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Church History and Christian Ministry Augustine (354 – 430) Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) Karl Barth (1886 – 1968)

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Presentation on theme: "Church History and Christian Ministry Augustine (354 – 430) Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) Karl Barth (1886 – 1968)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Church History and Christian Ministry Augustine (354 – 430) Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) Karl Barth (1886 – 1968)

2 Crisis of Confidence following the Reformation Renaissance: undermined confidence in the church Reformation: further eroded, but no consolidation Religious Wars: Germany: 30 years war France: St. Bartholomew’s Massacre England: The Puritan Revolution

3 Crisis of Confidence following the Reformation Renaissance: undermined confidence in the church Reformation: further eroded, but no consolidation Religious Wars: Scientific Revolution Produced a new approach to confidence - Reason

4 17 th Century: The Age of Reason Continental Philosophy Descartes Leibniz Spinoza British Empiricism Locke Berkeley Hume Kant

5 17 th Century: The Age of Reason (Reason our tool) 18 th Century: The Enlightenment (Reason our savior) The great successes of science led to an even greater confidence in science, with a diminishing place for God and the supernatural – the Enlightenment The Enlightenment generally stood for the idea that man is the solution to his own problems – his own savior, and God is either non-existent or irrelevant to the quest for human meaning and achievement In the Enlightenment, science as a tool was exchanged for science as a god, and the impact of this change affected all subsequent philosophy

6 The Festival of Reason – French Enlightenment – 1793.

7 Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804) Worried about the attack of science on things religious and metaphysical Hoped to show the limits of human reason in Critique of Pure Reason

8 Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804) Worried about the attack of science on things religious and metaphysical Hoped to show the limits of human reason in Critique of Pure Reason Kant’s philosophy produced what came to be called, “Kant’s Wall”

9 The things that matter most are safe behind the wall On this side: science, nature, observation, experience, “phenomena” On the other side: God, self, real beauty, truth, goodness, “noumena” Truth on this side known by science; truth on the other side by faith Kant’s Wall

10 Noumenal World: God, Self, the thing-in-itself (essences) Phenomenal World: science, reason, observation, experience Kant’s Wall

11 Two responses to Kant’s Wall: 1) Pessimestic: we must create a philosophy with no reference at all to transcendent (noumenal) truth Positivism: August Comte Kant’s Wall

12 The Pessimistic Approach August Comte (1798 – 1857) Positivism: no “why,” just “what” – description over explanation Scientism: science alone will bring progress and save humanity Pragmatism: the measure of worth is determined by utility

13 Two responses to Kant’s Wall: 1) Pessimestic: we must create a philosophy with no reference at all to transcendent (noumenal) truth Positivism: August Comte Pragmatism: William James Existentialism: Fredrick Nietzsche Kant’s Wall

14 Two responses to Kant’s Wall: 2) Optimistic: The noumenal “breaks through” into the phenomenal

15 Two responses to Kant’s Wall: 1) Optimistic: The noumenal “breaks through” into the phenomenal History Kant’s Wall

16 The Optimistic Approach 1) Hegel ( ): Dialectical Idealism Truth (Absolute Spirit, Absolute Ego, Reason) revealed in the “dialectic” of history – the “dialectical triad”

17 The Dialectical Triad Thesis – a Great Idea Antithesis – a Great Opposing Idea Conflict Synthesis – truth revealed In the Clash Synthesis = New Thesis

18 The Optimistic Approach 1) Hegel ( ): Dialectical Idealism 2) Marx ( ): Dialectical Materialism

19 The Optimistic Approach 1) Hegel ( ): Dialectical Idealism 2) Marx ( ): Dialectical Materialism

20 The Marxist Triad Thesis – the rise of capital Antithesis–exploitation of the workers Conflict Synthesis – Revolution

21 The Optimistic Approach 1) Hegel ( ): Dialectical Idealism 2) Marx ( ): Dialectical Materialism 3) Freud ( ): Dialectical Psychology

22 The Optimistic Approach 1) Hegel ( ): Dialectical Idealism 2) Marx ( ): Dialectical Materialism 3) Freud ( ): Dialectical Psychology

23 The Freudian Triad Thesis – the Id, our base instinct Antithesis – the Superego – social constraint Conflict Synthesis – the Ego, Resolution in self-understanding

24 The Optimistic Approach 1) Hegel ( ): Dialectical Idealism 2) Marx ( ): Dialectical Materialism 3) Freud ( ): Dialectical Psychology 4) Darwin ( ): Dialectical Biology

25 The Optimistic Approach 1) Hegel ( ): Dialectical Idealism 2) Marx ( ): Dialectical Materialism 3) Freud ( ): Dialectical Psychology 4) Darwin ( ): Dialectical Biology

26 The Darwinian Dialectic Thesis – a species Antithesis – a modified species through random mutation Conflict Synthesis – the superior Species wins the struggle Synthesis = Which faces a new struggle …as reflected in his most famous title…

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29 The Optimistic Approach 1) Hegel ( ): Dialectical Idealism 2) Marx ( ): Dialectical Materialism 3) Freud ( ): Dialectical Psychology 4) Darwin ( ): Dialectical Biology

30 17 th Century: The Age of Reason (Reason our tool) 18 th Century: The Enlightenment (Reason our savior) 19 th Century: Evolution (Reason our god) Effect on Christian Theology 1) Immanentism 2) Naturalism 3) Humanism 4) Optimism

31 Karl Barth (1886 – 1968) Trained in 19 th century Christian Liberalism Convinced Liberalism produced German Nationalism Published Romerbrief (1922) Rejected basic liberal outlook 1) Immanentism: God is radically transcendent 2) Naturalism: God breaks into history supernaturally 3) Humanism: Refuses to tie Christ to any human achievement 4) Optimism: Apart from redemptive work of Christ, we are hopeless

32 Karl Barth (1886 – 1968) Trained in 19 th century Christian Liberalism Convinced Liberalism produced German Nationalism Published Romerbrief (1922) Rejected basic liberal outlook Rejected traditional view of Bible Accused traditional view of Biblical Docetism Bible is “witness” to revelation Bible may “become” the Word of God – shattered mirror analogy

33 Karl Barth (1886 – 1968) Trained in 19 th century Christian Liberalism Convinced Liberalism produced German Nationalism Published Romerbrief (1922) Rejected basic liberal outlook Rejected traditional view of Bible Rejected traditional apologetics Affirmed basic content of the gospel – neo-orthodox Courageous stand against the Nazis in the 30s


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