Intro to Systematic Theology Part 5

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Published on January 5, 2009

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Introduction to Systematic Theology : Introduction to Systematic Theology REFORMATION THEOLOGY : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 2 REFORMATION THEOLOGY The three Key Principles of Reformation Theology Sola Scriptura: Scripture Alone Sola Fide: By faith alone Sola Gratia: By grace alone REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 3 REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther Upheld right of the individual conscience under the authority of Scripture Maintained a strict antithesis between the Law and Gospel: the message of condemnation and the message of forgiveness Championed Justification by Grace through Faith alone against Roman Catholic notions of human merit Upheld a firm Augustinian notion of double Predestination Cf. his The Bondage of the Will Later modifications during the period of Lutheran Orthodoxy weakened the official Lutheran position Affirmed the enslavement of will even more vigorously than did Calvin REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 4 REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther Luther had a strict view on the inspiration of Scripture; however he also maintained a loose view on the Canon he did not like the book of James He taught the physical presence of the body of Christ during Holy Communion This is often described by non-Lutherans as “Consubstantiation” Taught a view of the Communicatio Idiomatum in which the human body of Christ was granted ubiquity as part of its exaltation A necessary implication of his view of the Eucharist REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 5 REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther Offered a poorly developed ecclesiology, largely due to the uncertain and fluid political circumstances in which he lived Melanchthon, Luther’s companion, produced several helpful editions of the Loci Communes, the first Protestant (evangelische) systematic theology text Lutheranism, to many, a conservative, even incomplete reformation “whatever is not forbidden is allowed” REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 6 REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther Lutheran accomplishments Appeal to Scripture is highly commendable, As is the emphasis on justification by grace through faith Finally, Luther’s theology was colored by his own experiences, His struggles and temptations Defined his experience of grace and the way in which he framed his theology REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 7 REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Luther Methodological considerations System of dualisms- but no real use of covenant Law and Gospel Two Kingdoms Just and yet a sinner (simul iustus et peccator) A theology of the cross- “the cross is all” No obvious use of philosophy Underlying reliance on late medieval nominalism Not systematic- “reason the devil’s whore” Biblicist and Augustinian REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Calvin : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 8 REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Calvin Doctrinal developments that went beyond Luther Made much use of the Threefold Office of Christ Prophet/Priest/King The notion of munus triplex existed before Calvin, but was only developed thoroughly at the time of the Reformation by Calvin. See G.C. Berkouwer, Work of Christ, 61; Calvin, ICR, 2.15 The Doctrine of Holy Spirit Calvin emphasized that the Spirit always leads in accordance with the Word. ICR, 1.9 Called the “theologian of the Holy Spirit” because of the role of the Spirit in all his theology Calvin provided extensive discussion of the doctrines of Election and Reprobation. ICR, 3.21-24 REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Calvin : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 9 REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Calvin Linked Sanctification most closely to Justification Spoke of them as twin “graces.” ICR, 3.1ff; especially 3.16.1 Maintained the Normative use of the Law for the regenerate, ICR, 2.7.12 He calls it the “principal use” Taught that every believer is a recipient of God’s call, (Doctrine of Vocation) on his life, ICR, 3.10.6 Developed a thorough Doctrine of Church, with a well-thought out system of Church Government, ICR, 4.1.7-10; 4.3 Argued for the election of God Working itself out in terms of covenant, ICR, 3.21 Maintaining the unity of the covenant through Old and New Testaments, ICR, 2.11.1ff REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Calvin : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 10 REFORMATION THEOLOGY: Calvin Methodological Considerations He listened attentively to Scripture, Rejected the “meteoric speculation of the schoolmen,” Asserted that God is to be adored, not investigated, Abandoned the use of the Church Fathers as a final source of appeal For Calvin, theology was to be practical- not to be divorced from application Perhaps the Key Thought was this- Confirming people in Christ, ICR, 3.6.1 Covenantal relationship a central theme, ICR, 3.22 POST-REFORMATION THEOLOGY : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 11 POST-REFORMATION THEOLOGY Protestant Scholasticism Continuity with the Reformation Orientation to the Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura Not a new period; Reformed doctrines were believed and taught- a vital and productive period of evangelical theology Above all, a period of Confessional development Scots Confession 1560 Belgic Confession 1561 Heidelburg Catechism 1563 II Helvetic Confession 1566 Irish Articles 1615 Canons of Dordt 1619 Westminster Confession and Catechisms 1643-7 POST-REFORMATION THEOLOGY : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 12 POST-REFORMATION THEOLOGY Protestant Orthodoxy Discontinuity with the Reformation Note the differences in tone and style of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion and Turretin’s Institutes of Elenctic Theology While Calvin’s work betrays its catechetical origins Turrettin’s betrays its technical character and polemical stance This is true in general, with earlier Reformation writings being more catechetical, while later writings were more scientific in structure and apologetic (i.e., contra Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism, etc.) The use of Aristotle was reintroduced by some theologians This is often described as a period of Protestant Scholasticism POST-REFORMATION THEOLOGY : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 13 POST-REFORMATION THEOLOGY Protestant Orthodoxy There was an impressive amount of work Characterized by a desire to define truth more distinctly An extensive and scientific theological vocabulary was further developed (e.g., the term “Regeneration”; See Turretin, Institutes, 15.5). There was an “Intellectualizing of the Faith” A. Schweitzer: “The