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Theological Foundations of Christian Spirituality

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  1. Theological Foundations of Christian Spirituality CS/TH 650

  2. Defining this Course CS/TS 650

  3. Horizon of Ultimate Value(Sandra Schneider’s statement in Holder, Chapter One) Christian Spirituality specifies the horizon of ultimate value as the triune God revealed in Jesus Christ to whom Scripture normatively witnessesand whose life is communicated to the believer by the Holy Spirit making her or him a child of God. This “new life”…is celebrated sacramentallywithin the believing community and lived in the world as mission in and to thecoming reign of God. • Triune God; Jesus Christ; Scripture; Holy Spirit; sacramental celebration; believing community; coming reign of God

  4. The seven Theological Lociof this course • The Trinity (“triune God”) • Christology (“revealed in Jesus Christ”) • Scripture (“to whom Scripture normatively witnesses”) • Pneumatology (“communicated…by the Holy Spirit”) • Sacraments (“is celebrated sacramentally”) • Ecclesiology (“within the believing community”) • Eschatology (“lived in the world as mission in and to the coming reign of God.”)

  5. Defining Christian Spirituality (“Christian Spirituality specifies the horizon of ultimate value…”) • Definition: The existential phenomenon of a life of faith and discipleship.

  6. What we want to be able to answer… • What we believe to be of ultimate value, and how this is communicated to us; • How belief forms our lives; • How our beliefs are lived out in the world.

  7. The OrdoTheologiae for this Course… • The Holy Scriptures • The Trinity • Christ (Christology) • The Holy Spirit (Pneumatology) • Sacraments • Church (Ecclesiology) • The Kingdom of God (Eschatology)

  8. Defining this Course(Sandra Schneider’s statement in Holder, Chapter One) Christian Spirituality specifies the horizon of ultimate value as the triune God revealed in Jesus Christ to whom Scripture normatively witnessesand whose life is communicated to the believer by the Holy Spirit making her or him a child of God. This “new life”…is celebrated sacramentallywithin the believing community and lived in the world as mission in and to the coming reign of God.

  9. A word about Soteriology… …The horizon of ultimate value as the triune God revealed in Jesus Christ…whose life is communicated to the believer by the Holy Spirit making her or him a child of God. • Christology • Pneumatology • Role of Faith • Nature of Grace and Justification: Forensic or Regenerative? (declaredrighteous and/or made righteous?)

  10. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity (M. Noll) • The Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70) • The Council of Nicaea (325) • The Council of Chalcedon (451) • The Monastic Rescue of the Church – Benedict’s Rule (530) • Christendom – Coronation of Charlemagne (800) • The Great Schism (1054) • Diet of Worms (1521) • English Act of Supremacy (1534) • The Conversion of the Wesleys (1738)

  11. A “Rough” Correspondence Theological Loci “Turning Points” Fall of Jerusalem Council of Nicaea Council of Chalcedon Great Schism Diet of Worms Act of Supremacy, Monasticism Christendom, Wesleys • The Holy Scriptures • The Trinity • Christ (Christology) • The Holy Spirit (Pneumatology) • Sacraments • Church (Ecclesiology) • The Kingdom of God (Eschatology)

  12. Major Figures in this Course: Church Fathers • Irenaeus of Lyons • Tertullian • Origen of Alexandria • Athanasius • Cappadocian Fathers: Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus • Augustine of Hippo Honorable Mention: Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, Jerome Dishonorable Mention: Marcion of Sinope, Arius, Apollinarius, Sabellius, Nestorius, Pelagius

  13. Major Figures: Monks, Mystics • Anthony of the Desert • Benedict of Nursia • Francis of Assisi • Dominic Honorable Mention: Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Sienna, Thomas a Kempis, Ignatius of Loyola, Martin of Tours, Julian of Norwich

  14. Major Figures: Scholastics • Thomas Aquinas • Peter Abelard • Duns Scotus • William of Occam Honorable Mention: Albertus Magnus, Anselm of Canterbury,

  15. Major Figures: Reformers • Martin Luther • John Calvin • Menno Simons • Thomas Cranmer • John Wesley Honorable Mention: John Wycliffe & Jan Hus (pre-Reformation), Ulrich Zwingli, John Knox, Jacobus Arminius, Richard Allen

