I recall the story of the philosopher and the theologian... The two were engaged in disputation and the theologian used the old quip about a philosopher resembling a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat - which wasn't there. 'That may be, ' said the philosopher, 'but a theologian would have found it.
I did not learn my theology all at once, but had to search constantly deeper and deeper for it. My temptations did that for me, for no one can understand Holy Scripture without practice and temptations...I t is not by reading, writing, or speculation that one becomes a theologian. Nay, rather, it is living, dying, and being damned that makes one a theologian.
A theologian of the cross says what a thing is. In modern parlance: a theologian of the cross calls a spade a spade. One who 'looks on all things through suffering and the cross' is constrained to speak the truth... it will see precisely that the cross and the resurrection itself is the only answer to that problem, not erasure or neglect.
The traditional arguments for the existence of God have been fairly thoroughly criticised by philosophers. But the theologian can, if he wishes, accept this criticism. He can admit that no rational proof of God's existence is possible. And he can still retain all that is essential to his position, by holding that God's existence is known in some other, non-rational way. I think, however, that a more telling criticism can be made by way of the traditional problem of evil. Here it can be shown, not that religious beliefs lack rational support, but that they are positively irrational, that the several parts of the essential theological doctrine are inconsistent with one another, so that the theologian can maintain his position as a whole only by a much more extreme rejection of reason than in the former case. He must now be prepared to believe, not merely what cannot be proved, but what can be disproved from other beliefs that he also holds.
John Leslie Mackie
For the humanists, whatever authority Scripture might possess derived from the original texts in their original languages, rather than from the Vulgate, which was increasingly recognized as unreliable and inaccurate. In that the catholic church continued to insist that the Vulgate was a doctrinally normative translation, a tension inevitably developed between humanist biblical scholarship and catholic theology... Through immediate access to the original text in the original language, the theologian could wrestle directly with the 'Word of God, ' unhindered by 'filters' of glosses and commentaries that placed the views of previous interpreters between the exegete and the text. For the Reformers, 'sacred philology' provided the key by means of which the theologian could break free from the confines of medieval exegesis and return ad fontes to the title deeds of the Christian faith rather than their medieval expressions, to forge once more the authentic theology of the early church.
Alister E. McGrath
Our mind is who we are; it's where we feel and think and believe. It's where we have love and hate and faith and passion.' I was getting a little embarrassed by your earnestness but you continued, 'How can someone hope to treat another person's mind unless they are also a theologian and a philosopher and a poet?
In every system of theology, therefore, there is a chapter De libero arbitrio. This is a question which every theologian finds in his path, and which he must dispose of; and on the manner in which it is determined depends his theology, and of course his religion, so far as his theology is to him a truth and reality
After chiding the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past.
Mary is no theologian in an academic sense. But as Luke tells the story, she and Elizabeth are the first theologians of a new faith. Their gift is an intrepid willingness to look for God's purpose in their own and one another's lives. If they are blood kin, they are also kindred spirits, helping to build up one another's strength and courage.
A free theologian works in communication with other theologians...He waits for them and asks them to wait for him. Our sadly lacking yet indispensable theological co-operation depends directly or indirectly on whether or not we are wiling to wait for one another, perhaps lamenting, yet smiling with tears in our eyes.
A free theologian works in communication with other theologians... He waits for them and asks them to wait for him. Our sadly lacking yet indispensable theological co-operation depends directly or indirectly on whether or not we are wiling to wait for one another, perhaps lamenting, yet smiling with tears in our eyes.
Probably no theologian in English language has ever rivaled Owen stressing the absolute centrality of Christ's penal substitution and therefore his as Priest. . . . For that reason alone The Priesthood of Christ is worth all the time it takes to read it with humility, care, and reflection.
Sinclair B. Ferguson
I am no theologian. I am a layman. I am among those who are preached to, and who listen. It is not for me to preach. I should not willingly forego being a listener, a man who reads the Gospels and then listens to what others say that our Lord meant. But sometimes a listener speaks out, and listens to his own voice.
