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Introduction to Systematic Theology. OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY. Not Identical with Roman Catholic Theology Modern RC Theology is based on the Council of Trent and Vatican Councils I and II Old Catholic Theology occurs prior to division between the western church and the eastern church in A.D. 1054

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old catholic theology
OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY
  • Not Identical with Roman Catholic Theology
    • Modern RC Theology is based on the Council of Trent and Vatican Councils I and II
    • Old Catholic Theology occurs prior to division between the western church and the eastern church in A.D. 1054
  • Patristic Theology, is the theology of the fathers, the first 4, 5 centuries 

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

old catholic theology3
OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY
  • A period of expansion in which there was little time for serious reflective work
  • Scripture received with a naïve faith; practice was valued above theory
  • Attempts to redefine or absorb Christianity by other systems, e.g., Gnosticism
  • Reflective, scientific theology began with the Apologists, A.D. 120-220
    • Aristedes, Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Tatian, Theophilus, Tertullian
    • Often, they defended Christianity by using pagan philosophical terms
    • Such “synthesis thinking,” using pagan concepts or terms to defend Christianity, robbed Christianity of its absoluteness

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

old catholic theology4
OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY
  • TERTULLIAN warned against the union of Athens and Jerusalem
    • Nevertheless he introduced terms: Trinitas, Substantia, and Persona into Trinitarian debate
  • The use of pagan terms is acceptable when filled with Christian meaning; e.g., John 1:1: kai ‘o logoj sarx egeneto
  • Summary of first three centuries: Theology was a by-product of apologetic activity.

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY:
  • In the Fourth century, there was the rise of internal conflict
    • Theology developed in a polemical context
    • Controversial theology developed over Trinitarian/ Christological issues
  • Controversy was primarily within the geographical bounds of the eastern church
  • The first four councils of the Church occurred in the East (Asia Minor, or modern day Turkey)

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY:

Four Ecumenical Councils

ChalcedonA.D. 451

ConstantinopleA.D. 381

Nicea

A.D. 325

Ephesus

A.D. 431

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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EASTERN CHURCH

Concern with being/Trinity

Concern with relation of Man to God

Interested in nature of Sin

defined in terms of God Holy and Just

participation in corruption /salvation is participation in deity)

Ontology- Being/Non-being

Mystical

Roots in Scripture: JOHN focused on the Person of Christ, the Ontology of Redemption

WESTERN CHURCH

Concern over Person of Christ

Man guilty before God

Emphasis on Legal (forensic)

Law and Grace

Rational

Roots in Scripture: PAUL focused on the Economy of Redemption, Justification, Union with Christ

OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY:

Certain trends developed within the two geographical divisions

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

old catholic theology8
OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY:

Old Catholic Church

Eastern Orthodox

Roman Catholic

Mystical

Forensic

Reformed

Heavily Forensic

Mystical Purged

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY:
  • Origen
    • Wrote De Principiis,
      • On First Principles
      • Regarded by some as the first Systematic Theology text
  • John of Damascus
    • Finalized the Eastern doctrine of Trinity
    • The most influential of the Greek theologians

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY:
  • Augustine
    • Enchiridion ad Laurentium, Handbook for Lawrence
      • Based on a 3-fold division of faith, hope, love [doctrine, Lord’s Prayer, ethics]
      • Division often reflected in many Protestant catechisms
    • Influenced early in life by Manichaeism and Neo-Platonism
    • Developed theology of original sin- against Pelagianism
    • Developed theology of church/sacrament- against Donatus
    • Known for his work in Trinitarian theology and his development of double predestination.

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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OLD CATHOLIC THEOLOGY:
  • Methodological Considerations
    • Little awareness of covenant
    • First principles inconsistently applied
      • Priority of Scripture for some
      • Priority of pagan philosophical concepts for others
    • Cultural influences determined trajectory of developing theologies (Eastern/Western)
    • Trinitarian/Christological controversies led to significant creedal development

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

scholastic theology
SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY
  • The Period, A.D. 1050-1517
    • This chronology is based on Gordon Clark, Thales to Dewey, 249
    • See also the chronology in William Cunningham, Historical Theology, 1, 414
  • Three smaller periods
    • Early Scholasticism, A.D. 1050-1200
      • Lanfranc- Albertus Magnus
    • High Scholasticism, A.D. 1200-1340
      • Albertus Magnus, Aquinas, Bonaventura, Duns Scotus
    • Late Scholasticism, A.D. 1340-1517

