By James Barr
Do humans find out about God simply by being people? Or do they want specified divine suggestions, during the Bible and the church? common theology was once lengthy authorised as a uncomplicated element in all theology, yet within the 20th century it was once rejected via very important theologians, particularly Karl Barth. His perspectives denied all common theology and positioned higher emphasis at the Bible. yet what if the Bible itself makes use of, is determined by, and helps usual theology? Professor Barr the following pursues those questions in the Bible itself and in the heritage of principles, previous and more moderen; and he seems at their implications for faith and theology within the future.
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Additional info for Biblical Faith and Natural Theology: The Gifford Lectures for 1991: Delivered in the University of Edinburgh (Clarendon Paperbacks)
On another aspect of Conzelmann's judgement, see below, Ch. 6. 42 For a man who could write about ﬁfteen pages of small print on the sacriﬁce of two birds plus various goats in Leviticus,43 and about thirty on details in the story of Saul and David,44 this cannot but be signiﬁcant. One can only interpret what one likes. Barth liked stories that told about election, the topic under which he expounded these Old Testament materials. He did not like stories that led towards natural theology. This is what I myself remember from the older Barthian days: apart from the feeble arguments cited above from Barth, which carried little conviction, what was generally done was to ignore the passage.
35 Cf. recently for example T. F. Torrance, ‘Phusikos kai theologikos logos: St Paul and Athenagoras at Athens’, SJT 41 (1988), 11–26, and in particular 13. 36 KD ii/1. 136; CD ii/1. 123. 37 Barth, KD ii/1. 136; CD ii/1. 123. Cf. also KD i/2. 333, CD i/2. , where Barth in his paradoxical way tells us: ‘That they come to know this is something quite new. And to us also it is quite new that we also come to know this, that they did already know it’. According to Barth, Paul is saying: ‘You did indeed know of this God, this God from being a known God has become to you an unknown God .
But there in respect of God's having no need to be nourished through sacriﬁces—a theme also of the satire in Bel and the Dragon. 39 I am indebted to Dr Eugene Lemcio for suggestions in this regard. PAUL ON THE AREOPAGUS 25 Where then does this lead? Back to the transcendence of God. God is not a physical substance like gold or stone, least of all is he like any image made by man. In the past he overlooked human ignorance in this respect (Paul's expression here is surely the source of the later Muslim concept of the jāhiliyya or ‘time of ignorance’ before Islam), but he now commands all people everywhere to repent.
Biblical Faith and Natural Theology: The Gifford Lectures for 1991: Delivered in the University of Edinburgh (Clarendon Paperbacks) by James Barr