, we must learn why each theologian affirms them and how he justifies them. Then we can consider both the soundness of the method and the care and consistency with which it is employed.
(ENTIRE BOOK) No single field of study can provide a full picture of human nature and growth. An integral philosophy of man must be founded upon knowledge gained from all areas of inquiry, including the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.
I. The Perspective I take heart from Mark’s indication that what is needed by mid-September is not a finished paper but a discussion-starter of some sort. This frees me to write in a quite personal style and very impressionistically. The task is not, I think, to inform members of the group about matters of which …
The German poet Heinrich Heine stood with a friend before the cathedral of Amiens in France. "Tell me, Heinrich,” said his friend, “why can’t people build piles like this any more?” Replied Heine: “My dear friend, in those days people had convictions. We moderns have opinions. And it takes more than opinions to …
Quite a lot has happened, both in the world and in my mind, in the last ten years. That we — the world and my mind — have come through them even partially intact is cause for earnest gratitude, for the odds often seemed stacked against us. It has been a demented time, a cliff-hanging …
An oxymoron is a locution that produces an effect by means of what in ordinary language is a self-contradiction. I first became aware of oxymorons many years ago when my high school Latin teacher informed our class that our motto would be festina lente (make haste slowly). At the tender age of 16 the maxim …
Those who would support the Christian vision in our time must develop new approaches to meet a genuinely new situation fraught with profound peril to the human spirit but possibly offering also hope for reversing the long decline of faith. One of the major tasks that confronts our generation is the development of a phenomenological-existential history of man’s emergence into various dimensions of consciousness and self-consciousness.
Radical theology is peculiarly a product of the mid-twentieth century; it has been initiated by Barth and neo-orthodoxy into a form of theology which can exist in the midst of the collapse of Christendom and the advent of secular atheism.
This book is an attempt to make theology more available to the general public. Ferré says, "No book has caused me more pain of authorship than this one… If harder writing makes for easier reading, without forfeit of content, the pain is worth while."
A survey of the responsible decisions concerning the present status of Protestant theology: These decisions can only be done if their bases rest upon methodology. Therefore this survey is oriented to the critical study of the methods employed by major theologians.
If the conclusions of this study are accepted, the understanding of the nature and function of the theological enterprise as a whole will be affected. In this and in other ways this book constitutes critical conversation with other current theologies.
My particular perspective within liberal Christianity has been shaped by years of living with the philosophical vision of Alfred North Whitehead. The understanding of grace, which is the single most pervasive theme of these chapters, is derived from him, although the word is not his and he might have been surprised by this use of his thought.
The author holds that the social gospel was too optimistic about man and his progress, while the “neo-orthodox” reaction to the liberalism of the social gospel was too pessimistic. His aim is to find a truer Christian understanding of man and God expressed in a structurally sound theology.
The first section of this book is the result of a series of Tuesday evening meetings at Trinity Church, New York, during November and December of 1953. On those Tuesdays I gave a number of addresses, answering questions often asked by Christian laymen and inquirers; the answers were taken down by tape-recorder and are here …
Written in the sixties, this books was made available again in the nineties. Cobb confesses that changes have come about in his thoughts of the linear view of human progress, the rise of feminism and his critique of existentialism.
Something is missing in contemporary theology. Religious journals devote special issues to asking “Whatever Happened to Theology?” and symposia like the Hartford gathering try to assess the problem and prescribe the cure. Indeed, since the early 1960s theologians have lost both their confidence and their sense of direction. They have capitulated to the demands of …
(ENTIRE BOOK) The aim of the new theology is not simply to seek relevance or contemporaneity for its own sake but to strive for a whole new way of theological understanding. Thus it is a theological venture in the strict sense, but it is no less a pastoral response hoping to give support to those who have chosen to live as Christian atheists.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A helpful examination of the Christian meaning of resurrection — including the difference between belief in Jesus’ resurrection as an historical event, versus resurrection as an expression of faith in the risen Christ. .Resurrection does not mean the endless prolongation of a conscious self but a life of such quality that, having no further concern for self-interest, can transcend death and rise to a fresh mode of manifestation in the lives of men and women who follow.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Ferré discusses the barriers to dialogue and the following questions: Are Theologicans Undermining the Faith? What does freedom mean in an enslaved world? What kind of basic revision is needed in American education? What is the authority of the bible today? What is a definition of God and Christian experience for the twentieth century man?
