In our days, the creedal phrase 'I believe in God the Father almighty' is interpreted primarily along Trinitarian lines: It is applied to God as the Father of Jesus Christ. Here I argue that it has a dual background: in Jesus' prayer practice, in which He consistently addressed God as 'Father', and in the Hellenistic habit of referring to the Creator as 'Father'. I discuss Jesus' use of the term 'Father' against its Old Testament background, and argue that it primarily (...) points to the intimacy of Jesus' relationship with His father. Against the Hellenistic background, however, the metaphor 'Father' means 'he who brings forth effortlessly'. Finally, I discuss some gender issues connected with the use of the term 'Father' for God. (shrink)
My conclusions are the following:We can distinguish between two sorts of kowledge: intellectual knowledge (knowledge of true propositions) and experiential knowledge (knowledge of how certain experiences feel).If we want the doctrine of divine omniscience to be theologically relevant, we will have to assert that divine omniscience involves experiential as well as intellectual omniscience.In order to be omniscient, God does not need to share all the feelings of His creatures with them. However, in order to be experientially omniscient, God must have (...) undergone at least some experiences Himself.If God would be able to have these experiences only by becoming incarnate, God would need the incarnation in order to become omniscient. In this respect human nature would then be more perfect than the divine nature: it would be capable of knowing things which God could only come to know by becoming human. It is therefore preferable to maintain that the divine nature itself is capable of undergoing certain experiences.If the divine nature were incapable of undergoing any experience, God would nevertheless be able to have a vast knowledge of true propositions concerning experiences. For descriptions of experiences and for the evaluation of these descriptions, however, He would be dependent in principle upon His creatures. (shrink)
Dutch: Bij alle aandacht die er op dit moment is voor de aard van zingevingsvragen is de analogie tussen de betekenis van taal enerzijds en leven en werkelijkheid anderzijds wel opgemerkt, maar nog nergens uitvoerig doorgelicht. Marcel Sarot voorziet in dit gemis door een zorgvuldige analyse van de structurele overeenkomsten tussen verschillende theorieën over beide vormen van betekenis. Vervolgens past hij de gemaakte onderscheidingen toe in een weerlegging van de argumenten tegen de theïstische vorm van zingeving van Elmar D. Klemke (...) en Jaap van Heerden. -/- English: The question of the meaning of life is the subject of a lively scholarly debate both in the Netherlands and abroad. I concentrate on an aspect of this question that has often been mentioned but is still waiting for a careful treatment: the analogy between linguistic meaning and the meaning of life. With respect to linguistic meaning, I distinguish between two types of theories of meaning. According to the first type of theory words are names for concepts and hence also for the structural divisions of reality to which our concepts correspond, and the meaning of a word is the concept (or thing or class of things) to which it refers. According to the second type of theory, words are tools which we use to exercise conceptual skills, and the meaning of a word is the conceptual skill exercised with that word. Corresponding to these theories of linguistic meaning, I distinguish between two types of theories of the meaning of life. According to the first type of theory, externalism, the meaning of life is determined by its relation ("reference") to a transcendent primary determinant of meaning; it is therefore independent of the "use" we make of it. According to the second type of theory, internalism, the meaning of life is determined by the use we make of it: life cannot acquire meaning without our giving meaning to it. Just as the theory which construes words as tools does not imply that we cannot use words to refer to extra-linguistic objects, internalism does not imply that reality does not provide objective grounds upon which to build our meaning. Subjective internalists argue that there is no such ground and that man has to create his own meaning ex nihilo, but objective internalists, most theists among them, argue that there are such grounds. Finally I employ the distinctions made above in a counter-argument against the anti-theistic arguments of two subjective internalists, Jaap van Heerden and Elmar D. Klemke. I show that they mistakenly suppose that the theistic alternative has to be construed along externalist lines, whereas theists themselves construe their theory of meaning along objective internalist lines, which renders it much more plausible. (shrink)
The author argues that Thomas G. Weinandy in his book Does God Suffer? starts from the axiom of divine apathy, rather than that he argues for it. He criticizes the hermeneutic implicit in Weinandy’s interpretation of 1 Samuel 15, and proposes an alternative approach. Moreover, he criticizes Weinandy’s appeal to agreement among the church fathers and his appeal to the doctrine of the Trinity.
