Archive for May 10th, 2012

May 10th, 2012

The Anthropic Principle

by Max Andrews

The anthropic principle takes two primary forms: the weak (WAP) and the strong (SAP).  The WAP is a reflective and happenstantial inquiry: The observed values of all physical and cosmological quantities are not equally probable but they take on values restricted by the requirement that there exist sites where carbon-based life can evolve and by the requirement that the universe be old enough for it to have already done so.[1]  The SAP is much more problematic: rather than considering just one universe we envisage an ensemble of possible universes—among which the fundamental constants of nature vary. Sentient beings must find themselves to be located in a universe where the constants of nature (in addition to the spatiotemporal location) are congenial.[2]

May 10th, 2012

The Third Search for the Historical Jesus

by Max Andrews

Though there is no set date (considered to be the late 1970s to present day), the third quest for the historical Jesus began as a reaction against the second search. Theological assumptions were controlling historical investigation.  It attempts to do history apart from theological presuppositions, which yielded two results.  First, there were many divergent positions from evangelical scholars to liberal theologians. Second, the third search, in general, is much more open to the supernatural.  Miracles are not ruled out a priori.

There are a few major characteristics unique to the third search. There was an emphasis and concentration on understanding Jesus as a first century Jew–the social and religious climate becomes paramount. A rejection of strict attachment to the “criteria” of the second search, especially the criteria of double dissimilarity. There was a high view of the accuracy of the oral tradition.

May 10th, 2012

Theology Thursday: Friedrich Schleiermacher

by Max Andrews

Theologian: Friederich Schleiermacher (1768-1834)

More about his theology:  Schleiermacher develops a philosophy of religion whereby theology arises from the critical analysis of human piety or religious feelings. This means that there is no received content.  Theology cannot be apologetic. Schleiermacher’s methodology:  Examining the feelings…

This made the nature of religion not thinking (scientific approach eliminated by Kant).  Here he is attacking the historic Christian position that theology is a science.  Also, the religious nature is not ethics (acting morally) either  rather, it is feeling which works its way out in the absolute dependence.  The absolute dependence is the a priori form of self-consciousness that then works its way out from feelings.The human being is central here, rather than God as self-revealed.  There is no “Thus says the Lord.”  Also, theology is simply the outworking of prior religious feelings which are then subsequently analyzed.