Thursday, February 14, 2008

Surveys of Christian Belief

Surveys of Christian belief come in many forms. When they are for use among folks accepting the teaching authority of the Church, it is reasonable to follow the common practice of discussing those beliefs in the order of the Nicene Creed (as do, for example, Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth and various catechisms at various levels).

This is still reasonable when the concept of "Church" and "teaching authority" have become somewhat fuzzy, perhaps. However, in my opinion, for the majority of folks in the United States today, there is little acceptance of such authority and for many "The Church" is more of an abstract idea than the living organism created by God. As a result, a survey of Christian belief (at whatever level) needs a reversed order of presentation: one that starts with the Church and human nature and ends with the triune God. Unfortunately, one can not just take standard presentations and read them back to front, so to speak. While the basic propositions of the faith remain the same, the reversal of order necessitates an entire rethinking of the rhetoric. This is difficult. Of course, the standard presentations remain very useful as one engages in this new evangelism.

Man is by nature a political animal....

Some folks see the Christian community going downhill soon after the Ascension, if not before! Such attitudes, whether by naturalists, unitarians, oneness pentecostals, or congregationalists seem to reflect a lack of confidence in the Holy Spirit along with an excessive confidence in oneself and one's immediate community.

A systematic exposition of the faith in response to this could be organized as:
  • Anthropology
  • Mariology
  • Ecclesiology
  • Pneumatology
  • Christology
  • Theology


With Easter Week fast approaching, here's a page on the Triduum, from an Anglican perspective.

No comments: