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Question Set 1
Houghton College, Dr. Case
Terms in this set (112)
How Olson describes 'evangelical'
a christian or organization that proclaims the gospel faithfully.
How does Olson describe "evangelicalism"?
protestant Christianity, generally conservative, emphasis on personal relationship with Jesus Christ
O What does Irenic mean?
Greek word for peace, "peacable spirit." Approach that attempts to understand opposing viewpoints before disagreeing, disagree with respect and love.
How does Olson describe 'folk religion'?
Lack of reflection on the intellectual implication of revelatory experiences and failure to integrate these experiences with other spheres of life. Cliques.
O why have some sociologists of religion suggest that contemporary north American christianity is in danger of devolving into folk religion?
There is a resistance of critical reflection, in favor of subjective experience. The New Age movement - what 'feels good' rather than truth. Postmodernism
O The relationship between belief, doctrine, and theology
Belief - truth claim.
Doctrine - religious belief which develops out of beliefs.
Theology - the process of examination and reflection that leads to the construction and reflection that leads to the construction and reconstruction of doctrines.
O "Esoteric" Christianity
Gnosticism today. Denial of incarnate of God in Jesus. Church of christ, christian science
What does Olson mean by the 'Great Tradition' and where can it be found?
The consensual tradition and the interpretive consensus of Christianity. Unifying core beliefs of Christianity. The Christian church's unified teachings from the 2nd C and the 21st Century cannot be found in one place but must be distilled from the various sources of Christian teaching.
What is one of the problems, discussed by Olson, that seriously obstructs acceptance of the concepts orthodoxy and heresy?
Doctrines that are built defensively, overreactions to percieved heresies. "either-or" thinking
Olson's definition of adiaphora
adiaphora - "things indifferent," or "matters about which christians may disagree and still be equally christian"
Olson's definition of Dogmas
all or nothing, essetial narrow beliefs
Olson's definition of Doctrines
secondary category of beliefs that are important to a particular tradition but not essential to christianity
O What's the difference between a 'bounded set' category and a 'centred set' category?
"bounded set": either Christian or not a Christian. Boundary and maintenence becomes very important, and excluding people is a way of demonstrating that Christianity has beoundaries and therefore has identity.
"centered set" views Christianity as fluid and flexible force field held together by a strong magnetic center. The coundaries are not as important as the center that identifies authentic Christianity. Does not reject all boundaries, but does reject absolute boundaries.
J Profession of Faith
the way the creed provides a statement of personal and communal commitment
J Fides quae
The belief that God is One
J Fides qua
the faith by which one responds to God
J The Rule of Faith
Points to the way the creed provides a measure or norm for Christian identity, particularly how Christians should read their sacred writings and how they should live.
J Definition of Faith
Points to the way the creed provides the boundaries of Christian belief. Define means to draw a line around something
J The Symbol of faith
The way the creed provides a sign of reception and membership, and a way of affirming the community's shared story, mutual recognition.
J Religious languages as 'Mythic'
Does not refer to untrue or made up. It is: seeking to express a truth about the world and humans that lies beyond what we can test and prove not capable of being tested.
J. Kataphatic vs Apophatic
affirmative vs negatively
Two things are both alike and unlike but more unalike than they are alike. Preserves the truth of positive affirmation and of the negative.
O What three sources and norms did the early church fathers appeal to in arguing against heretics?
The Rule of Faith, the writings of the apostles, and the Hebrew Prophets
O What was the 'Rule of Faith'?
The shorthand for the basic content of Christian belief that church fathers preserved, interpreted and applied.
O the 'Wesleyan Quadrilateral'
Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience
O In the 'Wesleyan Quadrilateral,' what is meant by tradition and experience?
Tradition is the consensus beliefs held in common by the early church fathers.
Experience - human and especially spiritual experience of God's people in the community of faith.
O the core characteristics of Gnosticism
higher knowledge, "secret" spiritual knowledge. Christ never really fully identified with Jesus, reject human aspects, focus on Spiritual.
O the core characteristics of Montanism
Originated with Montanus who claimed that the Holy Spirit used his vocal chords as an instrument of direct communication and that his prophecies were as inspired as those of the Hebrew prophets and Christian apostles. "New Prophecy" movement.
