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New blog answer the question "what is theology" from as many perspectives as possible.

Discussion in 'Traditional Theology' started by Jeremiah50, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. Jeremiah50

    Jeremiah50 New Member

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    I have started a new blog trying to answer the question "what is theology?" from as many perspectives as possible.

    I have started with the great Protestant Reformer Martin Luther. I am currently working on a Karl Barth answer and hope to continue on with other important theologians. I also want to try and answer the question from an academic perspective and an etymological/historical perspective. I hope you enjoy.

    Please let me know if you think I have missed anything in my summaries. They cannot be comprehensive but if I have left something important out let me know. Thanks.

    EDIT: Haha, sorry I forgot to post the link! Here it is: http://www.whatistheology.com/
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
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  2. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    Perhaps you should provide a link to your blog?
     
  3. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    Hello, Jeremiah, and welcome to Christian Forums and to Traditional Theology.

    That's quite an undertaking. Hopefully some of our resident Lutherans will be able to take a look at what you have so far. :)

    If you need any help finding your way around the forums, or have questions about how anything works, please feel free to ask.

    Again, welcome to CF and to TT!
     
  4. Jeremiah50

    Jeremiah50 New Member

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    Yes, I hope I can do as many as possible. I enjoy it though so that helps! Yeah, my first post is Luthero-centric so it would be nice to hear from die Lutheraner! Thanks for your welcome!
     
  5. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    You're most welcome!
     
  6. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a good point that theology is not just gaining knowledge about God, but also our response to Him. Will you please go into more details about the proof from Psalms 119?
     
  7. Jeremiah50

    Jeremiah50 New Member

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    Luther uses this Psalm to found his three rules for doing theology: prayer (oratio), meditation (meditatio) and spiritual attack (tentatio).

    In the psalm David is constantly asking God to teach him, instruct him, lead him, show him. This is the prayer that Luther speaks of.

    David also says in the psalm that he will talk, mediate, speak, sing, hear, read, by day and night and always about nothing except God's Word and commandments. This is the meditation (on Gods word) that Luther speaks of.

    Finally David in Psalm 119 complains so often about all kinds of enemies, arrogant princes or tyrants, false spirits and factions that he must endure because he is occupied with God's Word. This is the spiritual attack that Luther speaks of.

    It is Luther's position that these three themes are foundational in this most important Psalm and show us how to be theologians like David was.

    The one part that is probably the most unique is spiritual attack. Once the word is rooted in you Luther says that the enemies will try to uproot it as quickly as possible. This attack can even come from God himself, the wrath of God that terrifies the conscience, that Luther knew so well.

    Hope this helps! :)
     
  8. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    Reminds me somewhat of
    Lex orandi, lex credendi
     
  9. Jeremiah50

    Jeremiah50 New Member

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    Yes, it definitely is in the same vein of thought. Orandi mirrors oratio and credendi mirrors meditatio. But as I mentioned above though the tentatio part, the spiritual attack, seems to be more unique to Luther. Of course other thinkers would affirm that we are tempted/attacked but I don't know of any who make it as important in their theological schema as Luther. But I could be wrong too! :)
     
  10. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    On that note, I'm rather curious about the claim (quoted in your blog) about attacking any enemies of our faith - even God Himself? I can't really fathom with certainty the reason for that particular statement. (I have some guesses though.)
     
  11. Jeremiah50

    Jeremiah50 New Member

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    For Luther we all start in the position of being under God's wrath, being damned. And for Luther, after one gains faith and is born again, though they are not under that wrath anymore, that wrath never truly disappears. When believers hear God's law and the demands it makes they still tremble, they still feel uncomfortable, if even for a moment. Believers also suffer, and though God doesn't cause suffering in a direct sense, it is part of his providence and he uses the law, suffering, sin, the devil and death to his purposes. What is intended for evil he works for good.

    Now this can be taken too far, in a Manichean way where evil is given to prominent a position in the grand scheme of things, but I think Luther touches on something that is often forgotten.
     
