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Theological Reflection and Application
God commanded His people Israel not to mistreat or oppress strangers, as the Israelites were strangers themselves in Egypt (Ex 22:21-22) and God saved and freed them from Egypt (Deut 15:15); not to afflict widows and the fatherless (Ex 22:22-23); lend to the poor without interests (Ex 22:25); to return the pledges made by the poor for their loans before the end of the day (Ex 22:26); not to claim all their natural blessings to themselves, but leave behind what they were unable to gather, so that the poor and strangers could have these leftovers (Lev 19:9); to store tithes in the form of crops in the town assigned to them by God so that the Levites, who have no property or inheritance, the orphans, the widows and strangers may take these when they came (Lev 19:10); to cancel their debtors' debts every seven years (Deut…… [Read More]
The church basically has the responsibility in every generation of evaluating the signs of the times and interpreting them based on the gospel. This is crucial in order for the church to present the gospel is a manner that is suitable and relevant to every generation. One of the most important aspects towards ensuring the gospel is presented in a suitable manner is through theology. Theology consists of several resources that are geared towards promoting theological understanding of the Bible and gospel. These theological resources are usually presented as texts that are not only historical but also contextual in a specific historical setting. As a result, conducting a theological reflection is an important aspect towards understanding the historical setting and context of texts. Moreover, theological reflection helps in understanding a concrete situation or incident in personal experience or pastoral practice.
eview of Articles
Given the importance of theological…… [Read More]
Friendship, Marriage and God
One of the most compelling themes of the Christian gospel is love. Christian love refers to many things including the divine love of God for Creation, and also to human love for each other. Human love can manifest in a number of different ways or types of relationships. Marriage and friendship are two of the most important and universal types of human relationships that are based on love. In spite of differences in culture, language, and ethnicity, all Christians perceive and communicate love in similar ways. Christian love as a strong theological component, as for the first time in recorded history, God became equal to love: "God is love," (1 John 4:8). The Bible also shows how and why love can be psychologically as well as spiritually transformative, which is why the theme of love remains constant throughout the New Testament. Essentially, there are three distinct…… [Read More]
Monologue, a Dialogue with the Self: Reflections on "No Exit" by Sartre
The Self: There is "No Exit" from hell -- not in Christian, theological terms, but by the terms set by Sartre's play of the same name, there is no exit from the self. The varieties of characters that populate the waiting room of hell are condemned for all eternity to examine and reexamine their lives. Socrates may have said that the unexamined life is not worth living, but the over-examined life, when imposed upon the human psyche by reading too much philosophy and self-improvement literature or self-imposed as the result of egocentrism, can be equally eviscerating.
Hell is other people, says the author. Imagine one's self with two individuals one despises, and then one has "No Exit" -- or imagine one's self alone, in a waiting room, locked with the personifications, all of the absurd worries and obsessions…… [Read More]
Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty
Major Schools of Thought and Actors
In Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty, Elaine L. Graham addresses Traditional, Postmodern, Empirical, Liberation and Feminist perspectives on Theology and ultimately on Pastoral Theology. In order to address these perspectives, Graham traces the historical development of each, current theological realities, and prospective "horizons." The result is an extensive review of the Pastoral Theolog (y)(ies) of the Church and its faith communit (y)(ies), viewed very strongly through the feminist pastoral perspective.
As presented by Graham, the Traditional perspective is built on Scripture that is rife with patriarchy and an overarching patriarchal hierarchy. hile providing conventionally binding values and norms, the Traditional perspective is decidedly male-centered: traditionally-based pastoral theology tended to focus on the traits of a good male pastor and was essentially restricted to the pastoral ministry of ordained males.…… [Read More]
ears are blasted daily by the drumbeat of environmental forewarnings. The seas are rising. The glaciers are melting. Don't drive -- take the bus. Recycle. Turn off the lights. Adjust that thermostat. Save the polar bears! Reduce your carbon footprint!
Nothing against carbon, or ecologists, or polar bears, but while society focuses on reducing carbon footprints, why aren't more folks out there creating footprints for God? ho is marching through the pain and the rain and the snow to rekindle faith that God will intercede in broken lives, and will help repair the world's environmental problems if we just put one foot in front of the other in a march towards Christian truth?
hy have we been waiting for inspiration as to what we should do in this troubled world? Are not seeing that global warming and rising sea levels are sending us warning that we need to trust God's…… [Read More]
Liberation Theology as an Analytical Reflection on Praxis, and Where Theology and Humankind Embrace
One among the most important Christian theological developments within the past 100 years is liberation theology. The doctrine's advocates regard it as a novel means to 'do theology', rather than a subfield of theology. The method aims to view the universe with regard to being involved with disadvantaged and subjugated individuals. It also endeavors to discover, within the Bible, analytical instruments as well as the energizing force to bring about drastic change to that universe (Anderson 1979, 4). The direct sources may be traced back to the 60s' developments in Latin America's Roman Catholicism, together with blatant social and economic disparities and widespread local feelings of bias.
This dissertation will look at the above objectives by reviewing the following points: The paper's foremost section will study theology's contextual character and liberation theology's introduction in response to…… [Read More]
One such sin would be to not accept the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit as seen by Guthrie flowed through Jesus Christ. For one to not accept the Holy Spirit, then one would not be able to accept Jesus and not be a Christian, not be apart of God's salvation.