O the core characteristics of Diem
All divine revelation must be evaluated or judged by the canon of modern philosophical and scientific knowledge. Thus: Jesus is "a great human of moral wisdom"
O the core characteristics of Liberal Theology
Elevation of modern thought and human experience; equal weight as divine revelation as scripture. Denial of deity of Jesus, and Trinity.
Why does Olson describe the LDS (Mormon) church as modern Montanist movement?
Because Joseph Smith claimed to have a "new revelation"
O What has been one major conservative Christian response to Deism and liberal theology?
To assert a hierarchy among the elements of the Quadrilateral; scripture first, tradition second, Reason 3rd, experience as a distant 4th.
What Christian movements mentioned by Olson emphasise experience, and how does such experience function in relation to doctrine?
Pietism, Orthodox Christian movements, pentecostalism and neo-orthodoxy. Experience as confirming factor.
O For Barth, what are the three interrelated forms in which special revelation appears?
God's word revealed (God's personal self-disclosure in Jesus Christ)
God's Word written (inspired, canonical)
God's Word Preached (the gospel proclaimed by the church in all ages)
O How do Eastern Orthodox, Conservative Protestants and most Pentecostals all bring their characteristic emphases upon these three forms?
EO - Emphasize Geat Tradition of worship (liturgy)
CP - Emphasize Scripture and neglect church tradition.
P - work of the Holy Spirit is Key
the three alternatives (heresies) to Christian belief about revelation, as described by Olson.
1. Divine revelation may surpass Jesus Christ and Scripture in the sense that new revelation may supersede and replace them.
2. That general, universal revelation, because it is available to reason apart from faith, is greater than special revelation.
3. The highest and best form of divine revelation is completely interior and mystical
O What's at stake in the discussion about whether the nature of revelation is primarily personal or primarily propositional?
There is much room for diversity of interpretation and opinion. No way of knowning what is true about God.
O What do most conservative Protestants fear about claims to continuing 'revelations' from God?
Cultish aberrations such as the unusual beliefs held by certain sects on the fringes of Christianity that are based largely on "new prophecies" delivered by modern religious leaders breaking out of mainstream traditional Christianity.
O How did Calvin think about the relation between divine and human authorship of Scripture?
Divine in origen though written by men. Holy Spirit instructed and the men wrote these "heavenly mysteries"
O How did Luther think about the relation between divine and human authorship of Scripture?
"cradle that holds Christ," complete divine origen and authority. At times, said Bible was dictated by the Holy Spirit and even grammatical errors, trifles and historical trivia are from the Holy Spirit
O How did Wesley think about the relation between divine and human authorship of Scripture?
Inspired by GOd, but admits to human elements
How does Olson critique the liberal approach to Scripture?
"If God is not in some special and even supernatural way the ultimate author of Scripture, why believe it is unique or even special?" Significant contrast of belief to the Great Tradition
How does Olson critique the fundamentalist approache to Scripture?
Scripture as dictation, scandalous to the gospel of God delivered in Jesus Christ and handed down in the Great tradition. Risk of Idolatry.
Generally speaking, how do magisterial Protestants view the Great Tradition in relation to Scripture?
Generally elevate Scripture above Tradition with the Reformation motto sola scripture - scripture alone as God's authoritative Word for determining proper doctrine and practice. The Bible is the highest court of appeal.
O plenary verbal inspiration
Every word of Scripture is God breathed like dictation. Divine dictations happens when you know the "boss" well enough. They chose the very words that God wanted them to use. Thus: innerant
O dynamic inspiration
human authours as recieving divine thoughts and communicating them in their own words using their own styles and expressions. Does justice to the divinity and humanity aspects of Scriptures. Accounts for different styles and grammar issues.
How does Keith Drury talk about the relationship between doctrinal development (e.g., the doctrine of the Trinity) and Scripture?
"God has worked through the ages to make the full implications of scripture clear to the church, such as in the doctrine of the Trinity." God saved the seeds, the Holy spirit unfolded them. The Bible shows us what God is like, and Christ shows us how to live, and the Holy Spirit enables us.