Members of the theological ensemble who play for one another and for their patrons from the religious establishment regard as eccentric the solos of those who urge us to take with full seriousness the theological significance of the human body. Tom Driver, Arthur McGill, Mary Daly and James Nelson remind us that we are, after …
(ENTIRE BOOK) This book studies the relationship of metaphor and theology. Parables, poems, novels and autobiography are examined as literary forms which address the ways in which metaphor operates in language, belief and life. Thus they are prime resources for a theologian who is attempting to serve the hearing of God’s word for our time, by keeping language, belief and life together in a meaningful and relevant way.
Suggested Reading: Baillie, Donald M. God Was in Christ. New York: Macmillan, 1948. A devout meditation on the history of reflection about the natures of Jesus and his work. It offers a constructive proposal for thinking of the incarnation as the perfect act of grace. Berkouwer, C. G. The Person of Christ, trans. by John …
(ENTIRE BOOK) Based on Lectures by the two authors at John Carroll University. The meaning of God, and how one approaches God are examined. The scientific view, Buddhism, feminism, and the Christian view all differ in their approach to and in talking about God, but all seek God.
Transcendence is "in." It bids fair to become a cant term in popular and theological parlance. The more the world is seen as pressing people down, with never-ending crises and numbing boredom, the more the idea of transcendence flourishes. It is apparently a dimension of experience that holds enormous promise for escape from the mundane …
In his remarkable collection of Hasidic tales, Elie Wiesel tells of a young couple discussing their marriage announcement with the rabbi. The announcement indicated that the wedding would take place in Berditchev (Poland) on a certain date. The Hasidic rabbi, with that peculiar wisdom of the Hasidim, edited the announcement. “The wedding will take place …
The word “unique” has appeared with regularity in recent Christian theology, often as the most fundamental claim. For example, Jesus is said to be unique as the revelation of God or the way of salvation. It is therefore surprising that this complex and confusing word is seldom analyzed. The relation of the Christian church both …
Between every parent and child there is always a combination of emotions — one that includes love and hate, dependence and rebellion. Judaism is Christianity’s parent; that is a fact of history. Unfortunately, it has been the negative side of the combination that has marked most of the relationship between these two faiths through the …
We try to convince others that God is dead. We are not talking about the absence of the experience of God, but about the experience of the absence of God. Yet the death of God theologians claim to be theologians, to be Christians, to be speaking out of a community to a community. They do not grant that their view is really a complicated sort of atheism dressed in a new spring bonnet.
Just as he turned eight, a boy I will call Sam became totally paralyzed and spent three months on a respirator in a coma. The rest of the year he spent in a children’s rehabilitation hospital. He emerged with minor brain damage, learning disabilities, complex emotional problems and severe behavioral problems. Under the strain of …
BOOK REVIEW: God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life, by Catherine Mowry LaCugna. Harper San Francisco, 434 pp., $25.00. On the floor of theological debate in recent decades boisterous voices have been arguing about methodology, ecumenism, hope, liberation and the place of women or other marginalized groups in the conversation. Outside the arena …
If God had not acted in history, if he had remained far removed from events, or if Jesus had not instructed us to pray, and to pray hoping and expecting that God can and does help us, then the problem of evil would not take on the special significance it has for the Christian faith. …
In this era of political and religious conservatism it is appropriate to ask: What is the long-term future of liberal Christianity? We know the short-term future: decline in attendance and retraction in the budgets of many mainline Protestant churches. But what are the prospects for liberal Christianity in 20, 50 or 100 years? First let …
How is the gift of saving faith in Jesus Christ given? To answer this question, we must look closely at the actual phenomena of faith and repentance, the new birth and growth in grace, and ask how the work of Christ is accomplished. How does it happen that someone comes to faith and has faith …
(ENTIRE BOOK) The honest Christian must admit that the God he worships exists only in the past — or he must bet upon the gospel, or "good news," of the God who willed his own death to enter more completely into the world of his creation. And the honest atheist, who lives forlornly bereft of faith, will want to understand this revolutionary and definitive statement about a Christ who is totally present and alive in our midst today, embodied now in every human face.
Protestant theology in the U.S. has entered 1974 in a strange new mood. There is on the one hand breastbeating and cynicism: nothing important in store for ‘74; on the other an inexplicable resolution: we shall not be moved — in the status quo. The word is that theologians don’t trust themselves anymore and have …
An optimism of grace, a worldly optimism faces despair not with the conviction that out of it God can bring hope, but with the conviction that the human conditions that created it can be overcome, whether those conditions be poverty, discrimination, or mental illness. It faces death not with the hope for immortality, but with the human confidence that man may befriend death and live with it as a possibility always alongside.