For Christian life, discipleship, and ministry, hopeful signs appear. The struggle present itself in that research in the theological realm follows the lines drawn out by Scripture, and avoids the extremes and excesses, in various directions, that have reared their heads throughout the history of Christian thought. With the start of the new millennium, systematic theology faces struggles and opportunities. Yet these are not merely issues of academic interest. Some of these developments are good, some are not.
In conclusion to answer the question "Who are the people of God?" In biblical terms forces the systematic theologian to wrestle with…… [Read More]
As Jeffrey Stout has it, following James' "Will-to-Believe," "We need not agree on all matters of moral importance to agree on many, and where our judgments happen to coincide we need not reach them for the same reasons." (Fackre, 2003)
Fackre states that there are five pluralist views as follows:
View 1: Common Core. At the center of all the great religions of humankind is found a common core of divine (however conceived) doing, disclosing and delivering. Each faith approaches it through its own heroes, expresses it in its own language, celebrates it in its own rituals, formulates it in its own rules of behavior, and passes it on in its own communal forms. While the rhetoric of each religion may claim that its way, truth and life are for all, these absolutist professions are, in fact, "love talk," the metaphors of commitment, not the metaphysics of reality. Jesus is,…… [Read More]
According to Elwell this group of fourteen works, all of which have been translated into many languages including English form "the most monumental evangelical theological project of this century." (151) Elwell goes on to describe the works as, "written in an almost conversational style, these volumes deal with topics of theological concern, such as divine election, faith and sanctification, Holy Scripture, and the church, rather than presenting a tightly argued system of thought." (151) Finally according to Elwell and despite Berkouwer's shift in theology regarding human dealings, i.e. regret for spreading lack of tolerance for human differences of opinion Berkouwer, "never wavered from his commitment to the principles of Scripture, faith and grace alone." (151)
Berkouwer also wrote works of criticism against other theologian, most notably Karl Barth and Catholicism which are well read and famous in their theological arguments and as representative of his mid life shift in thought.…… [Read More]
Human Qualities of the Theologian
The task of the theologian is that of utter responsibility and the necessity of having a connection to his church and the world outside of it. It is definitely not a task for the faint of heart. Among the many intricate and often overlapping tasks of a theologian is the necessity of fostering a sense of understanding with faith and theology. "Christians want to understand what they believe, what they can hope for, and what they ought to love" (Migliore, 2004). Thus, while Christianity is able to have trust and obedience in the hope and love of God, theology has to struggle with some of the more difficult issues connected to this journey, via reflection, inquiry and the pursuit of truth (Migliore, 2004). Thus, the theologian must pursue truth and keep asking questions while instilling his work and his journey with a certain amount of…… [Read More]
In or around the year 1325, an unknown German artist sculpted a dramatic scene central to the story of Christ: the moment at which ary laments the death of her only son. This poignant moment is known as "the pity," or pieta. The pieta scene was popularized toward the end of the thirteenth century, making the Roettgen pieta one of the earliest and most historically significant representations this particular moment of passion. The scene is one that would become pervasive in Christian art and iconography, and studies of pieta sculptures can serve as proxy studies of the evolution of Western art, and Christian-themed Western art in particular. At the time the Roettgen pieta was created, pieces like these were known in German as Andachtsbild, or images used for contemplation[footnoteRef:1]. These images were especially common in Germany during the late medieval and Romanesque periods.[footnoteRef:2] oreover, "as affective meditations increased…… [Read More]
History of Judaism: From biblical origins to the modern period." It discusses Genesis 1-11 and what these texts tell us about the origins of Israelite religion? What do the major episodes in these 11 chapters of the Torah tell us about the differences between classical Mesopotamian paganism and the origins of Israelite thought and religion?
History of Judaism: From biblical origins to the modern period
Genesis is the book of beginnings. That is what the word itself means, and it takes us back into the very dawn of human history. It opens with an awareness of the greatest material fact in all human life; a fact that we are all subconsciously aware of almost every waking moment, that is, that we are living in a universe. Then this galaxy itself is moving at incredible speed through the vastness of space in conjunction with millions of other galaxies like ours. It…… [Read More]
Had the Enlightenment adequately prepared 19th century readers for Darwin's Origin of the Species? The Enlightenment view of the science of life was neatly summed up by Diderot in his Encyclopedia, in many ways a signature product of the Enlightenment's dedication to setting forth the foundations of human knowledge. As Diderot notes in his prefaratory comments, what we call biology falls under the heading of "Natural History":
The divisions of natural history derive from the existing diversity of the facts of nature, and the diversity of the facts of nature from the diversity of the states of nature. Either nature is uniform and follows a regular course, such as one notes generally in celestial bodies, animals, vegetables, etc.; or it seems forced and displaced from its ordinary course, as in monsters; or it is restrained and put to different uses, as in the arts. Nature does everything, either in…… [Read More]
The term "neo-orthodoxy" refers to a 20th century movement among Protestant theologians -- in the United States and in Europe -- that emerged following the bloody carnage of orld ar I. The disillusionment that several Christian theologians -- and millions of others impacted by the ar -- experienced led to a rejection of the liberal Christian movement which had urged the adaptation of an ongoing sense of optimism that seemed to cling to the literal translation and understanding of the Bible. Some parts of the Bible simply could not be true, according to neo-orthodoxy, and this point-of-view continues today albeit not under the neo-orthodoxy movement per se.