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

scholastic theology13
SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY
  • Libri Quatuor Sententiarum
    • Peter Lombard, Four Books of Sentences written, 1150-1160
  • Sic et Non
    • Peter Abelard, Yes and No, lived 1097-1142
  • Corpus Juris Canonici
    • Gratian, Body of Canon Law, ca .1150

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY
  • Anselm, A.D. 1033-1109
    • Methodology summarized in slogan, Credo Ut Intelligam, “I believe in order that I may understand”
    • For Anselm, Faith is prior to Reason
  • Reacted against the mystical tendencies of medieval theology
  • Cur Deus Homo, (Why the God Man?)
    • Introduced satisfaction theory of atonement based on God’s majesty being offended
  • Proslogion and Monologion,
    • Developed Ontological argument for existence of God

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

scholastic theology15
SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY
  • Abelard, A.D. 1079-1142
    • Wrote Sic et Non (“Yes and No”)
    • Was enthusiastic about dialectical thinking (this is the style of Sic et Non)
  • Used dialectics to attempt to explain the mysteries of the faith and contradictions found in the church fathers.
  • Methodology is summarized in the slogan, “I believe that which I may understand.”

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

scholastic theology16
SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY
  • Peter Lombard, A.D. 1095-1159
    • Lombard was a pupil of Abelard
    • His Sentences became the most useful and popular text on theology in the middle ages
      • Taught 7 sacraments
      • Based on Sic et Non
      • Was dialectical in style
      • God, Angels and Men, Christ, Church and Sacraments
  • Much of medieval theology a mere commentary on the Sentences

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

scholastic theology17
SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY
  • Thomas Aquinas, A.D. 1225-1274
    • Wrote Summa Theologiae, (“Compendium or Totality of Theology”)
    • Most important theology text to come from the Scholastic period.
  • He employed a Nature/Grace scheme
    • Grace complements and completes Nature
    • Synthesized Aristotle and Scripture
      • Begin with Reason
      • Revelation complements and completes Reason

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY
  • For Aquinas, the value of natural theology
    • Its provision of a foundation of truth accessible to all
    • Other truths about God (i.e., his Tri-unity) are not available through natural theology
    • These must be accepted on the authority of the Church
  • The Summa consists of three parts
    • God as he is in himself
    • God as man’s end (and the way back to God)
    • Christ as man’s way to God

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY
  • Trends in Scholasticism
    • see Tillich, History of Christian Thought, 140
  • Dialectics (Yes and No; Nature and Grace; Reason and Revelation)
  • Augustinianism and Aristotelianism
    • For Augustinians- priority of faith
    • For Aristotelians- priority of reason
  • Thomism and Scotism
    • Thomists: intellect, preeminent characteristic of God
    • Scotists: will, preeminent characteristic of God
  • Nominalism and Realism

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

scholastic theology defects
SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY: Defects
  • Methodologically: No clear authority governing how one does theology
    • No principium theologiae, “first principle,”
      • How does that differ from today!?
    • The Word of God was greatly neglected
      • Many could not read the biblical languages and worked only with the Latin Vulgate
    • Instead, there were several substitutes for the authority of the Word
      • Tradition
      • Philosophy
      • Mysticism

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

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SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY: Defects
  • The results of Scholasticism may be described as ambiguous
    • Much discussion about useless/unprofitable questions
    • Much mental activity and the development of elaborate systems with endless distinctions and differences
    • Failure to distinguish between what was legitimate investigation and what was not
    • Little awareness of significance of covenant
    • Priority of Reason over Revelation

Intro to Systematic Theology 4

scholastic theology benefits
SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY: Benefits
  • Scholasticism is the “immediate antecedent of the Reformation”
    • William Cunningham, HT, 1:418
    • Provides the background for Reformation, especially late medieval nominalism
    • See H. Oberman, The Harvest of Medieval Theology
  • Scholasticism provided much useful theological vocabulary
    • E.g., the term satisfactio, in relation to the atonement of Christ

Intro to Systematic Theology 4