With the help of pressure groups, government now has crossed over into the final frontier of bigotry, what writer and Catholic theologian Michael Novak calls 'Christophobia .' Traditional Christians and Jews are the new counterculture - aliens in a land their forefathers' beliefs and values established and built.
The Pashtun tribes are always engaged in private or public war. Every man is a warrior, a politician and a theologian Every large house is a real feudal fortress....Eve ry family cultivates its vendetta; every clan, its feud....Nothing is ever forgotten and very few debts are left unpaid.
A great sense of morality was instilled in me through my upbringing in the Catholic faith - particularly because my father is a moral theologian. And morality is something I believe exists separate from faith, as an intrinsic human quality that one should aspire to understand and participate in.
I was a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, and my neighbor was Michael Novak, a theologian and philosopher who has written about issues like the morality of capitalism and the Christian roots of free markets. It's possible to be fascinated intellectually with the Christian heritage without being devout.
A theologian is a person who makes bold to speak about God because he speaks out of God and through God. To profess theology is to do holy work. It is a priestly ministration in the house of the Lord. It is itself a service of worship, a consecration of mind and heart to the honour of His name.
Describing the relationship between the biblical witnesses and the theologians who come after, the author challenges that the theologian is not to correct the notebooks of the biblical writers like some high school teacher. Instead, our theology is always subject to what THEY say, as we willingly submit our notebooks for their approval.
There is an old, old story about a theologian who was asked to reconcile the Doctrine of Divine Mercy with the doctrine of infant damnation. 'The Almighty,' he explained, 'finds it necessary to do things in His official and public capacity which in His private and personal capacity He deplores.
Robert A. Heinlein
There are only two places where the powerful and great in this world lose their courage, tremble in the depths of their souls, and become truly afraid. These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ....No priest, no theologian stood at the cradle of Bethlehem. And yet, all Christian theology finds its beginnings in the miracle of miracles, that God became human.
A theologian should be thoroughly in possession of the basis and source of faith--that is to say, the Holy Scriptures. Armed with this knowledge it was that I confounded and silenced all my adversaries; for they seek not to fathom and understand the Scriptures; they run them over negligently and drowsily; they speak, they write, they teach, according to the suggestion of their heedless imaginations.
The theologian may indulge the pleasing task of describing Religion as she descended from Heaven, arrayed in her native purity. A more melancholy duty is imposed on the historian. He must discover the inevitable mixture of error and corruption which she contracted in a long residence upon Earth, among a weak and degenerate race of beings.
The Bible is to the theologian what nature is to the scientist, a body of unorganized, or only partly organized facts. God has not seen fit to write the Bible in the form of a systematic theology; it remains for us, therefore, to gather together the scattered facts and to build them up into a logical system.
Henry Clarence Thiessen
My job as a pastor and theologian is to tease out the nature and the necessity of the gospel in meticulous ways, in everything I say, in everything I like. I want desperately for the church in America to rediscover the power and the beauty and the nature and the necessity of the gospel.
The trick is: how do you talk about natural selection without implying the rigidity of law? We use it as almost an active participant, almost like a god. In fact, you could substitute the word 'god' for 'natural selection' in a lot of evolutionary writings and you'd think you were listening to a theologian.
For the believer in divine creation, the open question of the Mystery of Being is like an open wound. It stings and gapes, and the believer cannot rest till it be healed up, closed up, smeared with the soothing balm of an answer, even if his doctrine be a sophisticated one like Aquinas's or that of the latest Liberal Protestant theologian.
Robert M. Price
Whether we ever get to know about them or not, there are very probably alien civilizations that are superhuman, to the point of being god-like in ways that exceed anything a theologian could possibly imagine. Their technical achievements would seem as supernatural to us as ours would seem to a Dark Age peasant transported to the twenty-first century. Imagine his response to a laptop computer, a mobile telephone, a hydrogen bomb or a jumbo jet.
