God Suffers for Us
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BeschreibungDietrich Bonhoeffer, writing in his cell in a Nazi prison, expressed a most remarkable idea. "Men go to God in His need. " This is the insight, he observed, which distinguishes the Christian faith from all other religions. It is a universal belief that God, or the gods, should come to help man in his mortal, human need. But this is not the God and Father of Jesus Christ. Even as Jesus in Gethsemane chided his disciples for their sloth in not keeping watch with him during his agony, so God the Father must look to His creatures for their faith and sympathy. Therein lies the basis for the Christian answer to man kind's perennial complaint: Why do men suffer? Not all theologians, believing Christians, or believers in a personal God can share this idea. Traditionally the Eastern Orthodox thinkers have adhered to the rule of apophatic theology: that is, there are boundaries of knowledge about God which the human mind, even when enlightened by revelation, cannot cross. So who can say that God the Eternal One is susceptible to what we call suffering? It is better to hold one's silence on so deep a mystery. Still others are loathe to acknowledge God's passibility for varying reasons. God is ultimate and perfect; therefore he cannot know suffering or other emotions. God is impersonal; therefore it is meaningless to ascribe personal, anthro popathic feelings to Him. Many angels may fear to tread on the ground of this most difficult question.
I. A Criterion for the Ascription of Divine Passibility: The Empathy of God.- The Foundation of a Criterion: Agape as the Content of the Christian Faith.- A Definition of the Criterion: The Empathy of God as a Function of Agape.- An Application of the Criterion: The Meaning of Divine Passibility.-
II. The Negation of Divine Passibility: An Examination of a Traditional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility.- The Basic Assumptions for the Assertion of Divine Impassibility.
- 1. The Distinctions of "Persons" in the Trinity.
- 2. The Greek Idea of Divine Apatheia.
- 3. The Static Notion of Divine Autarkeia.- Some of the Serious Objections Against the Ascription of Divine Passibility.
- 1. Suffering Is Intrinsically an Evil; Therefore It Cannot Be a Part of Divine Experience.
- 2. Suffering Implies Inner Frustration; Therefore It Cannot Be Attributed to God, Who Is Infinite in Power and Freedom.
- 3. Suffering Implies Entanglement in Time; Therefore It Is Incompatible with God Who Is Totally Transcendent.- An Examination of the Validity of These Assumptions and Objections in the Light of the Empathy of God.
- 1. An Examination of the Validity of the Basic Assumptions for the Assertion of Divine Impassibility in the Light of Divine Empathy.
- 2. An Examination of Some of the Serious Objections Against the Assertion of Divine Passibility in the Light of the Empathy of God.-
III. The Affirmation of Divine Passibility: Its Compatibility with the Major Doctrines of the Christian Faith.- Creation and Divine Passibility.
- 1. Creation as the External Manifestation of Divine Empathy.
- 2. The Incompatibility of the Concept of Divine Impassibility with the Doctrine of Creation and Providence.
- 3. Evil as the Providential Occasioning of Divine Passibility.- Incarnation and Divine Passibility.
- 1. Incarnation as the Perfect Analogy of the Empathy of God.
- 2. The Incompatibility of the Concept of Divine Impassibility with the Doctrine of Incarnation.
- 3. Incarnation as the Historical Basis of Divine Passibility.- Atonement and Divine Passibility.
- 1. The Cross as the Depth of Divine Empathy.
- 2. The Incompatibility of the Concept of Divine Impassibility with the Reality of the Cross.
- 3. Divine Passibility as the Necessary Consequence of Atonement.- The Holy Spirit and Divine Passibility.
- 1. Divine Empathy as an Activity of the Holy Spirit.
- 2. The Incompatibility of the Concept of Divine Impassibility with the Empathy of God as an Activity of the Holy Spirit.
- 3. The Holy Spirit as the Continual Manifestation of Divine Passibility.- The Trinity and Divine Passibility.
- 1. The Inner-trinitarian Life as the Prototype of Divine Empathy.
- 2. The Incompatibility of the Concept of Divine Impassibility with the Idea of the Trinity as the Archetype of Divine Empathy.
- 3. The Trinity as the Integral Reality of Divine Passibility.-
IV. An Application of Divine Passibility: The Overcoming of our Suffering in the Fellowship of Divine and Human Suffering.- The Fellowship of Divine and Human Suffering.- Overcoming Human Suffering in Divine Suffering.- Appendix: A Theological Method: An Analogy of Faith.- Biblical Justification for an Analogy of Faith.- The Application and Development of the Analogy of Faith in the Theology of Karl Barth.- The Significance of the Analogy of Faith for the Problem of Divine Passibility.
Untertitel: A Systematic Inquiry into a Concept of Divine Passibility. Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1974. Book. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 1974
Seitenanzahl: 128 Seiten