revalation - Shawn Varghese Theology 1050-C Dr. Molnar...

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Shawn Varghese Theology 1050-C Dr. Molnar October 12, 2007 Analyzing Approaches to Revelation What is revelation? The real definition of the word ‘revelation’ is the revealing of something that was previously unknown. But in terms of Christianity, revelation would have a more specific definition. Revelation in that sense would mean a life changing event that occurs by the hand of God and utterly revamps one’s ideas. But even then, revelation is not clearly defined. How is revelation achieved? Where are revelations from? Why are revelations given? The general definition doesn’t answer these questions, but several theologians have attempted to, among them Daniel Migliore, Karl Barth, and many others. The problem with this is that each theologian’s thinking on revelation differs. Specifically, when analyzing the method of Migliore and Barth, we can see issues that define revelation. We can see the similarities and differences of each issue as seen through the thinking of Migliore and Barth. These issues are: the definition of revelation, whether revelation is either subjective or objective, general versus special revelation, the place of the doctrine of the Immanent Trinity, the starting point of revelation, and if wider Christology takes away the offensiveness of revelation. Revelation “has to do with a knowledge of God and ourselves that is utterly surprising and disturbing. It is an event that shakes us to the core.” 1 This is the definition of revelation from Migliore, but by looking at the definition by Karl Barth, one can immediately see how they are similar and different. Barth says “revelation denotes the Word of God itself in the act of its being spoken in time. Revelation in fact does not 1 Daniel L. Migliore Faith Seeking Understanding (hereafter: Migliore) (Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004), 22 2 Paul D. Molnar Divine Freedom and the Doctrine of the Immanent Trinity (hereafter: Molnar) (London: T&T Clark, 2002), 35 1
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differ from the person of Jesus Christ nor from the reconciliation accomplished in him. To say revelation is to say ‘The Word became flesh,’ ”. (CD I/I, 118-119) The two definitions are similar in the fact that they both refer God in some way, but the difference lies with the extent each definition has revelation relying on God. Migliore says that revelation “has to do with knowledge of God and ourselves…” and Barth says that “revelation denotes the Word of God itself in the act of its being spoken in time.” Barth goes on to say that Jesus is the Word of God and therefore links Jesus as central to revelation. On the other hand, Migliore places equal importance on God and us when referring to revelation. Barth is consistent in his view, for he continually places his focus on Christ and his thinking through Him. As his Christocentric method begins with and centers on Christ, so does his definition and explanation of revelation. To clearly
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This essay was uploaded on 04/06/2008 for the course THE 71621 taught by Professor Molnar during the Spring '08 term at St. Johns Duplicate.

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revalation - Shawn Varghese Theology 1050-C Dr. Molnar...

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