By Ian S. Markham
This ground-breaking ebook demanding situations readers to reconsider the divide among liberal and orthodox methods which characterises Christianity today.Provides a substitute for the liberal / orthodox divide in modern Christianity. Defends Christianity’s engagement with non-Christian traditions. contains very important dialogue of theological strategy. Illustrated with case reports regarding human rights, interfaith tolerance, economics, and ethics.
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Extra resources for A Theology of Engagement (Challenges in Contemporary Theology)
49 It is noteworthy that this list excludes certain prominent features of American evangelicalism (for example, dispensationalism50) and admits that evangelicalism needs to be (in the jargon) a broad church. He provides the example of the Eucharist: “Thus, in the case of the ‘real presence’ question, three major views achieved wide inﬂuence within the Reformation by 1560: Luther’s view, that the bread is literally to be identiﬁed with the body of Christ; Calvin’s view, that the bread is an efﬁcacious symbol of the presence of Christ, effecting what it signiﬁed: Zwingli’s view, that the bread merely symbolizes Christ in his absence.
To anticipate a more sustained discussion, which will occur in chapters 2 and 3, we ﬁnd in Aquinas an understanding of God that describes God as a necessary being. Now the concept of a necessary being is extremely complex and a matter of considerable scholarly debate but at the very least it involves a type of existence utterly unrelated to mere “contingent” human existence: God is nondependent and exists in all possible worlds. In addition, for Aquinas this God is changeless (mainly because any change, he argued, would bring about either improvement – which is impossible because God 24 Engagement: What it is and Why it Matters is already perfect – or a deterioration – which is equally impossible because God would then cease to be perfect).
At this stage we simply note the way that Augustine can ﬁnd in Plato a shared analysis of the human condition, Augustine’s Theological Methodology 43 that he is sure that Plato, if living after Christ, would have been a Christian. The other argument that Augustine expresses his sympathy for Plato occurs in Civitas Dei. Perhaps suggests Augustine we can explain Plato’s knowledge because he must have had some contact with a Jewish prophet, for example Jeremiah. Augustine writes: Some of our fellow Christians are astonished to learn that Plato had such ideas about God and to realize how close they are to the truths of our faith.