Theology Final Study Questions
Terms in this set (46)
What can be known about God through reason alone?
That God exists because of His creations
Why are revelation and grace necessary?
For salvation and allow us to "bridge the gap" between us and God
What is spirit?
The element in us by which we know and love by which we therefore decide (judgement), Intellect (know) and will (love), Does not end, no limits, doesn't change or corrupt
What is actual or "in act", The way something is
Possible, potential, Way something could be
Is potency a sufficient condition for change? Why or why not?
No, because change comes from an external force, and there's not enough energy within to change itself.; Requires a cause that is in act or external to potency
What does it mean to say that God is "infinite spirt?"
Pure act, no potency - being not becoming = no change; Eternal (no beginning or end), no limits at all - temporal (eternal all the time) or special (omnipresent everywhere), Intellect - omnipresent, all knowing, Will - all loving, love itself
What does it mean to say that God is omnipresent?
If spirit is where it acts, and everything created is an effect of His action, then God is omnipresent
Give three of the five proofs/demonstrations for the existence of God (Quinque Via).
Unmoved Mover - motion, moved by another (potency to act), movement cannot go to infinity, so must be some first act (pure, being itself), other acts are "accidental"; Uncaused Cause - cause to effect, no cause = no effect, because not infinite there must be an uncaused cause; Supreme Being - things are true, good, and beautiful but not perfect; finds wholeness in the perfect itself (God - the true, good, and beautiful)
Why did the Church define the doctrine of the Trinity?
Confusion between whether God saves or Jesus saves...Church defined the doctrine of the Trinity to show the relationship between God and Jesus
What is the Trinitarian question? What are the possible answers to this question? Which answer or answers represents the view of the Council of Nicaea?
What is the relationship between the Father and the Son?; The Son is subordinate to the Father - subordinationism/Arianism; The Son is the same (identity) as the Father - modalism; The Son is equal in nature to the Father (Church teaching); The Son is distinct from the Father (Church teaching)
What is Arius' position concerning the Son? Include his fundamental premise, the crux of his thinking, and the consequent conclusions that he draws.
Premise: absolute uniqueness (only one) and transcendence of God the Father (monotheism); Crux: If God imparts His substance to another, then God is divisible (no longer one); Conclusions: Whatever else comes into existence must be created from nothing, the Son must be a creature thus created from nothing and has a beginning (there was a time when he was not), the Son cannot have communion with or direct knowledge of the Father (the existence of God can't be shared, incommunicable/not shareable), the Son must be liable to change - liable to physical and moral change (sin)
What does "lex orandi, lex credendi" mean?
The law of prayer is the law of belief; The Church can't pray something that's wrong; Praying to Christ, to the name of Christ - belief in Christ who saves; Therefore, Christ must save
Define "procession." How many processions are in God? Name the processions in God.
To go forth - signifies origin (principle) and end (terminus); Two processions...Generation - second person of the Trinity as word of the Father (the Son), proceeds from the Father through natural filiation, Spiration - third person of the Trinity (Holy Spirit), there can only be one infinity
Define "relation." How many relations are in God? Name the relations in God.
Something whose entire essence consists in being referred to something else; Three relations in God - paternity, filiation, and spiration (all part of God's substance)
Define "nature." How many natures are in God?
That which a thing is born to be (essence) [animal]; One divine nature in God
Individual substance of a rational nature is a "this" spirit; A supposit has spirit (intellect, will - rational nature)
How many persons are in God? Name the persons in God.
Three persons - Father, Son, Holy Spirit
Why is the doctrine of the Trinity not antithetical to belief in on God?
There is one God; divine persons aren't a part of God; each person is the entire God.; Only one essence which is shareable
Why did God create?
Creates us for our own sake - saw it's better to be something than nothing, Creates out of love (willing the good for the sake of another); Demonstration of His own goodness
What does it mean to create?
To bring a thing into existence from nothing (not from something); to move a thing from nonbeing to being
Give two reasons why only God can create.
Universal effect (being) requires a universal cause (God - can't be pre-existent matter, in potency); Creation requires an infinite power because the distance between nonbeing and being is infinite
What is unique about human beings among all that God creates?
Have both spiritual soul and body (intellect, will, affect (instinct)); Created in the image and likeness of God; Moral conformity - can be good or corrupted
What is an efficient cause?
Extrinsic cause - that by which something is made (agent)
What is a final cause?
Extrinsic cause - that for the sake of which something is done (why)
What is an intrinsic cause?
Make up nature of a thing (what it is)
How is God the cause of all things?