This paper reviews the tenets of neo-orthodoxy and embraces the writings and the philosophies of notable theologians like Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Rudolf Bultmann, and Reinhold Niebuhr. These theologians are linked by their understanding of neo-orthodoxy, and by their advocacy of neo-orthodoxy;…… [Read More]
Pastoral Theology: What it means to 'read the signs'
One basic belief that lies behind the social teaching of Catholics is that the Almighty has shaped human history. This biblical era perception transcends time, prevailing even today. Indeed, it holds true in areas and among civilizations wherein God's word is accepted as well as among civilizations that were completely unaware of Christ or the gospel. God is in action, redeeming and healing humanity and inviting it to contribute to this work. Perceiving God's historical actions and understanding His invitation, is now, typically called: "reading the signs of the times." In the modern social thought of Catholics, this term is based on the following statement of Christ's to Sadducees and Pharisees: "You know how to read the face of the sky, but you cannot read the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:4). Pope Saint John XXIII first utilized this phrase in…… [Read More]
Ethics and Social esponsibility:
Immigration and Amnesty in the United States
The question of immigration, especially in this country, is ever-present. From our past, and well into our future, the United States will be a nation of immigrants. However, as political candidates raise a number of questions relating to immigrants south of the border, one must wonder about how immigration has grown into such a hotly debated issue, and how it is separating this country. Though it is true that the United States needs immigration reform, one must also look at the traditions of the country, and how they can protect the less fortunate, especially in the area of immigration. The reason this must happen is because most come here with notions of a better place, where they can live safely and freely, and prosper as individuals. This nation ought to offer that to all individuals, for that is…… [Read More]
Ma Pastoral Theology -- Spiritual Abuse
HEN THE SYSTEM BECOMES THE PERSECUTOR
Veenhuizen's dissertation explores spiritual abuse, using Relational Theology to understand a healthy spiritual relationship vs. spiritual abuse. In Relational Theology, God offers a bilateral covenant with Him and with others of unreserved love and commitment with the gifts of blessing to anyone accepting His offer. Spiritual abuse sharply contrasts with God's covenant. Spiritual abuse has existed for quite some time; consequently, theological writers such as Veenhuizen and mental health professionals have all addressed the causes, discernment and treatment of spiritual abuse.
Foundation of Relational Theology
Veenhuizen's dissertation correctly shows that there are various definitions of Spiritual Abuse (Veenhuizen, 2011). The most inclusive one found in my research is from Lisa Oakley's "Developing safeguarding policy and practice for Spiritual Abuse" (Oakley & Kinmond, 2014). After studies and interviews with numerous survivors of Spiritual Abuse, Oakley and her team concluded…… [Read More]
People of God
When Is a Person Truly "In" the People of God?
When Is A Person Truly "In" The People Of God?
"Inclusivism" is a term that encompasses a fairly wide range of positions, as J.A. DiNoia notes in his book, The Diversity of eligions. DiNoia's definition is broad enough to encompass both a minimal and a maximal form of inclusivism. The maximal form is asserted by those who believe that "all religious communities implicitly aim at the salvation that the Christian community most adequately commends." Non-Christian religious bodies may think and act as if their ultimate goals are distinctively different from the church's. However, their goals in fact orient them to some degree towards Jesus Christ, and to the extent that they do, their concrete identities may be truthful and their way of life leads to salvation. A minimal version of inclusivism says little or nothing about the…… [Read More]
One of the authors in the review, in fact details a reporting system that effectively makes the use of force scene an investigated crime scene, where forensic and other evidence, physical and testimonial, is collected to develop a clear understanding of the events as they unfolded. (2005) Some would argue that this sort of method smacks of the police policing the police, and yet the OSCE Guidebook and many experts would argue that this sort of transparency is necessary for public trust and the insurance of reduced opportunity for corruption at every level. (2006) This emphasis on transparency is relatively new to policing, but in my opinion is demonstrative of positive social change and the eventual development of a much clearer sense on the part of the police, their governing agencies and the public of the nature and definitions of justifiable.
Suspect Coercion by Force or Threat of Force:
Klokar's…… [Read More]
Dante, Boethius, And Christianity
Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy, of which the Inferno is the first of three books, called Boethius, an early Christian, "The blessed soul who exposes the deceptive world to anyone who gives ear to him." But Boethius was not a non-conflicted Christian, and it seems, neither was Dante, who wrote the Divine Comedy at least partly as a sort of historical-political payback. (For example, in Canto VI of the Inferno, Ciacco mentions Pope Boniface VIII, the reigning Pope of his time, "whose intervention in the affairs of the city was, in Dante's view, a main cause of its miseries" (Sinclair, p. 95). St. John, on the other hand, was a non-conflicted Christian, who believed wholly in Jesus as the son of God, and entertained no other ideas. Although he likely wrote, and therefore thought in Greek, his devotion to Jesus, as one of Jesus'…… [Read More]
Apocalyptic/Theology Experience in Economics
One of the first principles of liberty is the ability of the people in a free society to have the ability to have their own enterprise. In many nations the way that the government, which is for the government and not the people, keeps the people from advancing is that they take away their speech, religion and ability to make their own money. Therefore, it is important that the United States and other estern democracies were founded on the precepts of monetary as well as personal liberty. But this is not a program that is specific to these types of democracies because the Catholic Church had long fought for the rights of the people prior to the founding of these national governments. This practice has carried forward to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and it has greatly impacted the financial philosophy of both the…… [Read More]
Gustavo Gutierrez did just that in Latin America, employing Marxist analysis to interpret the Jesus' teachings in the Gospel. Gutierrez founded Liberation Theology, which is, essentially, the twentieth century take on Violence and the Cross. Christ is viewed less as Redeemer and more as Liberator.