What does Schenck mean by saying, 'in the process of opposing certain modernist positions, fundamentalists inadvertently adopted the same modernist categories as their opponents'?
They defined errors in terms of modernist definitions of science and history. When the Bible was not written for modernist. It was and anachronistic (an error in chronology) standard by which to define errors.
O How are the greatness and goodness of God related, as articulated by the Greek and Latin Fathers of early Christianity
God is transcendently great and immanently good.
O How are the greatness and goodness of God related, as articulated by Thomas Aquinas
Equated God's greatness with God's goodness
O How are the greatness and goodness of God related, as articulated by Karl Barth
"perfections of freedom" and "perfections of love" thus, "he who loves in freedom." Equally both, always both.
What are deism and panentheism and why does Olson believe they are inadequate ways of relating God's goodness and greatness?
Deism- creator and reletively univolved and uncaring. Denies God's personal presence and involvement.
Panentheism- without the world, God is not God. denies God's holy transcendence and reduces God to a persuasive force in the creative process who cannot bring about significant change in the world
O What is the difference between nominalism and realism?
N: Deny the objective reality of universals such as "human nature," only particulars. God is absolute.
R: Human nature exists apart from the particular human beings. Universals have ontological status.
What's the difference between what Olson calls 'strong' and 'weak' immutability?
Strong: impassibilty, inability to suffer.
Weak: excluding impassibility and affirming ability to suffer.
What is Johnson's perspective on agnosticism?
someone who is neutral on the question of God's existence because it is "unknowable." Uninterest in the truth of the World.
Distinguish between the two types of humanistic atheism, as described by Johnson.
one fear that believers deceive themselves and that Christianity hides people from their real condistion. The other rejects belief in God because of the pervasive presence of evil in the world.
What does Johnson mean by 'practical atheism'?
Based on a decision of the heart rather than the mind, and is expressed by serving oneselc and oppressing others. Still have their "gods" which are crafted by their desires. An expression of idololatry
J What make our present situation so 'distinctive and threatening' with respect to idolatrous structures and the powers of the electronic media?
The idolatrous structures can so exercise their control, reinforced by the powers of electronic media, that people are increasingly incapable of experiencing the "natural" world in ways that would expose empty idolatrys claim to absolute control.
J How did Marcion solve the problems of freedom and evil?
By distributing power between two God's and 2 realms of being maternial being is evil and spiritual being is good. Creator God of the Jews, OT, is responsible for evil. God of Jesus, NY, has nothing to do with material reality but is entirely spiritual. Advocated a strict asceticism (the doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practiving self-denial)
J Why is it a misnomer to speak of the 'three monotheisms of the West'?
Because their descriptions of God are different. Judaism and Islam: God's onesnes is equivalent to God's singleness. but Christianity proclaims a triune God, who onesness contains plurality. Judaism and Islams see the Trinity as a kind of polytheism
Of the Sam essence (as the Father)
God is 3 persons
One substance of being.
O What is it about the doctrine of the Trinity that makes it so crucial?
It defines the trinity which is at the core of the Christian belief
O Immanent Trinity
Eternal triunity of God within himself, in God himself.
O Economic Trinity
Refers to the triunity of God in salvation history, God for us. God's interaction with creation.
O Modalism (sabellianism)
Father, Son, Holy Spirit are not distinct person, but distinct modes of revelation of the single person who is God. Like masks worn by God. (Leaves us wondering who God really is)
O subordinationism in it adoptionist form
son and spirit are subordinate to the father and are lesser beings that the Father, but are also divine. Jesus was a great prophet and messiah raised up by GOd the father and was "adopted" as his special son. Denies any threeness in GOd himself.
O subordinationism in its aranism form
The son of God - the word- preexisted the man Jesus and became incarnate in him. Jesus is the incarnation of God's first greatest creature who is a secondary God and not equal to the father.
(problem: we are only saved by GOd, and if Jesus is not God, we are not saved)
O the psychological and social analogies of the Trinity
P: 3 forms of person: a single memory, understanding, will, a single person who always has a distint dimension of personality.
S: a human community that always has some unifying force.
