December 14th, 2012
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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August 23rd, 2012
Theologian: Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930)
More about his theology: Harnack was a German Lutheran theologian. In 1900 he published a series of lectures into a book titled Das Wesen des Christentums (What is Christianity). This was a very important book at the time and still is for contemporary theological studies. In it he reduced Christianity to:
- God is Father caring for his children whereby things will go well and all are provided for.
- The idea of providence, there is a rule governing history whereby things will always work out for the good.
- The human is race is God’s children in relation to God the Father who takes care of them.
- The universality of these three truths as all of us bear the face of the human family God thus sets forth what we need because we are in the face of our foolishness in order that we would be free.
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July 5th, 2012
Theologian: Rudolf Otto (1869 – 1937)
More on his theology: Otto was a leading theologian of religious expression–a revival of Kierkegaard. In 1917 Otto published his keynote work, Das Holige (The Idea of the Holy). The outcome of the book was a sociological study of human religion and marked the distinction between ethics and religion. The two cannot be equated. Theological liberals maintained the idea that we should do what we know we should do. The moral good may not be religious and the religious may not be the moral, which disagreed with the theological liberals). Religion, to Otto, has to do with the numinous, that is, the realm beyond the human, which both attracts us and terrifies us. This is what he called the mysterium tremendum. This is an unapproachable fear towards God. C.S. Lewis illustrates this fear in The Problem of Pain.
Suppose you were told that there was a tiger in the next room: you would know that you were in danger and would probably feel fear. But if you were told “There is a ghost in the next room,” and believed it, you would feel, indeed, what is often called fear, but of a different kind.
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