Evans discusses this same interpretation in black theology, which is, essentially, a continuation of Liberation Theology: "In spite of the ravages of their kidnapping and the disorientation that they endured, African slaves retained an outlook on their experience that continually reaffirmed their worth as individuals and as a people…The Jesus whom they encountered as they were exposed to the Bible was a caring and liberating friend who shared their sorrows and burdens" (12). Yet, in black theology, Jesus does not bring grace through suffering that can perfect one's nature and lead one's soul to Heaven (as classical theology insists); in black theology, Jesus is the…… [Read More]
An Analysis of the Priesthood "in persona Christi" and "in nominee ecclesiae"
The questions that surround the functions of the priesthood and the diaconate today appear to be part and parcel of the greater uncertainty that surrounds ancient Church customs. This paper will attempt to analyze the meanings of the phrases "in persona Christi" and "in nomine ecclesiae" as they have reflected the functions of the ministers of the Church both in the past and in today. The conclusion of this research is that while the traditional Church maintained a clear definition (and reverent propriety regarding the mystery of the priestly aspect), today's Church is less sure of the role and function of the minister in relation to Church hierarchy and Church laity.
In Persona Christi
Historical Background: the Vestments
Pius XII's (1947) encyclical Mediator Dei describes for us the aspect of the priest in relation to Jesus…… [Read More]
After considering the particular language of Philippians 2:5, it becomes clear that one may read this clause as containing either no verbs, a single repeated verb, or a verb and a noun referring to related concepts. In all likelihood, the most accurate interpretation of this verse is a combined reading of all three, because only by considering each interpretation can one begin to understand the multifaceted state of being it attempts to describe. Appreciating how the verse serves as an introduction into the particular way Jesus managed to enact God's will through his human existence allows one to understand how the notion of kenosis refers not only to Jesus' emptying out of his own human will in order to enact God's, but also the process which is presupposed by any Christian; that is, Jesus' existence as both God and man serves as the idealized example of the Christian life itself,…… [Read More]
ender to Ceasar the Things That Are Ceasars
ender unto the Caesar the Things that are Caesar's
"ender unto Caesar what belong to the Caesars" is the beginning a phrase ascribed to Jesus in the synoptic gospel, which fully reads, "ender unto the Caesar what are Caesar's, and unto God what belong to God." This phrase has been a widely quoted and controversial summary on the relationship between the contemporary secular authorities and Christianity. The origin of this message was from the response posted to a question on how lawful it was for the Jews to pay taxes to the Caesar. This phrase gave rise to all possible and multifaceted interpretations (obert & Miller 1995, 421) concerning the conditions under which it could appear desirable for Christians to earthily commit themselves to earthly authorities. All the three synoptic gospels elicit a group of hostile questioners who tried to trick Jesus…… [Read More]
This course changed my concept of what it meant to be a Christian in three fundamental ways, all focused on what it means to me to be a Christian in modern society, rather than on the theological underpinnings of Christianity. This course helped me realize that Christianity is not merely a system of belief, which is how many people conceive of religion. Instead, Christianity must be a combination of action and belief. However, it also made me more committed to some of the fundamental underpinnings of Christian theology, which I had admittedly abandoned in my own desire to equate being a Christian with being a good person and trying to do the right thing. However, reading this book, I came to the realization that I was failing to embrace all of Christianity. Just as it is necessary, but not sufficient, to be a good person in order to honestly…… [Read More]
eligious Liberty as Stated in the First Amendment
The practical and legal ramifications of religious liberty are not difficult to determine, for they follow from the theological implications of the concept of religious liberty. The idea of religious truth, such as defined by the North Carolina state government in 1776 which forbade anyone from serving who denied the truth of the Protestant religion, has no place in a country that holds religious liberty as law. Yet, religious liberty has not always been practiced, as North Carolina and Maryland (which was officially declared an Anglican state in 1692) both show. Today, the first amendment has been ratified to make such claims untenable. Nonetheless, many scholars question whether religious liberty itself is defensible. By acknowledging the right of religions to be exercised publicly, the U.S. constitution sets the stage for a massive fight between various and contending religious beliefs, which…… [Read More]
" It caused missionaries to deal with peoples of other cultures and even Christian traditions -- including the Orthodox -- as inferior. God's mission was understood to have depended upon human efforts, and this is why we came to hold unrealistic universalistic assumptions. Christians became so optimistic that they believed to be able to correct all the ills of the world." (Vassiliadis, 2010)
Missiology has been undergoing changes in recent years and after much serious consideration Christians in the ecumenical era "are not only questioning all the above assumptions of the Enlightenment; they have also started developing a more profound theology of mission. One can count the following significant transitions:
(a) From the missio christianorum to the missio ecclesiae;
(b) the recognition later that subject of mission is not even the Church, either as an institution or through its members, but God, thus moving further from the missio ecclesiae to…… [Read More]
Gnostics believed that they belonged to the "true church" of an elect few who were worthy; the orthodox Christians would not be saved because they were blind to the truth.