  12. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, do you think that we should share the same extremely high view of the Mosaic law that is expressed in Psalms 119 and elsewhere in the Psalms?
     
  13. Jeremiah50

    Jeremiah50 New Member

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    Hmmm, whenever you talk to a Lutheran about 'the law' it opens up a real can of worms. It can mean so many different things, and oscillates from being positive to negative so quickly. I guess all the meanings would be a 'high view' though since God uses them all.

    Just to name a few

    The law shows us a pattern of God's will for creation (positive)
    The law shows us what sin is (negative)
    The law condemns us when we sin (negative)
    The law shows us how we are to pattern our spirit-filled life in Christ (positive)
    The law points to Christ (positive)

    So, I guess to answer your question, yes, we should hold the extremely high view of the law that we find in the Psalms. But that high view has many different facets, all held in tension with each other.

    What are your thoughts on this matter?
     
  14. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    Thank you for the explanation.

    I hadn't guessed that as an answer, but I also see why. I've read Luther some, but it isn't really our perspective, so sometimes I have to take a step back and "clear the slate" temporarily in order to be able to consider the implications of a different perspective.

    What is interesting is that the end result can be similar, even when the path of thought that took one there is quite different.

    Thanks again.
     
  15. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    This is what is written in Ephesians chapter 2 also:
    Everyone , even current believers who are saved and redeemed,
    were once under the control of the prince of the power of the air
    who still rules over the sons of disobedience.


    I don't know anyone who denies this.
     
  16. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    I don't know why Luther specifically is pointed out for this.
    It is well stated throughout Scripture (I thought) that all around us
    enemies are , every day, tempting us and setting traps, trying to deceive us and take away whatever we have gained, even in the house of God.(we can't avoid temptation and traps anywhere, even from family, friends, neighbors, politicians, education, medical, religious groups, literally anywhere people are, and some places there are no people ! (i.e. demons / the devil may attack us constantly, daily, anywhere we are, as YHWH permits). Was this ever in question ?
    However, the thought of God attacking His own sheep is incomprehensible to me, in view of all HIS WORD otherwise.
     
  17. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    I grew up as a Baptist, so I used to hold a more traditional view of the Mosaic law, but a big part of what helped me to see that my view of the law was wrong was the realization that my view did not match the view of the law that was expressed in Psalms 119. For example, in Psalms 119:47, David said that his delight was in God's commandments, which he loved, but they were not something that I loved. There are numerous other instance where David delighted in God's law (Psalms 1:2, Psalms 37:23, Psalms 40:8, Psalms 112:1, Psalms 119:16, Psalms 119:35, Psalms 119:70, Psalms 119:77, Psalms 119:92, Psalms 119:143, Psalms 119:174) and even Paul also said he delighted in God's law (Romans 7:22), but it was not something that I delighted in obeying. Furthermore, I had not interpreted what was said about the Mosaic law in the NT as if it were something that its authors loved it and delighted in obeying it. Instead, I had viewed the Mosaic law as a heavy legalistic burden that put us in bondage that we needed Messiah to free us from. So I think if I should share the same view of the Mosaic law that is expressed in the Psalms and if the NT authors were in full agreement with the Psalms, then my view of the law needed to change.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  18. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    It's because a Lutheran started this thread and is presenting a position from a Lutheran perspective in order to stimulate conversation and explore the perspectives of others; which you did; so it's working!:)
     
  19. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    :)

    Well, I didn't have much to contribute about Lutheranism, but if you get around to Eastern Christianity, I love the phrase we use, which is "A theologian is one who (truly) prays."

    I won't go further into it than that right now, but a lot of good thought is attached to that saying. :)
     
  20. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Is one who (truly) prays a theologian then ? (I hope not, except it is refreshing new and different definition than what most people use)

    i.e. "theologian" in the world/ in religions of the world/ has|had a lot of negative results and connotations. With a new and fresh and different outlook for
    "theologian" , like when Christ came along and blew them out of the water and started afresh and new apart from them,
    is perhaps enlightening !? :)
     
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