- In your own words, describe how Rahner's theology blends his understanding of the human person, grace as God's self-communication, Jesus Christ as the definitive moment in God's movement to the world in self-communication, and the triune God the summary of this fundamental theology
- Every moment in the history of doctrine is a new moment in which Christian faith is correlated with each new historical context. With a firm grasp of today's world, explain why Rahner's fundamental theology is so important for the twenty-first century? How does Rahner "correct" the missteps in the tradition's evolution? How does he transcend theological defects as he draws from key moments in that tradition (Paul, Origen, the Greek theologies of Trinity and Christ, Augustine, Pelagius, the Franciscans, Aquinas, Luther, Vatican II)? (Not all of these need to be discussed, only those relevant)
- Drawing from the essays in Elizabeth Johnson's book (The Quest for the Living God)about the relevance of Christian faith for today. Why are the foci in Johnson's book so universally important for theology and ministry in the twenty-first century? With specific references to these essays, discuss how Christian faith connects theologically with today's world. Please do not use long quotations from the book.
Please use the following references/ works:
- Book A brief Introduction Karl Rahner by Karen Kilby
- Elizabeth Johnson - Quest For the Living God
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In your own words, describe how Rahner's theology blends his understanding of the human person, grace as God's self-communication, Jesus Christ as the definitive moment in God's movement to the world in self-communication, and the triune God the summary of this fundamental theology.
Rahner is an existentialist of sorts. God is free, not bound by cosmic laws. That is analogous (but not identical) to our own freedom. Yet, he holds that metaphysics must come prior to everything else, if for no other reason than to show us that revelation is possible. This derives from three elements of metaphysics: first, that the being we seek is universal, that it is something that men as men seek, and lastly, that it makes a clear distinction between the one and the many.
Human beings are structured to desire God - the absolute end of all seeking. The consequence is that human beings, of themselves, are incomplete. They require grace to actually function and be happy. This is a huge departure from the high middle ages, that stressed the fullness of man's natural constitution. God communicates himself thought the offer of this completion though grace, and our acceptance of it. Yet, there must be a real "potency" for it, a natural longing and the natural ability to receive this offer. Look at page 51 in the Kilby book. Here is a summary of what Rahner says.
We must be able to hear God. We also must know, first that he is. His word must come to us in our earthly circumstance. This makes sense only in that Christ became man and entered into the world. Our freedom however, calls us out of the earthly realm, since freedom is not a physical thing. Neither is out conscience. Ultimately, this self communication and our acceptance derives from love. Since mankind is free, the word of God automatically makes sense to man who does not live JUST in the realm of the here and now.
All of this means that the human being is made complete by God's communication, which, of course, is manifest in Christ. Since humans are incomplete, the grace and love (God himself) finishes what was lost at the fall. Since we are free, we demand more than what the world can give us. Objects are solid, impenetrable ...
The solution discusses God's self-communication and correlation of the Christian faith.