Part E -- Content - if we then combine the historical outline of the "reason" for John's writings with the overall message, we can conclude that there are at least five major paradigms present that are important in a contextual analysis of John.
John 5:13 - I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This seems to point that John saw a clear difference between those who believed in Jesus as the Son of God, but were unsure about eternal life. However, if we look back at other parts of his Gospel, we do find repetition of this theme. In John 1:5-7,…… [Read More]
7I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house; I also had great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and of the provinces; I got singers, both men and women, and delights of the flesh, and many concubines.*
9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom remained with me. 10 hatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them; I
kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had spent in doing it, and again, all was vanity and a chasing after…… [Read More]
In her eyes, supporting religion was tantamount to supporting oppression.
Cut to another scene with the same girl, in my high school cafeteria. Now we are sitting side-by-side, talking like friends. She talks about how pressured she feels by her family to enter the field of law, but she would prefer to study something more meaningful than political science when she goes to college. She criticizes members of our generation for not caring about what is going on in the world, and our lack of social responsibility.
Ironically, it is the members of my faith community that seem to have used their belief as a touchstone of social activism to reach out and to help others. A concerned interest in the point-of-view of other people, and a desire to help them is the essence of the selflessness of faith, and it is also the essence of the dispassionate yet personally…… [Read More]
She epitomizes pragmatic reality, and by so doing, in a certain manner assumes tangible metaphysical form. ather than being apart and indistinct from humans, the Lady has become absorbed in the Mexican culture and has become such an endearing figure precisely due to the fact that she is seen as part of their suffering and as corporal liberal embodied in incorporeal form that is part of -- the essence of -- their very being. In that way, she is more animate than inanimate and possesses enduring capacity.
Part II. Major theological themes that can be infered from the works of Jeanette odriguez and Nancy Pineda-Madrid on Our Lady of Guadalupe
Various replicative theological themes can be inferred from the works of these authors. The essay elaborates on them.
Mary's relationship to the American-Mexican woman, i.e. As symbol that is stereotyped by a supercilious, dominating majority, but that appears…… [Read More]
Theology: The aptism Debate
Peter's encouragement sermon on the Day of Pentecost -- "repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38) has been the source of raging debate, marred by conflicting views on i) whether Peter was referring to spirit or water baptism; and ii) whether through the phrase 'be baptized…the forgiveness of sins', Peter was identifying baptism as a requirement for salvation[footnoteRef:1]. In other words, should Peter's exhortation be interpreted at face value, or should it be understood some other way? This text purposes to interact with the opposing views on these issues, examine their theological and syntactic viability, and then conclude with an interpretation that aligns with both the immediate and the larger contexts of the verse in question. [1: 1 ruce Compton, "Water aptism and the…… [Read More]
To combat subjectivity, he called for interpretation to be subject to church authority, which was the voice of reason. Reardon (1981) echoes this interpretation: "Hooker sets out to refute the puritan contention that in religion holy scripture affords the sole and absolute authority and rule" (p. 280). Hooker shows that the narrow principle of sola scriptura "disregards the larger context of the divine law in creation within which even the scriptural revelation must be placed if we are to understand its proper scope and purpose" (Reardon, 1981, p. 280). Not far from the Reformers, they upheld the idea that the directly inspired written word contains supernatural revelation. There is perhaps less emphasis on preaching and proclamation in the Anglicans than in the Reformers.
hat is the status of the creeds and traditions? In Anglicanism, the Nicene, the Athanasius, and the Apostle's creeds are stressed as true because they are taken…… [Read More]
Identify prejudices and biases in traditional Christian approaches to non-Christian religions, both in general and specifically.
Identify possible objections to Christianity, in terms of theology, ethics, and missiology.
esolve the challenges associated with new era missiology and new era ministry, by developing a comprehensive plan for the future.
Materials: Today's materials will be the same as the previous days.
9:00-9:10: Opening prayer
9:10-11:00: Crash course/review of world religions based on credible source material written from each faith's point-of-view or from a non-biased, scholarly source.
11:00-12:00: Each participant uses his or her personal electronic device or notebook to write down specific areas of concern and possible roadblocks to interfaith dialogue.
1:00-2:00: Share the concerns addressed by each participant openly, engaging in a dialogue of our own. Understanding that our participants are from diverse backgrounds, each will have unique perspectives on multiple faiths. Some will have had first-hand experiences…… [Read More]
Christian Church acknowledges its missionary function as truly the core of Christianity, the heart of the Church. Through Christ's teachings, mission is the foreground of His legacy to the Church, the instrument for redemption. The guiding principles at the basis of the Church's mission exist as transparently related by the ible which in itself transcends all worldly knowledge and phenomena. God, as the Holy Trinity, reveals Himself through the biblical record in order to communicate with man candidly and openly, sends His only son into the world in order to claim Him back to the offspring of wholeness, and puts forth a missionary pattern for His followers: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13:34, 15:17 King James ible) "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the…… [Read More]
As the light changes during the course of a day, the colors change as well; reds and yellows get more brilliant at noon, blues become brilliant as the light fades in the afternoon. All the while, the pictures tell important stories or symbolize truths. Light radiating through glass adds life, beauty, is transcendent, and spiritual connections become apparent.