  16. Major Figures: Modern Period • Karl Barth • Dietrich Bonhoeffer • Martin Luther King, Jr. • Gustavo Gutierrez Honorable Mention: Friedrich Schleiermacher, William Seymour, Paul Tillich, James Cone

  17. First Theological Locus The Holy Scriptures

  18. First Theological Locus:The Holy Scriptures • Canonical Considerations: • Hebrew Bible or Old Testament (39) • New Testament (27) • Deuterocanonical books (Apocrypha) • Hermeneutical Considerations: • Allegorical, typological, historical-literal • Christian interpretation is EMINENTLY Christological • Doctrinal Considerations • Who or what defines the faith?

  19. Turning Point: Destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70)

  20. Effects of AD 70 • The loss of the Temple – Israel’s cultus no longer serves as the focus of unity for worldwide Jewry. • The importance of synagogue and the power of excommunication • The decline of the Sadducees; the ascent of the Pharisees • The decline of “Jewish Christianity”; the ascent of “Pauline Christianity” – (Gentiles outnumber Jews) • Hellenism  loses its influence on Judaism; permanent hold on Christianity

  21. Developments in Judaism (post-AD 70) • Hebrew/Aramaic became the exclusive sacred language-base • Hellenism was rejected • Rejection of the LXX and/or the Old Testament in Koine Greek • Rejection of books not known to exist in extant Hebrew or Aramaic manuscripts and/or books known to have been written after the time of Ezra (480-440 BCE) • The curse of the “Minim” – a group that included the Judeo-Christians and Gnostics • The gradual expansion of the concept of Torah to include Mishnah (220 CE, “oral Torah”), Tosefta(supplement to Mishnah), The Jerusalem & Babylonian Talmuds(3rd-5th centuries CE, “instruction,” rabbinical commentaries on the Mishnah), and the midrashim (homiletical method of interpretation)

  22. Which Old Testament? • Septuagint (LXX) – the Bible of the early church. Approximately 85% of OT quotes in the NT come from the LXX • Apocrypha – What status? • Jerome was the first to advocate for using the Hebrew Bible as the basis for the “official” OT of the Church (Vulgate) • Jerome did not consider the apocryphal books to be of equal inspiration with the rest of the OT

  23. King James’ List of Apocrypha • 1 Esdras (Vulgate – 3 Esdras, in appendix) • 2 Esdras (Vulgate – 4 Esdras, in appendix) • Tobit • Judith • Rest of Esther (Vulgate – Esther 10:4-16:24) • Wisdom • Ecclesiasticus (also known as Sirach) • Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremy (Vulgate – all part of Baruch) • Song of the Three Children (Vulgate – Daniel 3:24-90) • Story of Susanna (Vulgate – Daniel 13) • The Idol Bel and the Dragon (Vulgate – Daniel 14) • Prayer of Manasses(Vulgate, in appendix) • 1 Maccabees • 2 Maccabees

  24. How this question divided the Church • DIVISION OF EAST/WEST • The Eastern Church continued to recognize the LXX as the Christian Old Testament • The Western Church opted for the Hebrew Bible as the Christian Old Testament • DIVISION OF ROMAN CATHOLIC/PROTESTANT • The Roman Church recognized the Apocrypha as inspired • The Protestants regarded the Apocrypha as something less than inspired

  25. NT composition in relation to AD 70 Written well prior to AD 70 • Undisputed letters of Paul (50-60) • 1Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, Philemon, Philippians, 2 Corinthians, Romans Written between AD 60s-80s • Revelation (if early – 60s) • Mark (shortly before AD 70?) • Matthew (shortly after AD 70?) • James (80s) • Colossians (80s) • If not Pauline • Hebrews (80s) Written well after AD 70 • Late First Century (80s-90s) • Luke/Acts • Ephesians (If not Pauline) • Gospel of John • 1,2,3 John • Revelation (if late) • Jude • Early Second Century • 2 Thessalonians (if not Pauline) • 1 Peter • 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus • 2 Peter (AD 120)

