THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND THE HISTORIOGRAPHICAL REVOLUTION

 

Antecedents and Consequences: Luke 1.1-4 and Acts 1.1ff.

 

Before the 18th and 19th century Historiographical Revolution, it was a supreme advantage of the Christian faith to be historically grounded again in the myth structures of non Judaeo Christian religion. After KantŐs First Critique he maintained that all of reality was reducible to thinking and acting, Western culture progressively grew more hostile to the classical Christian faith. The Scientific Revolution from Galileo, Newton, and Maxwell removed God from the explanatory hypothesis and reduced the Judaeo-Christian God to a ŇGod of the gaps.Ó Two of KantŐs students, Lessing and Herder, played fundamental roles in the new historiography, which leads directly to Heidegger and the historization of all reality.

 

A. KantŐs First Critique, a critique of practical reason and religion within the bounds of reason    alone.

B. LessingŐs Theological Writings: The Leibnizian epistemology of the Ňbroad ugly ditch.Ó

C. HerderŐs naturalistic Pantheism, natural religion and immanent god.

D. HegelŐs geist as the orderer of all matter; Marx invented ŇgeistÓ into natural laws controlling   matter, directing it to higher forms of expression.

E. Marx and HegelŐs dialectical view of reality contra--

1. The Law of Identity, i.e., 1 = 1.

2. The Law of the Excluded Middle, i.e., A cannot be both A and Non-A at the same time; from absolute Time and Space to Space-Time.

3. The Law of Contradiction, i.e., A cannot be both true and false at the same time under the same circumstances.

F. Theory and Practice from Aristotle to Marx: Priority to Theory or Practice?

G. From Dilthey to Darwin: Erlebnis and the meaning of history.

1. Dilthey to Troeltsch: Analogy of expression and recovery of the past.

2. Overcoming polarity of Subject/Object logic and epistemology in 19th century existentialism and phenomenology, e.g., Husserl, Ebner and Buber.

3. Encounter epistemology and historically mediated data about truth (from realism to existential view of truth).

4. History, Truth and Encounter.

5. God, mediated knowledge and Man.

H. Nietzsche and Freud: Death of God and rejection of objective status of GodŐs existence.

I. From the death of God and the death of absolutes to the death of man. Keats stated, ŇAll        things are falling apart. . .the center cannot hold.Ó

 

Conclusion: The Historiographical Revolution and the Christian Faith in the Postmodern Mad, Mod World.

 

James Strauss, Professor Emeritus, Lincoln Christian Seminary