The above rather elaborate description is cited at length in order to provide insight into the way that stained glass windows and ornamentation can evoke a spiritual and 'transcendent' quality that is particularly in keeping with a religious context such as a church. As referred to in the previous section, the use of stained glass is also strongly related to the Christian symbolism of light. As Web ( 2007) states, "A light philosophy ("God is light") was expressed, and it was thought that light reflected on earth is the closest we can…… [Read More]
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas lived and died between 1225-74. He was an Italian philosopher and theologian. He was the Doctor of the Church, also acknowledged as the Angelic Doctor. He is the supreme stature of scholasticism, one of the most important saints of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as, originator of the system acknowledged by Pope Leo XIII to be the legitimate Catholic philosophy (1).
This article argues that Thomas Aquinas's political philosophy is un-egalitarian. Not only does Aquinas disappoints to give his support to an egalitarian outlook of political impartiality, but so as to explain his political philosophy properly one has got to ascribe to him an idea intensely undemocratic in its repercussions. This paper proposes, consequently, that by means of Aquinas's thought, as a rational foundation for democracy would need a considerable reconsideration of his own point-of-view.
The purpose of this paper is neither to call…… [Read More]
In explaining his theories and conceptions regarding the divine nature, the writer helps us understand what the Thomistic school of thought is. It must be underlined that the Thomistic conceptions reach a very profound philosophical level. Regardless of this the author of the book under review manages to introduce them to the general audience through a language and a manner which make them accessible to everyone. Religious issues such as the revelation, the creation of the world in general and of things in particular are briefly explained in a manner which allows the reader to grasp their fundamental meaning. In addition, the writer makes some notes about the Thomistic virtues, explaining Aquinas' contribution to the development of the religious thought.
It is interesting to notice that McDermott's selection includes figures who come from various backgrounds and environments. From Aquinas we pass to Martin Luther, who, in his opinion is the…… [Read More]
Although Carey's journal reportedly ends prematurely, he continued to write letters for the next thirty years.
Carey understood the value in/of education, medicine, and other works. He continually encouraged missionaries to travel to the hinterland "and build an indigenous Christianity with vernacular Bibles and other writings and native-led churches."
For his mission to succeed, hile it simultaneously retained its core, Carey purported, it had to not only fill the eternal needs of people missionaries shared the gospel with, but also their day-to-day needs.
During his day-to-day life, Carey was also a husband and father. The following relates details regarding his three marriages.
Dorothy Plackett Carey (1755?-1807): Married illiam Carey in 1781. She was 25 and he was 19. Their marriage was a contrast in ability and interests. She was reluctant to leave England and go to India. Only after much perusasion and on the condition that her sister, Kitty,…… [Read More]
Furthermore, the Bible has influenced the evolution of language. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Old and New Testament are filled with phrases and maxims that have become part of common vernacular, such as "nothing new under the sun" from Ecclesiastics.
One of the overarching themes of this course has been to approach the Bible as a multi-authored collection. Each book possesses unique tones and perspectives that emerge upon close and comparative readings. The collective aspect of the Bible becomes especially clear when reading the Gospels of the New Testament. The alternative perspectives of the life of Jesus of Nazareth sometimes offer contradictory stories and interpretations of his life. Learning about the historical time frame for the Gospels surprised me considerably, as it too often seems that the books of the Bible were written concurrently.
Nothing in particular bothered me about studying the Bible from an academic perspective.…… [Read More]
William Styron's novel Sophie's Choice presents an almost unimaginably terrible moral dilemma to the reader. In the novel, the character Sophie and her two children are taken to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-irkenau during the Nazi purge of the Jews. When entering the camp and being examined by an SS officer that is also a doctor, she tells the doctor that there has been a mistake, that she is not Jewish, but Catholic, and that she should be spared. Allegedly sympathizing with her, the doctor then allows Sophie a "reward," and her reward is to be able to save one of her children -- but she must choose which one is to be saved and which one is to die right there on the spot. There are several ways that one could ultimately view Sophie's decision to save Jan, her elder boy, such as using a Kantian, a utilitarian, or…… [Read More]
She answered that no one had condemned her. Jesus then said to her, "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8:11).
Because the woman was not stoned in the end, many interpret it to mean that Jesus changed Mosaic law and then this argument is extended to capital punishment in general. However, Jesus still left the opportunity for her to be stoned. If one of the people in the crowd had been without sin, then the woman would have still been stoned. He did not tell them not to stone her, he only set a condition on who should cast the first stone. He said nothing about the second or third stone, only the first. Luckily, for the woman, there were no qualified takers who could cast the first stone. Therefore, Jesus did not abolish capital punishment in this passage.…… [Read More]
exegesis and demonstrate what is needed in order to do a proper exegesis of a passage of scripture. In doing so name at least three different methods of scriptural criticism and explain how they assist in the exegetical task.
In a strictly definitional sense, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, to conduct an "exegesis" merely means to embark upon a critical explanation or analysis of a text. (American Heritage Dictionary, exegesis, 2000) However, this neutral term contains, within its innocent sounding syllables, contains a long history of contentiousness, regarding scriptural interpretation. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "exegesis" within the context of scriptural criticism is the branch of theology that investigates and expresses the true sense of Sacred Scripture. (Catholic Encyclopedia, "exegesis," 2001) The true sense is not merely understood, even by the devout, as a unified study, however.
