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By Paul Tillich

In 'A background of Christian Thought', Paul Tillich has comprehensive the supremely tough feat of making a piece instantly brilliantly authoritative and entire, whereas last transparent and uncluttered by way of scholarly annotation and debate. initially added as lectures on the Union Theological Seminary and on the Divinity institution of the college of Chicago, this variation has been fantastically edited by way of Carl E. Braaten of the Lutheran university of Theology in Chicago.

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Since ethics is the focus of Bultmann's interpretation, the basic appeal is for decision; his is a theology of decision. By marked contrast Tillich's interpretation is in terms of ontological categories; he spoke of participation in the reality becoming transparent through the symbols. The idea of participation suggests that even the dimension of the unconscious is involved in the religious act; the idea of decision confines the religious act to the level of consciousness. In this light we can understand why Tillich's thinking was thoroughly sacramental; the decisionism of existentialist theology, on the other hand, leaves no room for the sacramental aspects of religion.

We all experience moments in our lives when we feel that now is the right time to do something, now we are mature enough, now we can make the decision. This is the kairos. It was in this sense that Paul and the early church spoke of the kairos, the right time for the coming of the Christ. The early church, and Paul to a certain extent, tried to show why the time in which Christ appeared was the right time, how his appearance was made possible by a providential constellation of factors. What we must do now is to show the preparation for Christian ACCORDING 2 A History of Christian Thought theology in the world situation into which Jesus came.

The development in the idea of God during this period between the Testaments was toward a radical transcendence. God becomes more and more transcendent, and for this reason he becomes more and more universal. But a God who is both absolutely transcendent and absolutely universal has lost many of the concrete traits which the God of a nation has. For this reason names were introduced to preserve some of the concreteness of the divinity, names like "heaven". For example, in the New Testament we often find the term "kingdom of heaven" in place of "kingdom of God".

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