By James Barr
Do humans learn about God simply by being people? Or do they wish designated divine advice, throughout the Bible and the church? traditional theology was once lengthy accredited as a simple component in all theology, yet within the 20th century it was once rejected via vital theologians, particularly Karl Barth. His perspectives denied all usual theology and put better emphasis at the Bible. yet what if the Bible itself makes use of, relies on, and helps typical theology? Professor Barr right here pursues those questions in the Bible itself and in the background of principles, past and newer; and he appears at their implications for faith and theology within the future.
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Extra resources for Biblical Faith and Natural Theology: The Gifford Lectures for 1991: Delivered in the University of Edinburgh (Clarendon Paperbacks)
T. Clark, 1929), 8 n. 3: Bruce, Acts, 339. They add that Luke's knowledge of Greek literature, apart from medical writers, was too limited for him to have known this sort of thing—thus making it more probable that the speech is really by Paul, who did have this kind of knowledge. 48 Bruce, Acts, 283. 49 The approach described in Acts 17 was indeed carried out by St Paul but was a momentary lapse or mistake on his part. Here in Athens, a relative newcomer to mainland Greece and a total newcomer to its intellectual capital, he made the attempt to argue from natural theology; but the attempt failed, and afterwards Paul abandoned it.
This preference for the Stoic side would not be surprising, for it was shared by much of ancient (and indeed of early modern) Christianity, while Epicureanism was seen as a godless and meaningless set of ideas incompatible with any worthwhile religion. Thus Hebrew adopted, and perhaps by this time had already adopted, the word apikoros to mean any person of totally carnal and unprincipled character. Nevertheless, whatever he had said in his conversations in the agora, in his speech on the Areopagus Paul does not expressly discuss either of the two schools; he does not compare them, nor does he attack them.
Where Barth in his paradoxical way tells us: ‘That they come to know this is something quite new. And to us also it is quite new that we also come to know this, that they did already know it’. According to Barth, Paul is saying: ‘You did indeed know of this God, this God from being a known God has become to you an unknown God . . ’ See H. -J. Kraus, Karl Barths Lichterlehre (Theologische Studien 123; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1978), 35. 24 PAUL ON THE AREOPAGUS of natural theology: being a Christian apostle, Paul agreed with Barth.
Biblical Faith and Natural Theology: The Gifford Lectures for 1991: Delivered in the University of Edinburgh (Clarendon Paperbacks) by James Barr