Posts tagged ‘liberalism’

May 18th, 2013

Getting to Know Friedrich Schleiermacher

by Max Andrews

Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768 – 1834)

Schleiermacher saw Christianity as “despised” because it was misunderstood in the following ways.

  • Christianity is misunderstood as assent to orthodox dogma
  • It is misunderstood as rationalism or natural theology
    • i.e. Getting to God by pure reason alone

Schleiermachers key concept of religion was “feeling of Absolute Dependence.”  Examine those feelings.  What do they tell you about God? “Oh, they tell me God is good and kind.” He’d say, “Good! Write that down.” Therefore, the nature of religion is not thinking.  The scientific approach was eliminated by Immanuel Kant.  Here Schleiermacher is attacking the historic Christian position that theology is a science.  Also, the religious nature is not ethics either.  Rather, it is feeling which works its way out in absolute dependence.

Schleiermacher believed the individual’s life consists of three primary parts.  The first is the sense of perception.  This includes Newtonian physics and scientific knowledge.  The second is activity, which is the realm of ethics.  Lastly, and perhaps the most important, there is feeling, which is the realm of religion, human feeling, and the affective domain.  “God is the whence [source] of my absolute dependence, or God is the idea that clarifies my absolute dependence, and human absolute dependence on the infinite shows God.”

December 14th, 2012

Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone Synopsis

by Max Andrews

Immanuel Kant’s Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone synopsis

  • How the free will, even though radically evil, can regenerate itself
  • How Christianity as rationally interpreted exemplifies this process of moral regeneration
  • As such, two views about humanity are rejected by Kant
  • Rejects the view of the enlightenment (Aufklarung) that humans are basically good
  • Rejects the view of human depravity
  • How can the evil disposition be converted to a good one? How is it that oughtness is a can?
  • There must be a revolution of habits, which Kant understands to be the new birth (Jn. 3)
  • How, if we are corrupt, can we cause ourselves to be born again?
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June 28th, 2012

Theology Thursday: Friedrich Schleiermacher Part 2

by Max Andrews

Theologian: Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768 – 1834) on his theological method

More on his theology: Schleiermacher’s theological method was to examine those feelings (see his concept of religion for a greater context). This made the nature of religion to be a non-thinking endeavor (scientific approach was eliminated by Immanuel 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 the self-conciousness that then works its way out from feelings.

Friedrich Schleiermacher’s theological method is based upon human religious experience. According to Schleiermacher, all human beings are subject to a feeling of dependency upon Someone or Something Greater. This feeling of absolute dependency is universal among all mankind, and is the essence of true religion. For Schleiermacher, religion is rooted in our experience as human beings, in how we feel about God, in our individual emotive response to God.

June 21st, 2012

Theology Thursday: Friedrich Schleiermacher Part 1

by Max Andrews

Theologian: Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768 – 1834) on his concept of religion

More on his theology: Schleiermacher saw Christianity as “despised” because it was misunderstood in the following ways.

  • Christianity is misunderstood as assent to orthodox dogma
  • It is misunderstood as rationalism or natural theology
    • i.e. Getting to God by pure reason alone

Schleiermachers key concept of religion was “feeling of Absolute Dependence.”  Examine those feelings.  What do they tell you about God? “Oh, they tell me God is good and kind.” He’d say, “Good! Write that down.” Therefore, the nature of religion is not thinking.  The scientific approach was eliminated by Immanuel Kant.  Here Schleiermacher is attacking the historic Christian position that theology is a science.  Also, the religious nature is not ethics either.  Rather, it is feeling which works its way out in absolute dependence.

April 19th, 2012

Theology Thursday: Reinhold Niebuhr

by Max Andrews

Theologian: Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

General summary of his theology: Like Emil Brunner and Karl Barth’s protestation of Christian liberalism Niebuhr following with his own emphatic theology.  Niebuhr was very interested in the practical implications of Christianity to the modern world.  He rejected that God is personal or that he has acted in history.  He emphasized “proximate justice” because he concluded that perfection was an impossible goal.  Mankind has the image of God with its possibilities, but is limited by being finite.  Faith is recognizing our dependence on God, sin is either denying our freedom or asserting our independence.