O Why is the term person in Trinitarian discourse somewhat problematic?
it has a tendency to sound individualistic. Modern thinkers tend to do this. Overemphasizing God's oneness.
Johnson says that in Israel, the designation 'Father' was used relatively seldom for YHWH? What accounts for that, and when God is called Father, how is that designation used?
concern of identifying the one GOd too closely with the sort of father god who begets the entire divine family. Used when the focus is on honor and obedience. father through relationship
J What is distinctive about the way Jesus called God 'Father'?
Special sense of directness and intimacy. My father, the father
J what are the three proposed remedies to the problem of patriarchal / sexist language about God?
1) removing gender language alltogether.
2) replacing male language for female.
3) supplementing male names for female names (olson says this optiion is best)
What sort of dangers present themselves by casting doubt on the necessity of an immanent (or ontological) Trinity? (Gunton)
The freedom of GOd. It is in danger of restricting God
How does a distinction between God's reality and that of the world serve the world's interest? (Gunton)
God is a communion of love prior to an dindependent of the creation that God can enable it to be itself. When God is seperate, the world is independent
What perils derive from the attempt to use the doctrine of the immanent trinity to validate causes or ideals held by the theologian (say, a model of personal relations)? (Gunton)
It can be used as a kind of principle of expectations and ethics. Because God is like "this" the world should be like "this"
According to Gunton, any doctrine of the Trinity that loses its hold on the particular human being of Jesus no longer does what?
no longer represents the historical faith of the church.
When we think about the Trinity in itself, Karl Rahner argued, we must begin where?
With the trinitarian manifestations in the history of salvation, such as the incarnation of the son and the sending of the Spirit.
"The economic Trinity is the immanent Trinity,
and the immanet Trinity is the economic Trinity."
In what sense does Rahner's Rule pull 'in two directions at once'?
Takes focus off the immanent Trinity and redirects it to the economic Trinity. On the other hand this causes the question to be raised of why these 2 realities should be distinguished if they are identical
what is at stake in tight interpretations of Rahner.
weakens the trinitarian of God. If the triune is just for us, it would be monadic.
what is at stake in loose interpretations of Rahner. `
If God's triunity is just immanent then there is nothing to start things from.
What does Sanders mean by saying that the word 'trinitarian' is now being used in theological parlance to put the Christian edges on doctrine?
It is a one word cipher for the specificity of the Christian claim. Is being used to describe christianity
In thinking about Christianity and the world's religions, what does Sanders mean by saying that the challenge is to clarify how the two poles of Christology and pneumatology are in fact one part of a consistent belief?
both are rooted in trinitarian theology
Why does Sanders believe that there are reasons to be cautious with the trend towards making the doctrine of the Trinity practical?
Risks flattening knowledge claims down into ethical claims
What has accounted for the 'return of the immanent Trinity'?
1) bad situation, 2) followed by a sharp corrective (Rhaner's rule) with itself 3)requirs a counter corrective.
What are the five kinds of Trinitarian discourse discussed by Witvliet?
The Divinve Economic Theme
The Theme of Balance and Integration
The Redefinition Theme
Explain Imago Trinitatis as described by Witvliet
Divine and human relationality, deeply relational. Christ as the perfect sign of how God cares for us. Thinking of teh divine trinity as a community of divine persons. Christian liturgy embodies the mutuality and koinonia of a Tinitarian ecclesiology and thurs prefigures the coming kingdom.
Explain The Divine Mediation Theme as described by Witvliet
Active awareness of the action of Christ and the Spirit as fully divine persons who prompt and mediate human acts of prayer, praise, adn sacramental participation. Tinitarian = "pelagioan" = implies that human instramentality brings about a divine-human encounter. "To the Father, in Christ, Through the Spirit"
Explain The Divine Economy Theme as described by Witvliet
Renewed emphasis on the divine econonmy as the basis for our knowledge of GOd - Theme established by K. Barth. Christ is the image of God, Emphasis on God's actions in history in worship, celebrate the mighty acts of God
Explain the theme of Balance and Integration as described by Witvliet
View God's actions as comprehensive and unified whole, not ordered or unequal to one another. attempts to correct the overemphasis on one particulare aspect of God. In worship: Each divine gets a stanza. Each of the persons of the trinity gets some "airtime"
Explain The Redefinition Theme as described by Witvliet
Essentially and integration of the Balance and Integration and Divine Economy Themes.
