296 Slices
Medium 9781442229303

Review Essay: Recent Theological Works on Luther

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Review Essay: Recent Theological Works on Luther

Jared Wicks, SJ

Berndt Hamm

Der frühe Luther: Etappen reformatorischer Neuorientierung (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010), ix + 318 pp.

Olli-Pekka Vainio, ed.

Engaging Luther: A (New) Theological Assessment (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010), xvi + 256 pp.

Paul R. Hinlicky

Luther and the Beloved Community: A Path for Christian Theology after Christendom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), xxv + 405 pp.

The current decade leads us toward what will be a wide discussion of Martin Luther and especially of his Ninety-Five Theses on indulgences. This will crest in 2017, the fifth centenary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Luther will again engage the theological community, when it seeks to articulate for our century Luther’s reforming intent and his doctrinal bases. Fortunately, good contributions are already on hand to help us in revisiting the Reformer and hearing again his insistence that Christians are to walk the way of lifelong repentance (Thesis 1, October 31, 1517).

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Medium 9781442229143

THE STRUCTURE OF THE EASTERN CHURCHES: BONDED WITH HUMAN BLOOD OR BAPTISMAL WATER?

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Peter Galadza

The only New Testament passage where the word “structure” appears with any ecclesiological significance is Eph 2:21. (I will treat the question of the Greek original later.) However, before turning to this passage, which is so central to my argument, let me signal what is at stake.

It is my contention that the structure of the church now in place throughout large segments of Eastern Catholicism1 is detrimental to the unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity of Christ’s church, and is a structure that prevents Catholics of varying ethnonational backgrounds—not to mention those who would like to become Catholic—from gathering and collaborating for the purposes of witnessing to the gospel according to a particular church’s theology, liturgy, spirituality, and canonical discipline.2

These are weighty accusations, expressed with dense formulations. Let me unpack them—if only telegraphically—before citing the scriptural passage that poses a challenge to the aforementioned faulty structure and moving on to discuss the challenge further.

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Medium 9781442229211

Theological Exegesis: Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Figure of Moses

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Theological Exegesis: Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Figure of Moses

Todd Walatka

At the beginning of his recent book, Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI offers the following reflection:

As historical-critical scholarship advanced . . . the figure of Jesus became increasingly obscured and blurred. At the same time, though, the reconstructions of this Jesus (who could only be discovered by going behind the traditions and sources used by the Evangelists) became more and more incompatible with one another: at one end of the spectrum, Jesus was the anti-Roman revolutionary working—though finally failing—to overthrow the ruling powers; at the other end, he was the meek moral teacher who approves everything and unaccountably comes to grief. If you read a number of these reconstructions one after the other, you see at once that far from uncovering an icon that has been obscured over time, they are much more like photographs of their authors and the ideals they hold. Since then there has been growing skepticism about these portrayals of Jesus, but the figure of Jesus himself has for that very reason receded even further into the distance.1

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Medium 9781442229259

Classical Christology after Schleiermacher and Barth: A Thomist Perspective

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Classical Christology after Schleiermacher and Barth: A Thomist Perspective

Thomas Joseph White, O.P.

Is there such a thing as a modern Thomistic Christology? Behind this question there are a number of substantive issues. For example, what is it that one takes to be distinctively modern? What is it that is constitutive of what we call “Thomism”? And what is the relation between Thomistic thought and characteristically modern philosophy and theology? These are, of course, immense topics. Without pretending to ignore their importance, however, it is permissible to narrow the scope of our inquiry purposefully if we refocus the initial question posed here in a twofold way by asking: what are the particular defining features of Christology as it is articulated in modernity, and what distinctive contributions or theories is Thomism able to provide within the context of the modern conditions of debate on this subject?

In the first half of this essay I would like to describe briefly what I take to be the two most important challenges of modern Christology, and to examine in turn two typical conundrums to which these challenges give rise. For the sake of this presentation, I will employ examples from Friedrich Schleiermacher and Karl Barth respectively to illustrate diverse ways in which there are antinomies present in modern Christology, conflicts or contradictions that remain (at times) unresolved or inadequately treated. In the second half of the essay, I will then go on to sketch out what I take to be two ways that Aquinas’s Christology, especially as read by some of his modern interpreters, provides a set of cathartic distinctions that can help us to resolve tensions in modern Christology and to envisage a potentially more complete treatment of the mystery of Christ taken on modern terms, or, at least, developed in response to modern challenges.

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Medium 9781442229099

IS THE REFORMATION OVER? AND WHAT IF IT IS?

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Michael Root

Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom

Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005), 272 pp.

Reviewed by Michael Root, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC

When two books appear within a few years with the same question in their title, then something is afoot. In 2000, Geoffrey Wainwright's Pere Marquette lecture appeared: Is the Reformation Over? Catholics and Protestants at the Turn of the Millennium. In the wake of the Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, Wainwright surveyed the results of the various Catholic-Protestant dialogues that have flourished since the Second Vatican Council. To the question whether the disputes between Catholics and Protestants are settled, he answers: "more than they were."1

Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom's Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism takes as its occasion not just the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification but, far more, the range of convergences and contacts between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals that have occurred over the last few decades. In light of these convergences, should one now ask whether the Reformation has served its purpose and should graciously go out of business?

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