To conduct an appropriate exegesis one must first understand the literal meaning…… [Read More]
Therefore, they are compelled to choose what they do in order to instantiate God's foreordainment of history. It wouldn't seem to make sense, therefore, for the person to attempt to change their circumstances or to fight against fate. Affliction, tragedy and evil would be just what God wishes to throw at an individual, who could scarcely escape its occurrence. This seems to suggest a response of futility toward life in which all is merely endured and passes almost robotically. At the same time, one might interpret it as comforting, for it eliminates the human's striving and desire to achieve something before the eyes of God. Or if God allows good to enter a life, this good is not deserved or merited, but is purely random. God's character would appear fickle, if not even unjust, for subjecting people to a predestined fate they cannot hope to change. Perhaps the main problem…… [Read More]
hile other beings are considered to have love or act in loving ways, only God is determined to be love. Every action executed by God is derived from this essential principle that He is love. Love is the lens though which we understand and interpret all of God's actions.
The love of God is described by the use of the word agape in the Epistle of John. Agape love is unique to God, and proceeds from God to others. "Love is God's essence" (Kreeft 95) Thus to state that God is agape is to speak of God in terms that are the most accurate representation of the divine. The New Testament employs other words to express the tender bonds between human beings, (philla, and eros) that are translated love. However, they do not assume the same immensity and generosity of person, as agape.
"God is love." is the center of…… [Read More]
Moreover, Malachi Martin describes the theology as "a freeing from political oppression, economic want, and misery here on earth. More specifically still…a freeing from political domination by the capitalism of the United States."
Furthermore, though it grew out of the unrest in Latin America "with its political domination by strong-arm leaders and monopolistic oligarchies," viewed by members of the Church as a direct result of American capitalism, the events in Latin America were preceded by a much more basic historical development -- the "rights of man" extrapolated from the French Revolution and re-coined as the "rights of the working man."
The spread of Marxist doctrine in the early twentieth century saw its incorporation into Catholic theology by several prominent professors right up to the time of the Second Vatican Council, upon which Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz certainly based her theology, and pursued her concept of "evangelical poverty": union with the…… [Read More]
Therefore, the research conduced on the word of God can be a useful means through which a priest can become a better preacher by adapting his sermons in such a manner as to insure that he does not exclude certain parts of his community and addressing only the ones that believe or the ones than need to be shown the path of God.
Another important role played by theology for the priest is the knowledge that this exercise provides in better understanding the word of God in the way that it becomes accessible to all the community, regardless of background. More precisely, the Holy Book although speaks of generally applicable truths, has a lot of interpretations. The study of theology allows the priest to be in deep contact to these interpretations and be aware of the teachings and adapt its sermons. Also, it is important for the preacher to understand…… [Read More]
Brueggemann/Linafelt "The Introduction Prophets" Mckenzie's "Not Exactly It Happened" The Deuteronomistic History Compared Other Histories Its Time." In Mckenzie, read pp. 23-36, including "Etiology Genesis: Other Examples;" pp.
1. What's prophetic about "The Former Prophets"?
The prophetic aspect is the capability of re-interpreting the entire lived truth, including Israel's history as well as the known, Biblical-era Near East's power relations, based on the just as tangible reality (within this particular reading), of Yahweh's rule. The Former Prophets' established framing is achieved via a sound interpretative process, which typically rearranges literature in a canonical form, out of something that it earlier wasn't.
2. What does it mean that Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings are a single literary piece written from a single interpretive angle?
It was a bold suggestion by Noth, challenging scholars who viewed Joshua, Samuel, Kings, and Judges as a compilation of numerous sources, that the comprehensive "historical" chronicle…… [Read More]
How would one find the patience to persevere with the methods and practices recommended by the author here when the patient, despite their best conscious intentions and statements, does not really (at least initially) want to devote themselves to the necessary spiritual and psychological tasks necessary to achieve healing? As effective as the methods McMinn describes may be, there are doubtless many cases of extreme resistance in counseling; how can the counselor find a balance between a vigorous attempt to encourage true healing and development and the level of spiritual understanding and theological distance that is required in order to provide effective Christian counseling?
After having read this book, I will make a conscious effort to obtain a greater knowledge of scripture and the ways in which it can impact day-to-day life. While I felt I had a decent understanding of scripture before, the way in which the author…… [Read More]
" (Pettersson, 2006) Oral and written verbal art languages are both used for the purpose of information communication as well as information presentation with the reader and listener receiving an invitation to consider the information.
