RELI 112

RELI 112 - Roach - 1 - Modern Christianity, Modern...

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Roach - 1 - Modern Christianity, Modern Academia, And the New Testament Alea Roach A05760824 RELI 112 Dana Kalleres 2.16.07
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Roach - 2 - Scripture and the study of scripture have shaped the identities of countless diverse communities throughout the world. In reference to the study of scripture in a fictitious, yet realistic academic course, Wilfred Cantwell Smith states, “Again, most recent Biblical study has been produced from within that movement. The undergraduate course that we are envisaging here would, rather, look at that movement from the outside: would describe it, analyse it, assess it.” (Smith, 25) The fundamental difference between the modern Christian community and modern academia, which leads to a huge difference in identity, is not the text at hand, but rather, the direction of the study and inquiry of the text, specifically the New Testament. While the Christian Church’s interest is in the scriptural references, the miracles, the lessons inherent in each chapter or parable, the academic community asks how the text itself, including all of the aforementioned aspects of the text, have influenced the communities in contact with this text. The modern Christian Church is a group which forms its identity and its points of interest based on what is written and revealed within their scripture, the New Testament. On the other hand, the modern academic community focused on the study of religion is a group which forms its identity based on its study of the culture, context, and consequences of the New Testament, using what is contained within the New Testament itself to reach the broader goal of understanding the interaction between the New Testament and humanity. In this analysis, I define the modern day Christian Church as those who value the study of the New Testament for its spiritual, moral, and ritual purposes. They live their lives according to the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I define the modern day academic community as those who practice and value the study religion, specifically the New Testament, for the purpose of understanding the communities,
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Roach - 3 - events, movements, culture, and greater context surrounding the religion, and the impact that the text has had on society, and vice versa. The idea of scripture being clearly and specifically defined as the word of God is fundamental to the modern Christian Church, and Christianity as a whole. “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking correcting and training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Scripture is clearly defined as the Old and New Testaments, nothing more and nothing less. This community believes all of this scripture has been inspired by God, and this scripture is the one and only truth, not to be altered in any way. While the idea of scripture in the modern Christian Church is rigid and clearly
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RELI 112 - Roach - 1 - Modern Christianity, Modern...

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