2 OCR A2 Philosophy of religion Specification on revelation
The concept of revelation through holy scripture: the view that scripture is divinely inspired The concept of revelation through holy scripture: the view that scripture is divinely inspired What does the specification say?
Candidates should understand the differences between propositional and non- propositional revelation. they should be able to discuss the concept of revelation through scripture. they should consider the implications of the view that scripture is divinely inspired. Candidates should understand the differences between propositional and non- propositional revelation. they should be able to discuss the concept of revelation through scripture. they should consider the implications of the view that scripture is divinely inspired.
5 Special Revelation = Scriptures “The Book of God” Mankind God Natural Theology = Creation “The Book of Nature”
6 Special Revelation = Scriptures “The Book of God” Mankind God Natural Theology = Creation “The Book of Nature” Nein Ja Karl Barth So what do we understand by the Bible as revelation?
7 Two useful references C. Stephen Evans, Philosophy of Religion:Thinking about Faith, IVP, 1985, Ch.5 John H. Hick, Philosophy of Religion: third edition, Prentice Hall, 1983, Ch.5
8 EVANS’ APPROACH He describes three views on revelation within the Christian tradition: ‣ The traditional view, often called the propositional view ‣ The liberal view ‣ The nonpropositional view
9 The propositional view Conservative Protestant and Catholic view Bible is a source of truth about God: that He exists what He is like what He has done The caricature is that Bible’s revelation is solely in the form of propositions
10 The propositional view Traditionally Christians have said that God revealed Himself through his actions. Thus God revealed Himself to and through patriarchs, judges, prophets, Jesus and the apostles. One of these actions is speaking to people through divinely inspired authors.
11 The propositional view This in not just about intellectual assent to a set of propositions about God. The traditional view is that these truths are only properly accepted when acted upon. The Bible is “the final authority in matters of faith and practice.” The Bible is the Word of God, though there is disagreement as to the extent of its authority. Does it extend to matters of say history and science (the inerrancy position)?
12 the liberal view Roots in 18th cc Enlightenment rationalism - use reason to discover truth (as opposed to blind faith in authority) and reject the miraculous. 19th cc Biblical “Higher Criticism” - treat the Bible like any other classical text. Dare to use your own reason Kant
13 the liberal view The Bible is a purely human book (not one with divine authority), a unique record of the evolving religious consciousness of the Jewish people. a jealous tribal god God of love and justice. God of all people Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man (Jesus)
14 the nonpropositional view A kind of compromise between the traditional and the liberal position. 20th cc reaction to liberalism. Often associated with neo-orthodox theology. Claimed to be consistent with the central elements of Protestant reformers, Luther and Calvin.
15 the nonpropositional view Emphasis on God as a personal being and His self-revelation is an encounter with a Person. God reveals Himself. God’s self revelation consists of His saving actions, which were perceived and interpreted by his faithful people. God has acted in unique and special ways in history.
16 the nonpropositional view The Bible is fallible, being a human witness to revelation. Jesus is the true Word of God. The Bible becomes God’s revelation insofar as He confronts people through its teachings and still is the God who encounters people. When the Bible is properly proclaimed it becomes the Word of God.
17 propositional nonpropositional liberal Fundamentalist Theism Atheism God (only) written Man (only) written God and man written