By Helmut Thielicke
Advent through Martin E. Marty
A veteran theologian and minister deals his clever advice to newbies within the box at the problems of practising theology in a church frequently skeptical of theological pursuit. Thielicke stresses the significance of protecting one's religious well-being during technical theological inquiry.
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Additional info for A Little Exercise for Young Theologians
In every case, the fact remains that ‘God is nearer to us than we ourselves’ (SF, 131). In a closely related manner, Tillich understands sin as the ‘estrangement’ of man from his true being. The ontical-existential estrangement of humanity from God is not intelligible without our ontological-essential connectedness with him. Of course, this raises the question of whether Tillich’s system 22 Oswald Bayer of differentiation and characterization of essence and existence really corresponds to the ‘inexplicable and underivable’ fracture that occurs with sin, or whether his is an attempt to understand sin by making it comprehensible, as ‘estrangement’.
For Tillich, God is not humanity’s counterpart. God and humanity, God and World are originally one and the same, an undifferentiated One. Even the differentiation between God and humanity – the paradisic, prelapsarian (and hence essential) difference, which was willed by God and is appropriate to creation as created – even this differentiation is for Tillich a sign of estrangement and sin. e. with God. Tillich acknowledges no difference between sinful estrangement and the divinely ordained differentiation between God and humanity.
I fought against it and sought only to affirm its new methods of thinking without accepting its results’ (GW XII, 69). An alternative perspective comes from Hans-Georg Gadamer, at that time a Privatdozent in Marburg, who commented retrospectively on Tillich: I would like to think that Tillich was not very lucky in Marburg. At that time the Theology Faculty was very much determined by Bultmann, von Soden and indirectly by Heidegger, and the faculty was very critical of Tillich’s dialectical skill .
A Little Exercise for Young Theologians by Helmut Thielicke