Download e-book for kindle: 50 Key Concepts in Theology by Hug Rayment-Pickard

By Hug Rayment-Pickard

ISBN-10: 0232528136

ISBN-13: 9780232528138

In fifty fantastic brief essays one of many UK's liveliest younger writers on faith introduces the major issues, events and thinkers in theology. George Pattison, Professor of Divinity on the college of Oxford says: 'Hugh Rayment-Pickard is likely one of the clearest thinkers at the British theological scene, and 50 Key options in Theology opens the door to theology for college kids and normal readers alike. He has provided a valid consultant for the puzzled and a stimulus to argument among the interested.'

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Ian Ramsey (1915–72) argued in Religious Language that the basis of doctrine lies in ‘disclosure’ situations. Leo Tolstoy (1879–1910) complained that ‘religious doctrine is professed in some other realm … disconnected from life’ (A Confession, ch. 1). Ernst Troeltsch (1865–1923) argued that the message of Jesus was ethical rather than doctrinal: ‘We are no longer in the business of fixing permanent dogmas from an inspired Bible. ’ IDEAS The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: a ‘new’ doctrine, controversially adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in 1950, that the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken, body and soul, straight up to heaven after her death.

But from the outside, the differences between the denominations can appear petty and technical. Consequently, doctrinal disputes often bring the churches into public disrepute, because outsiders simply cannot understand why the issues matter. The traditional conception of doctrine is what could be called the ‘propositional’ view that doctrines are absolute theological pronouncements from which there can be no deviation. This makes all discussion of doctrine a win–lose contest where only one party can be right, since it follows from the ‘rightness’ of one party that the other must necessarily be wrong.

THINKERS Thomas Aquinas (1224–74) argues in his Summa Theologiae that God’s perfection means that his attributes are necessarily unified. The attributes appear to be diverse because of the limitations of human thought. St Augustine (354–430) stressed the unity of the attributes, but also relished the possibilities for divine paradox: ‘What art Thou then, my God? Most highest, most good, most potent, most omnipotent; most merciful and most just; most hidden and most present; most beautiful and most strong, standing firm and elusive, unchangeable and all-changing; never new, never old; ever working, ever at rest’ (Confessions).

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50 Key Concepts in Theology by Hug Rayment-Pickard


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