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Archive for August, 2008

Life goes on

I was uncomfortable and frightened about moving back to the city I grew up in after leaving ordained ministry. There are so many people here who know me as a Christian. How would they react when they find out I don’t believe any more?

Well, now that I’ve been back three months, I know that my fears were overblown. My friends are still my friends. My family is still my family. I am still me. Almost as if to drive this point home, I had an interesting encounter with some friends shortly before moving back.

My wife and I were in town to look for a place to move into, and we planned on visiting some old friends who heard we were moving back and wanted to catch up. Let’s call them Theresa and Steve.

I have known Theresa (more…)

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For Karl Rahner, salvation is a relationship between God and humans, though many of the details of this relationship can not be known by humans. According to Rahner, redemption was not needed because of sin (Weger 174). Humans were created with the incarnation of Christ as the goal (Theological 165). Salvation history is the history of a relationship between God and humans that was created by God, transformed by Christ, and is either accepted or rejected by humanity. There is a tension in Rahner’s soteriology between the freedom of God and the needs of creation, as well as between the freedom of humans and their absolute dependence on God. Rahner does not resolve these tensions, recognizing the limits of human knowledge.

To start discussing Karl Rahner’s soteriology, it can help to start by looking at Rahner’s Christology, and where Christ fits into Rahner’s Trinitarian theology. According to Rahner, biblical theology should be the source of Christology and dogmatic theology (Theological 154). Rahner opposes “the consignment of the Trinity to theological and spiritual irrelevance” and instead emphasizes the importance of looking at God as a triune God (Braaten 105). Both St. Augustine and St. Thomas after him taught that any of the three persons of the Trinity could have chosen to become incarnate (Gelpi 6). Rahner teaches otherwise, using the language of processions as it is used in St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica (147-151). “According to Rahner, the Word, and only the Word, could have become flesh because in the divine processions of the Trinity the Word, and not the Holy Spirit, is the real symbolic expression of the Father” (Gelpi 8). “The procession of the Son from the Father is, moreover, a reality connected necessarily with the divine self-knowledge, without which God’s absolute act of cognitional self-possession is impossible” (Gelpi 10). Christ is a concrete self-disclosure of God (Theological 100). The Trinity must be as it is for God to be who God is.

The consequence of the Word being an essential self-revelation of the first person of the Trinity is that “if the Father is to reveal himself to [humans] in time, this revelation must take place in and through the Word, who is the perfect symbolic expression of the Father” (Gelpi 11). The Word reveals the Father to humanity not only by what the Word says, but by (more…)

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The Emerson Avenger has re-written Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic, “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” to describe an Atheist Supremacist.

He’s asking for suggestions on improved lyrics. Anyone want to help him out?

While it’s on my mind, you might also enjoy, I am the very Master of the Modern Church Historical”, or (my personal favourite), “I am a very model of a Cartoon Individual” (links to a YouTube video).

Others have created/performed their own versions and presentations of this enjoyable melody.

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