  26. Overview of the Gospels in light of AD 70” • Mark – written in anticipation of destruction of Jerusalem; announces imminent return of Jesus Christ • Matthew – rewrite of Mark (but probably shortly after the destruction), so perspective the same on Jerusalem; however, Matthew includes more parables about the return of Christ and the unexpected nature of it (seems more disassociated from the destruction of Jerusalem) • Luke – used Mark’s gospel, but obviously retrospective, providing details of the siege of Jerusalem; second coming is even further disassociated from the destruction • John – contains the statement “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days”; the antagonists are called “the Jews”

  27. Other NT works… • Hebrews (80s) – theological treatise explaining how the work of Christ (both during his life and continuing in heaven) fulfills and completes the role of the OT Tabernacle, priesthood, and sacrificial system • Revelation (early-60s, or late-90s) – If early, the book is describing events leading up to AD 70, particularly the reign of Nero; if late, then retrospective; anticipates the inevitable conflict that Christians will have with the state • Late “Pauline” Epistles – reflect later theology and the “institutionalizing” of the church

  28. Emergence of the NT Canon • Marcion of Sinope (110-160) • Marcion’s “Dilemma” Since Marcion separated the New Testament from the Old, he is necessarily subsequent to that which he separated, inasmuch as it was only in his power to separate what was previously united. Having been united previous to its separation, the fact of its subsequent separation proves the subsequence also of the man who effected the separation. (Tertullian, De praescriptionehaereticorum,30 – early third century)

  29. Muratorian Canon (AD 200) • Four Gospels and Acts • 13 Epistles of Paul • James • 1, 2 John • Jude • Revelation of John • Revelation of Peter (?) • Shepherd of Hermas (only for devotional purposes)

  30. Attested to by Origen (early 3rd century) • Four Gospels and Acts • 13 Epistles of Paul • 1 Peter • 1 John • Revelation • Disputed: Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2-3 John, Shepherd, Barnabas, Didache, Gospel of the Hebrews

  31. Books Received by All 4 Gospels / Acts 13 Pauline Epistles 1 Peter 1 John Revelation (which he personally excluded) Books Disputed, but Well-Known James 2 Peter 2-3 John Jude Attested to by Eusebius (early 4th century)

  32. Attested to by Eusebius Books to be Excluded: • Shepherd of Hermas • Epistle of Barnabas • Didache • Gospel of the Hebrews • Revelation of Peter • Acts of Peter

  33. Council of Carthage (AD 396) • Four Gospels and Acts • 13 Pauline Epistles • Hebrews • James • 1-2 Peter • 1-3 John • Jude • Revelation

  34. Christological Interpretation • Prime Example: Isaiah 7 & Matthew 1 • “A virgin will conceive…” • Different approaches to Christological Interpretation: • Allegorical (i.e. gleaning a higher meaning from the text than the literal) • Typological (e.g. David  Christ) • Literal (e.g. predictive prophecy)

  35. Authority & Doctrine The Bible as a Source of Doctrine: Who or What Defines the Faith? • Pope? • Ecumenical Council? (Who calls councils?) • Local consensus? (By whose authority?) • The Individual?

  36. Second Theological Locus The Holy Trinity

  37. Second Theological Locus: The Holy Trinity Be familiar with: • The 4th century Arian controversy • The Council of Nicaea (325 AD) • Monarchianism • The definition of homoousios • The distinction between Essence & Person (ousia & hypostasis) • Athanasius’ aphorism: “God became Man so that Man might become god.”

  38. Turning Point: The Council of Nicaea (325)

  39. Arianism • Radical Monotheism: tenacious to maintain the sole Monarchy of the Father • The Son as the “firstborn” over all Creation (“begotten in time”) • The Son is given the title “god” because he is created as the perfect Image of God • Condemned by the Council of Nicaea (325)

  40. The Arian Controversy • Seedbed of the controversy: Alexandrian approach • Accommodationist stance towards Philosophy • Representative theologians: Justin, Clement, Origen • God seen as “perfection” (i.e. immutable, impassible, and fixed, unbegotten) • Allegorical interpretation helped Hellenistic thinkers to make sense of a Bible which presented an “earthy” God • Logos theology: Logos = reason of God (personal, capable of direct relations with the world and with humans)

