Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Theology Thursday


General revelation describes revelation from God that is given generally to all people, being mediated through creation. It is also general because it is indirect in its communication. Psalm 19 and Romans 1:18-20 speak specifically about the reality of general revelation. Paul specifically says that creation tells us enough about God’s nature and attributes so that people are without excuse when they do not believe in him. From the complexity of the human eye to the vastness of the expanse of heaven, general revelation has a voice of its own. This is in contrast to special revelation which is directly from God and is not readily available to all people.


(From Latin liber, “book” or “document”)
The Libellatici were those Christians who, during the persecutions of Decius (A.D. 250-251), purchased certificates (libelli) which (falsely) indicated that they had made the proper sacrifice in order to avoid persecution and martyrdom. The Libellatici were admitted back into the church after repentance was made. The sacrificati were those who did offer a sacrifice to idols and the thurificati were those who had burnt incense on the altar of the gods.


(Society of Jesus)
Founded in the sixteenth century by Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuits are a Roman Catholic monastic order that reports directly to the Pope. During the Reformation, the Jesuits were influential in responding to the Protestant movement. They distinguish themselves through their work in education, intellectual pursuits, cultural engagement, and missions as well as their military-like discipline.


(Latin, ‘the work [of God,] proper’)
The work of God which comes from his essential character that is not mediated through sin. These are works that are natural to who God is, such as creation, grace, love, providence, mercy, and justice. This is in contrast to the opus alienum (the work of God, alien) which are God’s works that are mediated through sin.


(Latin, ‘the work [of God,] alien’ or ‘the work of another’)
The works of God that seem to militate against his proper character, but which are nevertheless an act of his decree as he uses secondary means. We see the opus alienum when God works through sin to accomplish his will (see 1 Kings 22:20-23). God is not the instrumental cause of the sin, but uses it to accomplish his will.


The hermeneutical method of interpretation which seeks to understand the Scriptures in their original grammatical and historical context. This is also known as ‘authorial intent’ hermeneutics since it seeks to discover the meaning that the original author intended for the original audience. This type of interpretation is in contrast to ‘reader-response’ hermeneutics which allow the reader to provide their own subjective meaning. It is also in contrast to allegorical, spiritualistic, and authoritative hermeneutics (which say the text means whatever the institutional authority says it means).

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