Christianty Essay Example

Christianity 7

Lecturer

Christianity

According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, nobody can exactly know who God is, but everybody can tell what he is not. Moreover, nobody has any means of considering how God is or the magnificent ways he uses to manifest himself. The monotheistic attributes of God are theophany where he is known by self-revelation and not human discovery, he is also omniscient where he cannot make mistakes, and he is immutable as well1.

The gospel was written for only those who belong to Jesus’ movement. It has several testimonies of eyewitnesses who share their experiences and encounters with Jesus. The New Testament also accounts for the early Christian communities, which the new followers of Jesus have drawn immense inspiration. This implies that the gospel was not written for the non-believers but for those believers who were not in a position to experience Jesus first hand. The New Testament has twenty-seven books, which are categorized as the Pauline letters, catholic letters, apocalyptic and the Gospels.

These gospels are just snippets of Jesus’ memories as narrated by people who experienced him. The books of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John are referred to as synoptic gospels and a detailed scrutiny of these books clearly shows that Mathew contains about 90% of the book of Mark while a significant portion of mark is found in Luke. Scholars have also acknowledged the fact that a large portion of Luke and Mathew is not found in Mark. These books are therefore interrelated and some are almost identical. Other Gospels that are not found in the New Testament include the infancy Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Judas and Gospel of Jesus’ wife2. These books of the bible should be interpreted in either grammatical sense, spiritual sense, anagogical sense or a more ethical sense which has moral and ethical implications. In these books, Christians read about baptism, the lords supper and giving thanks to the most high.

However, the books lack a generalized term e.g. “sacrament” which categorizes the Eucharist and baptism. This also holds for all the baptism and Eucharist writings in the old (early) church e.g. the Apostolic Tradition and Epitaph of Abercius3. This can be attributed to the fact that church leaders and the Christian theologians in the early centuries only wrote in Greek. This meant that all the Greek theological writings will not contain “sacramentum” because it is a Latin term. However, Tertullian who was in the Christian West appeared to be the first Latin writer to use “sacramentum” in a theological way and in a distinguished line of theologians from North Africa such as Augustine and Cyprian.

For the contemporary Christians, what proved to be so influential was how Tertullian used the term “sacramentum” for both Eucharist and baptism. According to Augustine, his writings only emphasized that the sacrament seems to be efficacious even when a minister was sinful because the rite only owed its efficacy and the meaning to Christ himself as opposed to the minister who does not institute this right. Therefore, the rites meaning was constant regardless of whether the minister is a sinner or a saint.

Breaking of the bread is one of the oldest names that have been used for the Eucharist. It is essentially the gesture of Jesus bringing bread to his disciples. In Christians , this emphasizes the aspect of sharing which should not be down played in the modern church (Acts 2:42, NRSV). As the early Christians (Jews) ate their meals at home, they always remembered the request of Jesus to break their bread and share a cup under his name and a promise that the bread represented his body while the wine signified his blood. Therefore, the early Eucharist, which Luke refers to as “breaking of Bread”, was celebrated only be the Jewish Christians as a meal, just as Jesus did.

The lords supper is the oldest name that has been used to refer to the Eucharist (1 Cor 11:20, NRSV). It was still around even 15 years after the resurrection and passion of Jesus. They shared a cup and broke bread under his name, which was in fidelity to Jesus’ commands. Paul pinpointed that the Eucharist cannot be celebrated if we continue to focus economic, racial, or social lines. He emphasized that when Christians are divided anytime whenever they are taking the Eucharist that amounts to hypocrisy and lies because it is an act of sharing4.

Theological anthropology is an area of study where the scholars of religion and theologians refer to the human problem as the imperfections of human nature5. Every religion has some convictions pertaining to the human life. Every human being hopes for a better future where some liberate themselves and others from engaging in drugs and sex. Humans acknowledge that they are imperfect as they miss a mark in their lives and fall short of their potential. They eventually recognize that they are morally guilty, ignorant, and anxious and therefore need of salvation, reconciliation, and redemption.

According to the Christian theology, sin refers to the human propensity to put human egoistic desires as the dominating factor in everything that results into a destructive self-assertion6. For the theologians of medieval catholic such as St. Thomas Aquinas, sin is lustful self-absorption or concupiscence (associated with lusting of the mind and sexual lust)7. The interpretation of sin according to Augustine is embedded on Romans (Rom 5:12, NRSV) where sin came in the universe through one man, death brought about sin and death spread to human beings because they all had sinned.

Evangelicalism is an American conception that lacks the European antecedent8. It is a contemporary form of Christianity that stemmed from the American frontier and spread by the circuit riders as well as revivals such as the Cane ridge revival and the Great awakenings. The predominant characteristics of Evangelicalism are experiential. In addition, it emphasizes the Christ’s redemption of death for the human sins and free choice, which is a function of individualistic or personal faith. The foundations of faith practiced in evangelicalism have to be biblical.

Bibliography

WUNT 2nd ser. vol. 132, Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001.Johannine Sabbath Conflicts as Juridical Controversy Asiedu-Peprah, Martin.

Seattle University. Psychology for the Other: A Seminar on Emmanuel Lévinas. Accessed April 5, 2007. ‖Bloechl, Jeffrey. The Difficulty of Being.

http://www.seattleu.edu/artsci/psychology/conference/2004/archive2004.html.doc.

Clooney, F. X. Comparative theology: Deep learning across religious borders. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell 2010.

Haffner, Paul. New Testament theology: an introduction. Leominster, UK: Gracewing 2008

87 2006. New Blackfriars
‖Joeri Schrijvers, On Doing Theology after‘Ontotheology: Notes on a French Debate,

. Louisville, Ky. [u.a.]: Westminster John Knox Press 2007.New Testament theology: exploring diversity and unityMatera, Frank J.

. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell 2012Theology: The basicsMcGrath, Alister E.

RSV. Catholic Edition. London: Thomas Nelson, 1966The Holy Bible.

1 Martin Asiedu -Peprah. Johannine Sabbath Conflicts as Juridical Controversy (WUNT 2nd ser. vol. 132, Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001), 17.

(Accessed April 5, 2007)
http://www.seattleu.edu/artsci/psychology/conference/2004/archive2004.html.doc Seattle University, Psychology for the Other: A Seminar on Emmanuel Lévinas. (2007) ‖Jeffrey Bloechl. The Difficulty of Being.
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Francis. X. Clooney, Comparative theology: Deep learning across religious borders. (Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell 2010), 78

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Paul Haffner,. New Testament theology: an introduction. (Leominster, UK: Gracewing 2008), 47

87, 2006): 302-303. New Blackfriars
(Schrijvers Joeri, On Doing Theology ‗After‘Ontotheology: Notes on a French Debate,

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6 McGrath, Alister E. Theology: the basics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell 2012

7, Alister McGrath E. Theology: the basics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell 2012

. Louisville, Ky. [u.a.]: Westminster John Knox Press 2007, 67 New Testament theology: exploring diversity and unity, Frank J Matera
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