  41. Logos Theology Immutable God (Perfection) Mediating Logos (Reason) Mutable Created Order (Humanity) (Imperfect)

  42. Logos Theology: “Begottenness” • The Arian controversy would hinge on the interpretation of the Greek term gennetos (“begotten”) • In Greek philosophy this term had a broader, hence vaguer sense than the way it is used in the NT • “came to be” or “derived from” or “generated” • Alexandrian Christian thought had learned to express its monotheistic stance by insisting that God is the sole agennetos(“underived” or “unbegotten”) • All else that exists was derived or generated (including the Son) • However, the way that the Son was generated was unique over against the way all other things were generated

  43. Origen’s understanding • All things were generated or “begotten” out of nonexistence (creatio ex nihilo), except for the Son • The Logos (Son) was generated or “born” from God, and thus was truly the “only-begotten Son” of the Father • The Logos is “eternally begotten” (begotten from eternity) • Hence the Logos is in a secondary but real sense divine • What Origenist tradition envisaged was a pluralism of divine persons within a hierarchy of being: God (eternal, unchanging first principle) The Logos or Son (Image of God, begotten from God) All Creatures (called out of non-existence)

  44. Monarchianism: a “Western” heresy Emphasize that God is one person… • Sabellianism (Modalism): • God manifested and works in three modes: Father, Son, Holy Spirit • No personal distinctions within Godhead • Adoptionism: • Christ as man is totally infused (indwelt) by the God, thus “adopted” into the Godhead

  45. Council of Nicaea (325) • Called by Constantine the Great • Condemned Arius • Defined the Son as homoousioswith the Father • Articulated a statement that would become the basis for the later “Nicene Creed.”

  46. The parties at Nicaea… • Arian Party led by Eusebius of Nicodemia (small group) • Anti-Arian Party led by Alexander of Alexandria (small group) • The Western Position: Saw the matter as a controversy between Eastern followers of Origen; sufficient to declare that in God were “three persons and one substance” (Tertullian’s position) • Patripassianism (Sabellians or Monarchians): The Father and the Son are the same person (the Father “suffered the passion”) • Majority of bishops at the council held to the traditional Eastern Subordinationist position; sought a compromise position

  47. The Eastern Subordination View • Based on Logos Theology (Origen’s explanation) • God (Father) is sole agennetos; all else is gennetos(begotten) • Creatures are generated or begotten out of nonexistence, thus are “begotten and made” • The Son is “eternally begotten” from God (thus born of God), hence is “begotten, not made.” • Christ is divine in the sense of being from God, but subordinate to God • UNRESOLVED: What is the true nature of the Logos?

  48. Homoousios • Definition: “of one substance” or “consubstantial” • To say that the Son is homoousioswith the Father is to say the Son shares a common substance, nature or essence with the Father. • Not to be confused with homoiousios which would mean that the Son’s substance or essence is “like” or “similar” to the Father’s.

  49. Creed of Nicaea (325) We believe in one God the Father all powerful, maker of all things both seen and unseen. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten begotten from the Father, that is from the substance [Gr. ousias]of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten [Gr. gennethenta]not made [Gr. poethenta],CONSUBSTANTIAL [Gr. homoousion] with the Father, through whom all things came to be, both those in heaven and those in earth; for us humans and for our salvation he came down and became incarnate, became human, suffered and rose up on the third day, went up into the heavens, is coming to judge the living and the dead. And in the holy Spirit. And those who say "there once was when he was not", and "before he was begotten he was not", and that he came to be from things that were not, or from another hypostasis [Gr. hypostaseos] or substance [Gr. ousias], affirming that the Son of God is subject to change or alteration, these the catholic and apostolic church anathematizes.

  50. Distinction between Essence and Person • Tertullian: “One God in three Personae” (Trinitas) • Persona means “role or character” played by an actor or agent • Cappadocian Fathers: Gregory of Nyssa, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus • Ousia = Essence = Being • God is one Essence • Hypostasis = Instantiation of Being • God is Three Hypostases • Retained the language of Personae (i.e. Persons) in Latin, though this proved to be a very awkward translation • This distinction enabled the Church to maintain Monotheism while acknowledging the distinction of “Persons” within the Godhead