Saying that a great genius is mad, while at the same time recognizing his artistic worth, is like saying that he had rheumatism or suffered from diabetes. Madness, in fact, is a medical term that can claim no more notice from the objective critic than he grants the charge of heresy raised by the theologian, or the charge of immorality raised by the police.
What distinguishes the arid ages from the period of the Reformation, when nations were moved as they had not been since Paul preached in Ephesus, Corinth, and Rome, is the latter's fullness of knowledge of God's Word. To echo an early Reformation thought, when the ploughman and the garage attendant know the Bible as well as the theologian does, and know it better than some contemporary theologians, then the desired awakening shall have already occurred.
Addressing the conclusions of The God Delusion point by point with the devastating insight of a molecular biologist turned theologian, Alister McGrath dismantles the argument that science should lead to atheism, and demonstrates instead that Dawkins has abandoned his much-cherished rationality to embrace an embittered manifesto of dogmatic atheist fundamentalism.
I once heard a theologian remark that in the Gospels people approached Jesus with a question 183 times whereas he replied with a direct answer only three times. Instead, he responded with a different question, a story, or some other indirection. Evidently Jesus wants us to work out answers on our own, using the principles that he taught and lived.
I think nobody alive today is a more powerful agent of conversion than someone like Mother Teresa. You can refute arguments but not her life. When she came to the National Prayer Breakfast and lectured President Clinton about abortion, he had nothing to say to her. He can't argue with a saint. It's too bad there isn't an easier way, because becoming a saint is not the easiest thing in the world. It's much easier to become an apologist or a philosopher or a theologian.
Big dreams are risky business. The psyche can be fiendish, puckish, exalted, imperious, tender, sardonic, faithful, pestilential--whatever rivets our attention upon the task of psychic growth. It is not so hard to find at least a little sympathy for theologian Martin Luther, who prayed to God not to send him any dreams at all, fearful he could not distinguish between those of divine origin and those sent by the Devil.
Marc Ian Barasch
God once spoke through the mouth of an ass. I will tell you straight what I think. I am a Christian theologian and I am bound not only to assert, but to defend the truth with my blood and death. I want to believe freely and be a slave to the authority of no one, of a council, a university, or pope. I will confidently confess what appears to me to be true whether it has been asserted by a Catholic or a heretic, whether it has been approved or reproved by a council." - Martin Luther (book: "Here I Stand")
Barth was the first theologian to begin the criticism of religion... but he set in its place the positivist doctrine of revelation which says in effect, 'Take it or leave it': Virgin Birth, Trinity or anything else, everything which is an equally significant and necessary part of the whole, which latter has to be swallowed as a whole or not at all. That is not in accordance with the Bible. There are degrees of perception and degrees of significance, i.e. a secret discipline must be re-established whereby the mysteries of the Christian faith are preserved from profanation.
I do not think of God theistically, that is, as a being, supernatural in power, who dwells beyond the limits of my world. I rather experience God as the source of life willing me to live fully, the source of love calling me to love wastefully and to borrow a phrase from the theologian, Paul Tillich, as the Ground of being, calling me to be all that I can be.
John Shelby Spong
Only unconditional grace can transform a hardened heart into a grateful heart. Only a free gift can demolish any notion of quid pro quo. Only an utterly merciful act of love can fashion a new creation capable of love. As theologian Karl Barth puts it, 'As the beloved of God, we have no alternative but to love him in return.
If I have put the case of science at all correctly, the reader will have recognised that modern science does much more than demand that it shall be left in undisturbed possession of what the theologian and metaphysician please to term its 'legitimate field'. It claims that the whole range of phenomena, mental as well as physical-the entire universe-is its field. It asserts that the scientific method is the sole gateway to the whole region of knowledge.