Monday, May 13, 2013

It Goes Like This

1. Communion with God is the fulfillment of the human person;

2. God is offering that communion, and indeed, obligates man to seek it;

3. That communion requires of man the total submission of himself to God in a loving, filial relationship;

4. The purpose of theology is to know how to enter into that relationship; (and secondarily, to begin to understand the nature of it)

5. The basis or driving force of theology is God's self-revelation for the purpose of communion with man;

6. God cannot deceive or be deceived;

7. Therefore, God must safeguard the truths of theology and make them accessible, based upon His nature and intent.


Nathan said...

Does this mean that the necessary theology has been available to all people throughout history?

Jason said...

Yes. I meant "able to be humanly known" here with the term "accessible"; I am certain that several human failures could be pointed to, but that is not the focus of this argument.

Timothy R. Butler said...

On the contrary, the Lord says, "I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you." And again, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given."

I answer that, the final proposition does not follow from God's unwillingness to deceive or be deceived. It is quite clear that at times God intentionally masks his truths, as Moses himself records. Likewise, to deceive and allow others to deceive are not analogous things. One might be perfectly clear, and yet others could be allowed to obfuscate one's clarity for evil, or, as the case may be, good. Moreover, God's self-revelation is explored by theology, but theology is not so tightly bound to God's self-revelation in Christ as to require that for God's self-revelation to be truthful, theology must have a perfect correspondence to the Divine Word. God's self-revelation should not be understood as merely God's provision of cognitive knowledge of himself, but the actual free and willful accomplishment of the Father's purposes in the world through his Son. Finally, it is clear that no human agency can fully transmit this divine self-revelation, for if it could, then it would leave no questions that could not be answered. As St. Anselm says, theology is "faith seeking understanding." If theology completely transmitted the self-revelation of God, then it would not be seeking understanding, but have achieved it. But, if it has not, then some things are obscured.

Reply to Objection 4. While it is true that theology has relation to God as a major locus, the purpose of theology is actually three fold: first, to understand God, second, to understand how to relate to God and, three, to understand God's re-creational intent for all of creation.

Reply to Objection 5. Likewise, God's self-revelation is two-fold: primarily, in the Divine Word through whom all three purposes of theology are fulfilled and, secondarily, in the Written Word, which bears witness to God's divine purposes.

Reply to Objection 7. Objection 6 assures us of the truthfulness of God's self-revelation, but as we have seen, does not assure us of proper receipt thereof.

Jason said...

The reply fails to distinguish between God's essence as He knows himself, and the truth which he has chosen to reveal. What God reveals is meant to be known by the fact that God reveals it.