Amsterdam University Press is a leading publisher of academic books, journals and textbooks in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Our aim is to make current research available to scholars, students, innovators, and the general public. AUP stands for scholarly excellence, global presence, and engagement with the international academic community.
In this article, I analyse C.S. Lewis’s attitude towards the theology and the theologians of his time. Lewis often emphasised that he was not a theologian. Sometimes he does so out of modesty, to excuse minor errors that a specialist in the field would not have made. More often than not, however, something else plays a role: Lewis’s dislike of the theology and the theologians of his time. Although he intended not to become a party in theological controversies, Lewis occasionally (...) took sides. He expressed himself in extremely negative terms about the liberal... movement, which in his experience... dominated the theology of his time. By assuming them to be in error, and showing how they had arrived there, he participates in the practice he elsewhere rejected as ‘Bulverism’. Moreover, he employed pejorative, sexually tinged metaphors. Only on one occasion did Lewis provide arguments for his rejection of liberal theology, and on that occasion he limited himself to New Testament exegesis. On another occasion, Lewis states that he allows only marginal, religiously irrelevant revisions of Christian doctrine. Ironically, his own revisions sometimes went beyond this – for example, in the case of the traditional doctrine of hell. In this article I suggested that for Lewis, the practice of faith implicitly is the ultimate criterion. (shrink)
This article situates Auden’s poem Musée des Beaux Arts in the process of his conversion to Christianity. The author argues for the layered intertextuality of the poem, in which allusions to Bruegel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, The Census at Jerusalem, and The Massacre of the Innocents can be recognised. Moreover, Philippe de Champaigne’s Presentation in the Temple and Peter Paul Rubens’s The Martyrdom of St Livinus seem also to have influenced the poem. Finally, there is reason to suppose (...) that John Singer Sargent’s Crashed Aeroplane influenced Auden. In an analysis of the structure of the poem, the author argues that there is a clear structure hidden under the surface of day-to-day language. He connects this hidden structure with Auden’s poem The Hidden Law, and suggests that Auden wished to claim that even though we cannot understand suffering, it has a hidden meaning known only to God. This hidden meaning connects our suffering with the self-emptying of Christ, a connection which the author demonstrates is in fact also made in Musée des Beaux Arts. (shrink)
Starting from a recent discussion in the Netherlands about the application of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication for the Internet extension ‘.catholic,’ the author inquires into the meaning of confessing the catholicity of the church. He shows that ‘catholic’ is a title phrase, a descriptive term that often functions as a proper name. It is important to distinguish between both functions ; in the PCSC application ‘catholic’ functions, contrary to what its critics assume, as a proper name. In ecumenical (...) discussions, the main problem with catholicity is the Roman Catholic Church's alleged all-or-nothing approach to catholicity, in which it asserts its own catholicity while rejecting the claim that other churches are catholic. This approach, however, has been abandoned for a degrees of catholicity approach which allows the Roman Catholic Church to recognise the catholicity of Protestant churches. Finally, the author argues that confessing the catholicity of the church is rather like pledging ourselves to furthering this catholicity than like asserting that this catholicity has been achieved. (shrink)
In een tweetal artikelen in dit tijdschrift heeft Henk Geertsema aandacht besteed aan de Utrechtse wijsgerige theologie. In het eerste artikel concentreerde hij zich op de bundel Hoe is Uw Naam?, terwijl hij in het tweede vooral ingaat op het werk van Vincent Brümmer. De scheiding is echter niet zo strikt; ook in het artikel over Brümmer komt Geertsema veelvuldig over Hoe is Uw Naam? te spreken. In deze reactie wil ik ingaan op Geertsema’s kritiek op de wijze waarop Gijsbert (...) van den Brink en ondergetekende in Hoe is Uw Naam? twee criteria voor de wijsgerige theologie bespreken, en deze reactie concretiseren door de meer theoretische opmerkingen toe te passen op een voorbeeld dat Geertsema zelf ter sprake brengt, dat van het berouw van God. Daarbij zal ik uitgaan van enkele passages die Geertsema in zijn artikel over Brümmer aan Hoe is Uw Naam? wijdt. (shrink)