The Narrative & the Symbolic
The work of Abiola Irele (2001) entitled: "The African Imagination: Literature in Africa & the lack Diaspora" states that Hampate a "...incorporates the essential feature of the oral narrative at significant points in his work in order to reflect their appropriateness to situations and for special effects. Their conjunction with the narrative procedures sanctioned by the Western model thus enlarges their scope and give them an unusual resonance. At the same time, although he writes with conscious reference to this Western model, he does not feel so constrained by the framework of its conventions that he is unable to go beyond its limitations. His departures from the established codes of…… [Read More]
For elderly patients who have no one to appoint as their proxy, completing a living will that outlines their wishes is preferable to not providing any information at all about care preferences. This is equally so for patients who want to provide their proxy with some guidance about their treatment preferences and end-of-life care wishes, including artificial nutrition, ventilator support, and pain management. A living will (LW) provides specific instructions to health care providers about particular kinds of health care treatment that an individual would or would not want to prolong life. Living wills are often used to declare a wish to refuse, limit, or withhold life-sustaining treatment when an individual is unable to communicate. All but three states (New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan) have detailed statutes recognizing living wills. The usefulness of LWs is limited, however, to those clinical circumstances that were thought of before the person became incapable…… [Read More]
Like Khan, Huxley focused on the sensations of the person (himself) having the mystical experience. During his experience, Huxley felt he had no impairment in his mind or gaze, an intensity of vision without an outer and imposed substance to induce the hallucination, and had a sense that his impetus of motion or will was impaired into a state of stasis (a direct contrast with Khan's focus on the ability of music to provide motion to parallel the nature of the divine). Above all, Huxley called his sense of harmony through visual means mystical because his visual experience eliminated any sense of division inner/outer divide in perception. As he looked at the flower, and Huxley felt he was becoming the flower.
This stands in direct contrast to Kepler's schema of harmony, which is dependant upon perceptions of distinction from outside, as an observer perceives defined opposites. Kepler's definition of harmony…… [Read More]
In your view, how can Christians and Muslims work to understand one another better?
One of the first ways Christians and Muslims can work to understand one another is to recognize their shared heritage as "people of the book." Their religions are important to their identities and worldviews, and knowing this will also shed light on their common ground. Both Christians and Muslims believe in the veracity of the Hebrew Bible as the cornerstones of their religion. The common grounds between the two faiths, including the stories of the Old Testament, can be starting points for religious dialogue.
Once Christians and Muslims realize they are from a common background, they may be able to inspire compassion in one another. However, it is also important for Christians and Muslims to recognize and understand d their differences and more importantly, respect those differences. Valuing diversity, Christians and Muslims can appreciate that…… [Read More]
" (Merton, 97) This speaks to the premise that have an opportunity live up to the standards and expectations of the Lord and should thus not attempt to diminish Him by reducing ourselves.
4. The Church, while divided into countless denominative cells, is altogether a permanent seat of political power, moral influence and cultural relevance. Its beginnings were, however, the unlikely sequence of events which conveyed the phenomenon of one great man's sacrifices to peoples all over the world. The story of the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the seedling for the saga of Catholicism as an ethical and ideological leader of the world community.
An instrumental part of the story of Jesus, and thus a foundational belief defining the faith of Catholics, is that the resurrection was a measure of the immortal soul, brought back to earth by God's mercy. It is said that…… [Read More]
Assessing the ability of these individuals to perform basic tasks in their daily lives can also have much significance (Marshall, Warren, Hand, Xie, & Stumbo, 2002). Many older Americans are able to feed and clothe themselves without apparent problems, but others are not as fortunate (Marshall, Warren, Hand, Xie, & Stumbo, 2002). If they are unable to do these things correctly without help, their nutritional status will often suffer (Marshall, Warren, Hand, Xie, & Stumbo, 2002). Patients who are older should be assessed for their ability to do these simple tasks, and also for their ability to perform slightly more complex tasks such as fixing their own meals, cleaning their house, and balancing their checkbook (Marshall, Warren, Hand, Xie, & Stumbo, 2002). Sometimes cognitive impairment will lead to a lack of nutrition, and when this is the case, it often shows up in forgetfulness and an inability to perform even…… [Read More]
Global terrorism has changed the entire spectrum of tolerance in today's world. Highlighted by the events of 9/11 the facts that even the world's most powerful nation was not immune to the effects of terrorism brought home the fact that there was little defense to the acts of terrorists. The age of innocence in the United States had ended and the rest of the world waited to see how the United States would react (Schorow 2002).
Terrorism has been a part of the world framework for some time but in the United States it had been something that occurred somewhere else. It was not anything that those living within the borders of the United States had to be concerned with. Those types of problems existed elsewhere. In America everyone was safe: until 9/11. 9/11 forced Americans to look at terrorism in a different light and to examine the roots…… [Read More]
he author expresses this when he describes the church as "neither cold or hot." It is easy to fall into the patterns of Christianity, thus becoming neither hot or cold. he author cautions the church in Laodicea that going through the motions of Christianity will cause it to be spit out of the mouth of God on Judgment Day.
"17 for you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see." In these two lines we begin to have a sense of the identity of the author; the author…… [Read More]
As Spong has closed his career as a formal minister, retiring from the bishop position in 2000 have has become even more controversial than ever before:
Spong believes in a transcending reality at "the very heart of life" that presses toward life and wholeness. He describes God as the "Ground of Being" and "universal presence" that undergirds all life and is present in all that is. He regards heaven as a symbol standing for "the limitlessness of Being itself," describes Jesus as "a God presence" whose burning awareness of God made him a doorway to divine reality, and believes that the divine source of life calls human beings to live fully, love wastefully, and have the courage to be. Spong describes his project in classic liberal terms -- walking the "razor's edge between orthodox overbelief and losing the 'Christ experience'..."I do so not because I reject the church, but because…… [Read More]