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Contemporary Christian Thought
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Craig Keen
February 5, 2004
"Dialectic Theology"

I.   Karl Barth (d. 1968)
A.   Barth became the leader of a movement: "Dialectical Theology"
1.   It was a term that the followers themselves used
2.   Definition: standing together in opposition and in tension
3.   They stress the otherness of God, but it is an otherness that comes to us
B.   Barth had problems with many of the followers however
1.   Emil Brunner
2.   Rudolf Bultman
3.   Paul Tillich
II.   Eduard Thurneysen (d. 1977)
A.   Good buddy of Barth
B.   Pastored at the same church
C.   Went through the same "life crisis" as Barth around the same time
III.   Emil Brunner (d.1966)
A.   To the people in the US, Barth seemed to wild and crazy
1.   They preferred a milder, less radical version of Barth's theology
2.   This theology is essentially what Brunner's theology is
B.   Natural Theology
1.   Natural Theology: you can learn things about God even where God is not particularly busy; by studying the natural world
2.   Any attempt to get to God with some other means than God's own act is Natural Theology
3.   Biggest point of dissension between Barth and Brunner is regards to Natural Theology
a.   Brunner: advocated Natural Theology (although not a foundational element)
b.   Barth: insists there is absolutely no point of contact between us and God except when God chooses to contact us
i.   Responded in an essay title: NEIN! (No!)
ii.   We are completely different from God, and us moving to God is moving away from everything we are
iii.   The question then is raised: does God believe in the image of God
a.   His response: the image of God has never been something we have owned (it isn't a piece of our property)
b.   The image of God is God's coming to us - which ultimately means: Jesus
IV.   Rudolf Bultmann (d. 1976)
V.   Paul Tillich (d. 1965)
A.   Bright, philosophy student
B.   Went through the personal cataclysm as Barth did, only Tillich actually went to war during World War I
C.   He was drastically influenced by Freud; both in theology and personal behavior
D.   He finds away to affirm Kierkegaard and Barth, while at the same time, affirming the "old time theology"
E.   Tillich comes to a vision of reality that is essentially theology
1.   Ontology - clarifying the meaning of being
2.   The big difference between Being and beings are entities
a.   All of the entities that make up beings, are rooted in the Being
b.   Being is equivalent to God
c.   beings is equivalent to us, but are rooted in God
3.   When we speak of the Being in reference to other beings (i.e. father, provider, etc...) they can only be used symbolically
F.   Proponent of Radical Faith
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