Reformers confessed their beliefs, but the later theologians believed their confessions.” There was extensive reliance on prooftexting, with Cocceius being a notable exception! Reason prior to revelation High Federalism; extensive use of covenant structure, but not uniformly POST-REFORMATION REACTIONS : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 14 POST-REFORMATION REACTIONS Rationalism Sufficiency of Reason: “I will believe nothing I cannot understand” Reason supersedes Revelation: All is interpreted by the criterion of reason. “Man is the measure of all things.” Emphasis on Nature: The universe is an orderly realm which adheres to the law of nature Nature the arbiter of what is true, the final court of appeals What is real is discernible in nature, hence rise of Deism Deism is the religion discernible in nature’s laws and reason Contrasted to revealed religion as taught in Scripture and by the Church All dogma was to be judged by its “reasonableness”  Autonomy: The individual became the final determiner of truth (Not revelation, not the Church) POST-REFORMATION REACTIONS : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 15 POST-REFORMATION REACTIONS Pietism Made extensive use of Collegia Pietatis, small groups Does not introduce a new type of theology Although it has within its principles the seeds of a new emphasis in theology (a-historical) Philipp Jacob Spener was the Father of Pietism (along with his colleague, August Herman Francke) Emerged in the context of Lutheran orthodoxy Spener’s groundbreaking work Pia Desideria, “Pious Desires”  Pietist principles included: Inward feelings of faith vs. intellectualizing of faith Personal experience of “Regeneration” was emphasized rather than an objective notion of “Justification” Focus was new life as “process” rather than “act” of justification POST-REFORMATION REACTIONS : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 16 POST-REFORMATION REACTIONS Pietism Recaptured elements of Medieval mysticism; e.g., Paul Gerhardt, 17th century, translated Bernard of Clairveaux, “O Sacred Head Now Wounded.” Pietism influenced Wesley’s Methodism (Zinzendorf, Bohler, Moravians) Pietism often embraced an existential interpretation of Scripture Christian experience turns back on revelation and controls interpretation of that revelation Evaluating Scripture in term’s of experience makes experience the point of reference: “How can I duplicate that experience?” Thus, the outcome: “What does passage mean to me?” CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGY: Roots : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 17 CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGY: Roots Historicism Established canons of scientific history and standards of historical accuracy that brought into question the historical integrity and believability of Scripture Scientism Wherever the Bible presents a picture that is at odds with modern science, the Bible is not to be believed; Science over Scripture Criticism Many documents from classical and medieval periods were proved to be fraudulent; documents of Scripture scrutinized with same skeptical perspective. Thus, the rise of Higher Criticism as a given in biblical studies CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGY: Roots : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 18 CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGY: Roots Rationalism Per Kant, reason is paramount in science (knowledge), ethics and religion, and in beauty or aesthetics Theologians are expected to subject any mysterious elements in Christianity to the canon of reason Tolerationism There was no longer a belief in inherent sinfulness, but an expectation of progress through “advances in all the sciences” Kantianism Religion receives an ethical interpretation and is divorced from revelation and reason CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGY : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 19 CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGY Kant: The Dialectic God exceeds our experience; one cannot have a theoretical (or, scientific) knowledge of God Only a practical knowledge The Noumenal/Phenomenal distinction: Noumenal Ding-an-sich, “the thing in itself” Objective, Unknowable Phenomenal The thing as experienced, As known subject to our categories (Scientific Reason) It is impossible to know anything in itself, but only as it is perceived by the subject mind CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGY : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 20 CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGY Kant arrived at a Nature/Freedom dialectic Practical Reason God a postulate of human consciousness, since we cannot have direct knowledge of God in himself through “scientific” (pure reason) means Nevertheless, there is practical reason- we have a sense of what “ought” to be Kant: three postulates Can not be established by theoretical reason Must be assumed because required by the moral nature of the world- not because of Bible God Immortality Human Freedom CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGIANS: : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 21 CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGIANS: Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) Background: Reformed pietism, the philosophy of Immanuel Kant Theology was a study of individual faith, religious experience Faith is a matter of feeling, the consciousness of absolute dependence upon God Theology comes from the human consciousness God is known only in the light of human experience The Bible was viewed as a book of religious experiences, not as an authoritative revelation All religions are valid; Christianity was viewed simply as the most advanced, the highest in principle and religious evolution CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGIANS: : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 22 CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGIANS: Albrecht Ritschl (A.D. 1822-89) Two key writings: Critical History of Justification and Reconciliation Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation These volumes were a reaction to the subjectivism of Schleiermacher and the individualism of Pietism The foundation of faith was sought in historical Jesus, not in the transcendent Christ The focus was on Kingdom of God, ethical behavior CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGIANS: : 1/5/2009 Intro to Systematic Theology 5 23 CONSCIOUSNESS THEOLOGIANS: Albrecht Ritschl, cont. Theological characteristics: Ritschl attempted to remove dogma from religion and substitute ethical behavior instead Doctrines were viewed merely as judgments of value based on experience. Jesus was considered divine because “he has value of God for me” The emphasis on the Kingdom of God, i.e., “Live morally” led naturally to development of the “Social Gospel” Introduction to Systematic Theology : Introduction to Systematic Theology

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