Document Type Doctoral Thesis Author Brand, S J P email@example.com URN etd-09292006-135130 Document Title Die logika van die geloof: Gebed as die raakpunt tussen rasionaliteit en ervaring by Rahner en Calvyn (Afrikaans) Degree DD (Dogmatics and Christian Ethics) Department Dogmatics and Christian Ethics Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof CJ Wethmar Keywords
Date 2000-00-00 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe topic of this study is: The logic of faith: prayer as the link between rationality and experience in a study of Karl Rahner and John Calvin.
The term ‘logic of faith’ refers to the correct way of reasoning about faith.
Why do a study about the theology of Rahner? Firstly because Rahner is known as the theologian who emphasises a unity between theology and spirituality.
In exploring Rahner’s theology, the question that does arise is: is Rahner a philosopher or a theologian? Rahner endeavours to question the logic of theology. In his philosophical, theological and spiritual works one discovers the ‘heart’ of modern man. Rahner connects the logic of faith with the everyday experience of man. This experience is his point of departure in presenting the case for Christianity. In relation to this, Rahner sees prayer as a common human experience and the key in discovering the unity between rationality and experience. Prayer implies experiencing God in ordinary everyday life. Through prayer the lost unity between God and man is restored. Although Rahner’s definition of experience may be vague and therefore subject to criticism, he gives a positive interpretation of the concept of experience in the sense of acceptance of the ‘self’. To him, the logic of faith is closely related to the acceptance of the ‘self’.
Rahner’s view give rise to the following question: Does the truth of a theological statement present itself in experience or in faith only?
This question is also put to the reformed tradition of which Calvin is a representative. Both Rahner and Calvin stress the unity between theology and spirituality. Knowing God and understanding man are inseparable concepts. Yet we a find an emphasis in Calvin’s theology, that we do not see in Rahner’s theology. Calvin accepts, unconditionally, the revelation of God in Jesus Christ as the source of faith. True understanding of human nature is dependant on God’s revelation in Scripture.
To Calvin, the logic of faith goes against common human experience and rationality. We ask the question about the logic of faith; prayer directs us to the source of the answer: the Word of God. This is the truth that the reformers rediscovered. The logic of faith implies a living relationship with Jesus Christ through His Word and Spirit and prayer is the main exercise of this relationship. In this sense prayer is the Urakt of Christian ethics, the first step in becoming a disciple. This we see in Calvin’s exegesis of the Lord’s Prayer.
The logic of faith and therefore faith itself become mysticism without God’s revelation through Scripture.
This study concludes that prayer is a neglected theme in the reformed tradition. Rahner and Calvin give us a new appreciation for the logic of faith and prayer as an integral part thereof.
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