He is the first efficient, exemplary (idea/model according to which something is produced (blueprint), and final cause of creation; He simply wills creation into existence
What is pantheism? Why is this opposed to the Christian doctrine of creation?
Anti-realist - a system that teaches that there's no distinction between God and the world, God is the world (all is "one"), all things are God, infinite = finite, act = potency, The world is an evolution of God (becoming is supreme principle), Opposes principle of non-contradiction, Christianity is realism, The same cannot be and not be at the same time, Infinite doesn't equal finite, act doesn't equal potency, God would not be pure act, thus not eternal
What is materialistic evolution? Why is this opposed to the Christian doctrine of creation?
Teaches matter is the sole supreme principle of all reality; Matter constantly evolves independent of any extrinsic cause into all the determined beings in nature (organic and inorganic); Opposes...presupposes existence of eternal and uncreated matter (matter always was), Change would be spontaneous - matter (potency) would become cause (in act), red ball suddenly becomes blue (doesn't correspond to reality)
What is natural law?
God's law - order, rational, fundamentally logos, creates order, not haphazardly, purpose to all He does, Laws that govern two orders of being - matter (physical laws like gravity) and spirit (correspond to reality, moral laws), Both unavoidable, have consequences, Laws of God that are written on every human heart (don't randomly kill people)
If we have natural law, why is there also divine positive law (revelation/Church law)?
Natural law is through conscience which is prone to error through bad information or habits (intellect and will); Divine positive law (everything Church teaches not directly known through natural law alone) is there for when our conscience might be wrong
What is sanctifying grace?
Indwelling of God in the trinity and through baptism; Gives new life to the soul (God); Indwelling of God in the soul; Elevating and perfecting; power to see and love God in heaven
Why can we say that Jesus Christ is either God or that He is a blasphemer?
Makes claims of divinity for himself like forgiving sins; Can't half believe him, if don't believe, he's a blasphemer; Since only God can forgive sin, he must be God
What is the simplest profession of Christian faith?
What is the Old Quest for the Historical Jesus? What were some of the beliefs of this group?
History could be interpreted the same way the scientific method is thought out; The conditions they chose - Jesus is not divine; Made a distinction between the Jesus of history (looking at historical context, preference on synoptic gospels, development from Jesus to Christ, miracles are rationalized by natural causes, see gospels as myths as symbolic miracles for expression of truth, Jesus is simply an exemplary human being who died a failure after trying to have a temporal revolution, St. Jesus) and the Christ of faith (what people believe who Jesus Christ is, not backed up by history); Demythologizers - Bultmann - free up kernel of truth of the gospel; Jesus Seminar - vote for authentic sayings of Christ, most is made up
Give three examples of Jesus' own testimony concerning his divinity.
Most important - ability to forgive sins and gives disciples power to do so in his name; Knows himself to be above all others; Demands belief in himself and love of himself above all else
Elaborate upon the Christological title King/Son of God.
Not an actual king, but a servant; King by nature; Rule over all the nations forever
Explain the following Psalm as it relates to David: "You are my son; today I have begotten you. As of me and I will give the nations as your heritage and the ends of the earth as your possession." (Psalm 2:7).
Davidic Covenant, historically read; God promises a Messiah from the linage of David to rule as King and build a kingdom that would endure forever; Began as building a kingdom in Israel from David's linage, but it grew to a kingdom forever through Jesus
Explain the following as it relates to Jesus: "You are my son; today I have begotten you. As of me and I will give the nations as your heritage and the ends of the earth as your possession." (Psalm 2:7).
Eschatologically read; You are my son so therefore you'll be king forever building an everlasting powerful kingdom; No actual king forever but rather through Jesus
What is monophysitism?
Divine absorbs the human (1 nature Christology)
What is Nestorianism?
Divine and human are separate and co-habitant (2 person Christology) (Council of Ephesus 431)
What is the Christological Question? What are the possible answers to this question? What is the orthodox answer?
What is the relation between the human and divine in Christ?; Divine replaces human; Divine absorbs the human; Divine and human are separate and co-habitant; Divine and human both belong to same one person (Church teaches)
What does Theotokos mean?
Mother of God
What is the hypostatic union?
Personal union of 2 natures (divine, nature with God, and human, nature with humanity); Perfect in human nature; Consubstantial with the Father and humanity
Elaborate upon the Christological title "High Priest."
Priest by nature; Offering all sufficient sacrifice of himself, mediates and offers sacrifice for sin; Called by God, priest forever according to order of Melchisedek
Why is Christ both priest and victim?
Prays for himself for own glorification of the Father; Prays for apostles and have them act as priests in his name; Prays for believers through Gospel; Sacrifices himself for our sins (victim)
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