Posts tagged ‘Christian Existentialism’

April 26th, 2013

The Task of Theology

by Max Andrews

The knowledge of God, it is claimed, comes to us as a gift, and to indicate its distinctiveness by the word ‘revelation’ is  simply to remain true to the phenomenological analysis of belief in God, for such belief testifies that it arises through God’s making himself known to us, rather than through our attaining to the knowledge of him.Of what kind is the knowledge of God, where that which is known towers above us, as it were, and it is as if we ourselves were known and brought into subjection?

The first case is our everyday relation to things, as objects of which we make use or have knowledge.  They are at our disposal, and even by knowing them, we acquire a certain mastery over them; for instance, we can predict natural phenomena and be prepared for them.

June 22nd, 2012

The Problem of Absurdity

by Max Andrews

The problem is how one overcomes or reconciles the absurdities.  If one chooses not to overcome or reconcile the absurdities then that is a problem as well.  I will argue that living a life by accepting the absurdities with no reconciliation is impractical and cannot be lived consistently.  If a person lives the absurd life consistently then the consistency is teleological in the practical fulfillment of life.  If a person lives the absurd life inconsistently then the point of practical living is impossible (there will be an evaluation of this paradox).  Camus and Sartre are correct in their recognition of an objective absurdity.  However, the problem with this recognition is the adoption of their conclusions being true.  Camus and Sartre continue to live of a life whilst understanding them to be meaningless, valueless, and purposeless.  Nietzsche embraces the paradox of objective absurdity and adopts an illusory lifestyle of meaning. The theists who attempt to recognize a divine telos are either correct (i.e. Dostoevsky) or incorrect to a certain degree (i.e. Kierkegaard).  Kierkegaard’s (Either/Or) “blind leap” is an inconsistent application of a divine telos to himself; thus, making the “blind leap” and inconsistent attempt at consistency.  Kierkegaard does not apply the understanding of a divine telos in a way in which it may be coherently be understood and applied to one’s life.  He simply meets the absurdity at a halfway point.

June 10th, 2012

Existentialism, The Knowledge of God, and The Task of Theology

by Max Andrews

The knowledge of God, it is claimed, comes to us as a gift, and to indicate its distinctiveness by the word ‘revelation’ is  simply to remain true to the phenomenological analysis of belief in God, for such belief testifies that it arises through God’s making himself known to us, rather than through our attaining to the knowledge of him.Of what kind is the knowledge of God, where that which is known towers above us, as it were, and it is as if we ourselves were known and brought into subjection?

The first case is our everyday relation to things, as objects of which we make use or have knowledge.  They are at our disposal, and even by knowing them, we acquire a certain mastery over them; for instance, we can predict natural phenomena and be prepared for them.

The second case is our relation to other persons.  This ‘I-thou’ relation, as Martin Buber has taught us to call it, is of a different order, for the other person is not my object and is not at my disposal.  I know him in a different manner.  The relation here is one between subjects.  It is a mutual or reciprocal relation, founded on the same kind of being–personal being– on both sides

Now it is possible also to envisage a third kind of relation in which there is presented to us Being itself.  In this kind of relation, we do not have the other term of the relation at our disposal, nor do we stand to it in a relation of equality, but rather we are grasped by it, our eyes are opened to it, and we are brough into subjection to it, but in such a way that something of its character is disclosed to us, so that to some extent it becomes known to us.

February 21st, 2012

If I Were an Atheist…

by Max Andrews

When it comes to philosophy there are three things I ponder deeply about every day.  I’m not exaggerating when I say these things.  I think about God every hour I’m awake.  He plagues my thought and attention.  I often think about my relation to him, how he is who he is, his providence, his action in the world, etc.  It is so foreign to me when Christians say that they don’t think about God from day-to-day.  The second idea that occupies my thought is death.  I don’t think I’m morbid about this; I think I’m just being honest with myself.  I wonder what it’s like to die, that moment in between life and death. Is it painful? Is it joyful and painless?  What is it like to see the Lord for the first time?  The third thought I think about isn’t as often as the formers but is nonetheless occurent.  It’s the question: “What would it take for me to be an atheist?”

I certainly believe Christianity is falsifiable, that is, to be proven false.  I think there is biblical warrant for this.  Consider 1 Corinthians 15.17 when Paul says that if Christ had not risen from the dead then our faith is in vain.  To show Christianity is false one must demonstrate that the resurrection of Jesus did not happen.  I was speaking with my professor over lunch a month or so back and we struck up a conversation on what it would take for us to be atheists.  Proving the resurrection false doesn’t disprove God, it just disproves Christianity.