Experience may be akin to what Dorothy Day once said of property the more common it becomes, the more holy it is. Writers like Wendell Berry, Annie Dillard and Lewis Thomas all speak of the most ordinary things, yet find in a weasel’s stare, a swollen river, a snail’s strange life something far more than …
Imagine for a moment that we meet an angelic visitor who can tell us the future, and we ask whether some person we know will be "saved." Suppose our visitor says, "No, she will not be saved; instead she is going to get everything she truly wants." Suppose, on the other hand, that our visitor …
“Practical Theology” provides the theme for much of today’s discussion about theological education. Experienced voices are calling for a more central role for the practical disciplines–preaching, counseling, education and the like–which are often relegated to the intellectual margins of the seminary. More important, this focus on practice leads to probing questions about the purposes of …
This Easter, as with Easters past, most churches can expect a “good” attendance. If Easter doesn’t bring Christians to church, what will? Even those whose attendance is relatively sporadic — the “Easter Christians” — are aware, however vaguely, of the centrality of the resurrection for faith. Without their faith in the resurrection, the apostles, the …
In the early 1960s I published, my first three articles in The Christian Century, suggesting directions that Christianity should take if it were to function significantly in the future. “The Road Ahead in Religion” (May 25, 1960) proposed that Christianity de-emphasize its claims to uniqueness in favor of a vital universalism, advocating a Creative and …
When the sacred and the profane are understood as dialectical opposites whose mutual negation culminates in a transition or metamorphosis of each into its respective Other, then it must appear that a Christian and eschatological coincidentia oppositorum in this sense is finally a coming together or dialectical union of an original sacred and the radical profane.
Centuries ago in London there lived a gnarl-fisted, Calvinist moneylender to whom a Jewish merchant owed a considerable sum. One day the usurer proposed a vile bargain: he would cancel the debt if the merchant gave him his young and beautiful daughter instead. Otherwise the debtor would rot in jail. Naturally the father was horrified …
(ENTIRE BOOK) An inquiry into what is distinctive in Christianity and into its claim to finality.
Despite the growth of conservative expressions of Christianity during the past decade, many liberal Protestants and Catholics have found that Christian faith is for them increasingly perplexing and ambiguous. The membership losses in mainline Protestant denominations indicate that, at least for some sectors of the population, religious commitment is becoming more problematic. Although changes in …
The history of religions teaches us that Christianity stands apart from the other higher religions of the world on three grounds: (1) its proclamation of the Incarnation, (2) its world-reversing form of ethics, and (3) the fact that Christianity is the only one of the world religions to have evolved — or, in some decisive sense, to have initiated — a radically profane form of Existenz.
I wondered then  why theologians can be so aware of the institutional and historical setting of other people’s theology and so uncritical about their own. I thought that what we really need to learn from the Marxists . . . [was] how the theologian’s locus in the class structure and power fabric of his …
The theologian today is both a waiting man and a praying man. He is sometimes inclined to suspect that Jesus Christ is best understood as neither the object nor the ground of faith, neither as person, event or community, but simply as a place to be, a standpoint. Thus today he stands along side the neighbor, being for him, along side the black, along side of all sorts of groups, to love them, not by apologetics or evangelism, but in honesty and faithfulness.
You’ve written that the first aim of theological education is not to teach pastoral skills or to mold scholars but to convey “wisdom” about “the believer’s existence and action in the world.” What do you mean by this? My point is that theological education cannot be reduced to the learning of clerical skills or to …
“Crisis” is an overworked word. But few will deny that there is a crisis today in Christology, the doctrines of Christ’s work and person. What is not always so clearly recognized is just how long the crisis has been in the making. It is the product, in part, of two characteristics of our modern habits …
Book Review: Creeds and Confessions of Faith In the Christian Tradition. Edited by Jaroslav Pelikan and Valerie Hotchkiss. Yale University Press. 4 vols., 3,796 pp. and CD ROM. $995.00 Credo. By Jaroslav Pelikan. Yale University Press, 609 pp. First of the 4 vol. set, also sold separately at $37.50. Just a few months before …
Why is the death of Christ significant? Some of the church is sure it knows the answer, while much of the rest of the church is deeply uncomfortable with the question. The publicized comment by a feminist theologian at the "Re-imagining" conference a few years ago is only one example of the discomfort: "I don’t …
Through Blake we can sense the theological significance of a poetic reversal of our mythical traditions, and become open to the possibility that the uniquely modern metamorphosis of the sacred into the profane is the culmination of a redemptive and kenotic movement of the Godhead. The Blake who proclaimed that God must eternally die for man, that a primordial Totality must pass through "Self-Annihilation," was the Blake who envisioned a uniquely contemporary Christ, a Christ who becomes Antichrist before he is resurrected as Jerusalem.
Faith must come to know the death of God as an historical event witnessing to the advent of a new form of the Word. As so conceived only the Christian can truly know the death of God because only the Christian is open to the forward movement of history and the Word.