What is Neuhaus' persepective on the panentheist perspective?
Means everything in GOd. Has a checkard history. Although has been abused in the past, perhaps it can be helpful to deal with correcting wrong accusatino on the Christian tradition.
Santmire's Description of the Reconstructionist theological view of global environmental crisis
Totally new word about nature must be spoken. Insists a totally new thological word about nature. Believe the Christian traditional thought does not offer any viable thoeological resources for dealing with current environmental issues.
Santmire's Description of the Apologists theological view of global environmental crisis
Understand dominion as stewardship. Therefore, we must manage the resources.
Santmire's Description of the Revisionists theological view of global environmental crisis
Reclaim a more comprehensive view of redeption as described in Scripture. Reformation of the theolgy of the Chruch.
Neff argues that Rather than despoiling the earth of its resources... 'it is now up to us to live within a theology of what?'
limits, because creation as we know it is of promise and not yet fulfillment.
(Neff) While we do not treat creation as merely 'raw material,' the core ecological insight into the interrelatedness of all things should not lead us to anti-technological mysticism - rather, to what kind of outlook?
a more sophisticated scientific outlook. We are careful to treat nature as good rather than worshipping it.
According to Neff, An eschatological frame helps us take account of what kind of a picture of salvation?
the big picture, all of recation being redeemed.
According to Neff, Rather than helping us save nature merely for our own benefit, an eschatological perspective helps us to save nature for whom?
For God's sake, his plan for the natural world.
Describe Augustine's view of Divine Sovereignty as described by Olson
God's plan and pupose is never thwarted and never goes awry, it is always being fulfilled in everything. While God does not cause evil, he has plans for it and controls it. Within this, there is little room for free will, even though that was not intended by Augustine origionally.
Describe Thomas' view of Divine Sovereignty as described by Olson
God is the cause of the entire network of events including all human decisions and action. Yet God's causality does not extend to direct causation of sin and evil. Strong belief in God's sovereign control over both nature and history such that nothing escapes God's plan, provision, and governance.
Describe Zwingli's view of Divine Sovereignty as described by Olson
Argued that if there is any real randomness, continguency or uncertainty in nature or history, God is not God. So it is possible that Go d is the author of sin and evil. What is sin to man may not be sin for God.
Describe Calvin's view of Divine Sovereignty as described by Olson
God foreordains everything that happens in nature and in human history but that God is not the cause of evil itself for sin and evil lie in the intentions of persons. He foreordains but does not cause the evil intentions within persons. Calvin does make God the author of sin and evil.
In what three broad affirmations may the Christian consensus on divine providence be summarized, according to Olson?
Fatalism, Deism, Process Panentheism
Olson's description Fatalism view of divine providence
Denies inteligent planning, purpose, and involvement. View that life on earth is meaningless without goal or direction. Heaven is where meaning is to be found.
Olson's description Deism view of divine providence
Divinely established network of natural laws that govern both nature and history. Nature and history are full of meaning and purpose but GOd is not involved or intervening. He is a "clockmaker" who mae the world to run according to natural laws.
Olson's description Process Panentheism view of divine providence
Evil neither caused nor allowed by God. Rather the world is not God's project nor is he in control of it. Yet God is able to lure it toward his vision of the greatest good.
Olson's description of the Meticulous provience interpretation of divine providence
Whatever happens in nature and history is completely, exhaustively willed by God and not merely permitted by God. God's "permission" is never passive; it is active in that God wills it to happen without directly causing it. Every tragic even somehow serves a greater purpose.
Olson's description of the Limited Providence interpretation of divine providence
Self-limiting, in the sense that God chooses not to control. He is soveign by right but not yet in actuality. He took a risk when he created the world this way. Yet he wants to preserve the freedom and moral responsibility of the world.
Olson's description of the Open Theism interpretation of divine providence
Focus on how god has changed his mind in the past based on human prayers. God does not know with absolute certainty all that the future holds, but he is able to predict events and respond in such a way that his ultimate and final will for the future is never thwarted.
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