Some see faith as being persuaded or convinced that something is true. Theologian Thomas Aquinas did not hold that faith is mere opinion: Some believe that true faith results in good works, while others believe that while faith in Jesus brings eternal life, it does not necessarily result in good works. The Christian sees the mystery of God and his grace and seeks to know and become obedient to God.
This is especially evident since the Second Vatican Council, where the Church paid uncommon attention to issues of an appropriate world order within the context of Christian responsibility. Within Latin America and elsewhere, it was different types of liberation theology that increasingly won attention.
The International Theological Commission, in its annual meeting, Octoberoccupied itself less with individual treatises and individual tendencies, [and] more with basic issues touching the relationship between human development and Christian salvation. The pages that follow should be regarded as an imperfect abridgment of the principal results.
This final report takes account of the difficulties inherent in the issues studied and the current status of theological discussion and research.
The theological tendencies in question are many and varied, subject to enormous changes; there is constant self-correction; they are intimately linked with social and economic conditions and the political situation in the world and in different geographical areas.
Nor should we overlook the disputes that such theological treatises have occasioned on many sides, because theology risks being translated into politics and hurting the genuine unity of the Church.
Given this state of affairs, the International Theological Commission wants to address itself to the discussion for a specific purpose: Although they have a scholarly face, their primary source is not theoretical, scientific effort. They intend to give public expression to the cries of our poor, anguished brothers and sisters—specifically, to hunger, disease, unjust profit, exile, oppression.
Add to this the inhuman living conditions of all those who own only what they wear, sleep at night in the streets, live and die there, [and] lack basic medical care. This witness to solicitude for the poor, a witness supported by the Gospel of Jesus Christ,3 is something of a ceaseless spiritual leaven in all the pertinent theological treatises; it obviously inspires their theological reflections and political options.
A spiritual experience arouses innate forces whereby the pressures of Christian love are transformed into commands effective for action by means of human reflection and scientific analysis. Both elements, a basic spiritual experience and theological and scientific reflection, are mutually complementary and consequently fashion a vital unity.
But we must be careful not to confound the two elements. No one, therefore, should condemn these various theological systems if he or she is not listening at the same time to the cries of the poor and seeking more acceptable ways to respond.
On the other hand, we must ask whether the types of theological reflection currently in vogue are, in their actual methodology, the only way of responding appropriately to yearnings for a more human world of brothers and sisters.
The point is, every theology has service for its function, and so must at times undergo needed changes and corrections, if these help it to achieve its primary commission more effectively.
To change inhuman conditions is seen as a divine demand, as God s will: Jesus Christ, who by his redemptive action freed men from sin in all its forms, offers a new basis for human brotherhood and sisterhood.
This way of thinking, which is the springboard for the theological treatises of which we are speaking, gives them a special form that is in a sense new. In consequence, the Christian recognizes the profound unity that links the divine history of salvation accomplished through Jesus Christ to efforts undertaken for the welfare and rights of men and women.
Although secular history and salvation history should not be regarded as simply identical, still the relationship between the two is to be conceived in the first instance as a unity. Their distinction may not be extended to a dualism in which history and salvation would be represented as indifferent one to the other.
In fact, human activity acquires an entirely new value in history, a theological value, in that it builds up a more human society; for the construction of a just society is, in a sense, the inauguration of God s Kingdom in anticipation. This way of thinking contains many elements of great value, for it is indeed true that Christians should have a richer understanding of the total unity that their calling to salvation involves.
Moreover, the Second Vatican Council reminds us6 that the Holy Spirit is active in world history; even outside the visible Church the preludes to faith, that is, the truths and rules of right reason about God and the common good, which are a kind of foundation for the Christian religion, are found to some extent.
The unity that links world history and salvation history may not be so conceived that it tends to consolidate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which as a supernatural mystery is altogether unique and beyond human intelligence,8 with secular history.
Nor can it mean that the boundaries between Church and world are utterly effaced. Two points call for clarification here: Political controversy, which is customarily linked with confrontation, should not be carried to the point where it obscures or obliterates peace and reconciliation as the objective and fruit of Christian activity, and what takes priority is an increase of antagonism and the onset of violence.
It must remain beyond dispute that for the Christian politics is not the final ground that gives ultimate meaning to all of life; it is not an absolute in the Christian eon; and so its nature is to be an instrument, a servant.
Overlook this, and human freedom is threatened by movements that promote dictatorial control. It is from the principles of Catholic teaching on faith and morals that we can derive the light to make correct judgments about what has to be done to acquire eternal salvation without risk of losing the freedom of Gods children.
Prophetic charges of injustice and urgent appeals to make common cause with the poor have to do with situations that are highly complex in nature, have roots in history, and depend on social and political realities. Even a prophetic judgment on the circumstances of a time calls for assured reasons or criteria.
Theological treatises that strive to build a more human society must take into account the risks that the use of sociological theories involves. In every instance these theories must be tested for their degree of certitude, inasmuch as they are often no more than conjectures and not infrequently harbor explicit or implicit ideological elements that rest on debatable philosophical assumptions or on an erroneous anthropology.
This is true, for instance, of significant segments of analyses inspired by Marxism and Leninism. Anyone who employs such theories and analyses should be aware that these do not achieve a greater degree of truth simply because theology introduces them into its expositions.
In fact, theology ought to recognize the pluralism that exists in scientific interpretations of society and realize that it cannot be fettered to any concrete sociological analysis.Old Testament Survey by David Cartledge Distributed by srmvision.com Church Life Principles Evangelism Faith Principles Leadership Ministry Gifts New Testament Survey Christian school, the first to be started by his Church denomination in Australia.
The Old Testament is the first two-thirds of the Christian Bible with the last third being the New Testament. While the Bible is a unified book, there are differences between the Old Testament and.
Christianity is also noted for its emphasis on faith in Christ as the primary component of religion. The sacred text of Christianity is the Bible, including both the Hebrew scriptures (also known. Eventually, the 27 books which form the present New Testament, along with the Old Testament books, became the Christian Bible as we know it today.
The New Testament canon was formally adopted by the Synod of Carthage in A.D. The Problem of Faith and History: Theological Alternatives between faith and history was only epistemological. For Bultmann, it was actual and real (ontological).
The truth of Christian faith was reduced to psychological insight about the possibilities of personal existence. “Not merely the Book of Genesis but the Old Testament as a. A Christian statement of the nature of the Bible.
Posted by Michael Fackerell | Sep 26, | The Bible - the Word of God | 4.
What is the Bible? The Message of the Bible and then continues with the story of the beginnings of human history. The rest of the Old Testament reveals mostly the history and the heart condition of the people.