Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary Theo 530: Systematic Theology II Lesson 1 Dr. Daniel R Mitchell, Professor Introduction to Christology Contemporary Issues in Christological Method Overview Christ and History The Search Christology from Above vs. from Below The Person or Work of Christ, Which is Prior? Christ and Myth I. Introduction to this Study A. Relation to other Theological Study 1 Theology Proper (above) 2 Man and Sin (below) Three Issues Addressed Here 1 Faith and History/Reason 2 Ontology vs. Function 3 Myth and the Nature of the Biblical Witness II. Search for the Historical Jesus Key Players: Strauss, Renan, Harnack
Harnackâ€™s Presuppositions NT and Superstitious Culture Ancient Miracle Claims are Commonplace Anti-supernaturalism Miracle Claims are Rooted in Ignorance Harnack and the Essential Message of Jesus The Kingdom of God and its Coming God the Father and the infinite value of the human soul The higher Righteousness and the Commandment of Love III. Critique of the Classic Liberal Position A. Schweitzer, Search of the Historical Jesus Jesus in the NT is thoroughly Eschatological. It is Presumptuous for Moderns to try to Reinvent Him. Jesus was â€œwrong,â€ but his essential message is not lost on the NT reader. Kahler 1 Distinguished Historie and Geschichte 2 Contrasted â€œJesusâ€ of Historie and the â€œChristâ€ of Geschichte. IV. Above or Below? 1 Kahlerâ€™s Distinction led to the question: Which is priorâ€”Historie or Geschichte? 2 The Neo-Orthodox Theologians such as Barth, Bultmann, and Brunner begin with the Kerygmaâ€”from Above (the NT witness). 3 Kasemann (â€œNew Searchâ€) and Pannenberg begin with Historie (probable facts)â€”from Below. 4 Erickson wants to use both in dynamic tension. 1 Following Augustine he begins with faith (from above) 2 He proceeds â€œfrom belowâ€ to test the reliability of his faith-given â€œhypothesis. V. The Person vs. the Work of Christ The NT seems to Link these 1. (e. g. Messianic Mission and Divine Sonship) Classic Theology Separated them and Stressed Ontology (the Person) Reformers (Luther/Calvin) followed Classic theology, but emphasized the Soteriological significance (Work) of Christ. Modern Theology Continued and Exaggerated this Distinction and Emphasis. Schleiermacherâ€” â€œfeelingsâ€ Bultmann/Tillichâ€”â€œexistentialâ€ question VI. Pros and Cons of the Two Approaches Christology from Above Strengthâ€”Emphasizes â€œWhoâ€ Christ is in evaluating the significance of His Work.
Weaknessâ€”Tends to become bogged down in philosophical questions, which have no relevance to practical life. Christology from Below Strengthâ€”Relevance to Life Weaknessâ€”Driven by â€œfelt needsâ€ and Risks blindness to Issues of Importance that are only secured â€œfrom above. â€ VII. Christ and the Incarnation Myth Bultmann and â€œdemythologization. â€ Builds on the philosophy of Idealism Links Christianity and World Religions Ericksonâ€™s Responses The Incarnation is a Mystery The Doctrine is Rooted in Jesusâ€™ own Claims of Himself. The NT teaching is entirely unique to the Worldâ€™s Religions.
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