Bultmann asserts the inner connection between christology and Paul’s teaching on justification. As a form of direct address, christology is the proclamation of the eschatological deed of God that occurred in Jesus Christ, while as a form of indirect speech, christology makes explicit the new self-understanding of the believer that is made possible through the salvation-event. Thus, justification proves to be the explication of christology, just as talk of Christ is conversely understood as implied by the event of justification. Since Paul emphatically unfolds christology after the manner of a doctrine of justification, he makes clear that an understanding appropriation of the Christ-occurrence “is a matter not of speculation, but rather of self-reflection, a thinking-through of one’s new experience.”
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In essence . . . the proclamation of Jesus has no significance for the theological views of Paul. The evident similarities and differences between the preaching of Jesus and the theology of Paul with regard to the law and eschatology cannot be explained in terms of the history of ideas—that is, as if one had developed out of the other. Rather, the decisive difference consists in the fact that “Paul regards as present what for Jesus is future—which is to say, as something in the past breaking into the present.” Bultmann now views two stages as significant for the emergence of christology. Jesus understood himself as bearer of the word of God in the end times. His call to decision in the face of his person implied a christology. Thereupon, with its confession of the crucified Jesus as the Messiah, the earliest community understood the cross as the eschatological deed of God and understood itself anew on this basis. What was implicit in the kerygma of the earliest community, Paul made explicit in his theologia crucis, namely, the meaning of the cross as the decisive fact of salvation for the self-understanding of the believer. But since Jesus Christ encounters a person solely in the proclaimed word, one may “not go back behind the kerygma . . . in order to reconstruct a ‘historical Jesus.’” . . . In his theology, therefore, Paul interprets the new self-understanding of those who believe in the Christ present in the kerygma as Lord over their existence.
Helmut Gollwitzer’s work is a timely and invaluable resource in the contemporary North American sociopolitical climate, which is dominated by economic hardship for the many while the moneyed elite amass ever-greater hordes of wealth. As one who engaged deeply and critically with Marxism and its criticism of religion, Gollwitzer can serve as a guide for our own sometimes painful but always necessary efforts to rethink theology and Christian social responsibility—indeed, to rethink the gospel in its manifold significance—for our own time and place.
First, Bultmann complains that Otto has passed off merely psychic phenomena as presumably genuine religious states of feeling, but that in so doing has clearly not grasped the essence of religion. Over against such a psychological misunderstanding of religion, it must be insisted that religion consists in an inward and personal experience that knows itself constituted through the relation “th an otherworldly reality of life.” The religious individual experiences this reality, as Bultmann formulates it following Schleiermacher, “in the feeling of absolute dependence.” However, this feeling does not, as Otto believes, correspond to a psychic state, nor does it denote “the faculty of judgment of the aesthetic reason.” It is rather to be characterized, following Schleiermacher, as a form of self-consciousness. Bultmann locates Otto’s understanding of religion in the area of Paul Natorp’s neo-Kantian philosophy of religion. But Natorp’s idea of religion as “a registering of an otherworldly world,” a concept that strongly affected Otto, represents a projection of psychic states, and therefore Bultmann must reject it as a denial of the transcendental reference of religion. Contrary to such a dissolving of religion into illusion, Butlmann’s interpretation of the feeling of absolute dependence leads him to assert the validity of its “objective relation” to otherworldly reality. To be sure, it may not be possible to comprehend this relation to its object rationally; but viewed from the opposite direction, the otherworldly reality may reveal itself as mysterium—mystery in the positive sense, inasmuch as such a revelation opens up an ever-increasing appreciation of existence. Accordingly, what Otto sees as the psychic states in which a person’s sense of being rises to a feeling of self-realization would not be significant for the understanding of religion. What remains decisive is the dual orientation of the religious self-consciousness. On the one side, it “consists in relations to the this-worldly world and in the participation in formulating the material of experience through the faculties of reason.” On the other, it is experienced precisely in this relation to this same world, so that “into one’s individual life” there pours a content that grounds one the certitude of a life grounded in the transcendent.”
@rudolf_bultmann So, Rudy, let's see if this is really you: what informal location did you write the following lines:— W. Travis McMaken (@WTravisMcMaken) April 10, 2013
@rudolf_bultmann "Take heart, for in this flow of time / Our freedom from ourselves we win"— W. Travis McMaken (@WTravisMcMaken) April 10, 2013
@wtravismcmaken My brain isn't what it used to be - about 10% is now green goo. So I cannot remember. You of little faith— Rudolf Bultmann (@Rudolf_Bultmann) April 10, 2013
@rudolf_bultmann Lame-sauce.— W. Travis McMaken (@WTravisMcMaken) April 11, 2013
@wtravismcmaken I'm no Bultmann, but I'm pretty sure this was a poem composed by Bultmann which he wrote in a guestbook, maybe edinburgh— Todd Brewer (@ToddHBrew) April 11, 2013
We are born on time’s relentless stream,
Our present passes ever on.
And so is all but a fading dream?
And we, with it, forlorn?
Take heart, for in this flow of time
Our freedom from ourselves we win,
And in what comes we e’er shall find
Ourselves renewed again, again.
Thus says the Word, and if you’re open
And ready for what may come or be,
In faith and love you may find hope,
And find in time eternity.
"In this paper I don't attempt to situate repentance within a virtue approach, but rather argue that virtue approaches to ethics help us realize repentance. Tillich correlative approach applies here. I don't think ecological ethics is possible without a posture of repentance, which in turn is only possible (I argue) through attention to character, as opposed to classical utilitarian or deontological approaches."For more from Kiara, check this out: Repentance and Ecological Vocation
[I]t is necessary to recognize that man’s sinful nature makes it impossible to speak correctly of God and of one’s own existence, for only thus can the concept of God as the wholly other have its true meaning.
And as with God, so also with our existence: we cannot speak about it. This is the case especially from the perspective of the modern worldview, by virtue of which the human being distinguishes himself as subject from other objects, thus observes himself from the outside as object, and so is effectively unable to grasp his own true nature. Accurate speaking of God, however, would always have to be speaking at once of our existence as one that is grounded in God and vice versa. . . . Faith, as the free deed of obedience, affirms the doing, the word of God to us. Thus “faith becomes the Archimedean point” from which vantage the individual can forever speak anew of the justifying God and at the same time of his sinful and grace-filled existence.