Most Christians believe that worlds experience godly opinion and are rewarded with either ageless life or ageless damnation, i.e. in Eden or snake pit. This includes decease, the fate of humanity, 2nd coming of Christ and the last opinion when God will decree the destinies of all people. ‘The ultimate Christian hope is hope of Eden ‘ ( Hebblewaith, pg3 ) .

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The Roman Empire lasted for more than 1,200 old ages. Due to weak leading, moral decay and the inability to keep and finance its ground forcess this caused the autumn of Rome, which denoted the autumn of the Western Empire. However, a great trade occurred during this period with respect to the consolidation and institutionalisation of the church ‘ ( Schwarz pg136 ) .

I will concentrate on the Hagiographas of Thomas Aquinas, Moltmann, Gutierrez, Luther and the Reformation. They all show a varied realisation of the presence and power of God and how this is shown in their different theological positions and by their experiences.

Augustine of Hippo was one of the greatest and most of import theologists of the Patristic epoch and in the history of Christianity. He was influential in the development of the Western church ‘s apprehension of the philosophies of the Trinity, original wickedness, predestination and the church. He represents a transitional figure between the early church and the beginning of the in-between ages. With Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, Augustine may be considered to be one of the four most influential minds, who helped determine Western doctrine.

Thomas Aquinas became one of the greatest and most influential Scholastic theologists of the Middle Ages. Analyzing in Cologne with Albert the Great, he embraced Aristotelean doctrine and sought to give rational statements in defense mechanism of Christian divinity and to recommend the instructions of Aristotle.

His greatest plants were ‘Summa Contra Gentiles ‘ and ‘Summa Theologica ‘ which attempted to establish the Christian religion on rational rules.

He believed in the contemplation of God through the natural order. Survey of the disclosures of the Bible could uncover ultimate truths. He applied this philosophical discourse to his five ways to turn out the being and belief in God, these being ‘




Degrees of Perfection.


Like Aristotle, Aquinas believed utilizing a method of concluding it would be possible to larn everything at that place was to cognize about world. He believed it possible for a individual to accept spiritual instructions by religion entirely stressing divinity was a scientific discipline in which careful usage of ground would convey discernible cogent evidence of theoretical cognition.

Aquinas formulated a theory of moralss known as Natural Law which is the engagement of the human individual in the Godhead jurisprudence of God ‘ ( ) . He besides declares that natural jurisprudence is ‘nothing other than the visible radiation of understanding infused in us by God where by we see what is to be done and what is non to be done ‘ ( ) . This exercise of rational scruples has been at the head of Roman Catholic learning for centuries though it is non the sum sum of it.

The sixteenth century brought about a extremist and major alteration in the manner of making divinity. It brought a new hope as it was out with the old manner of making things and brought back the old traditions of utilizing the Bibles. The position being that the church should return to its foundation of the apprehension of Gods word.

‘The first major subject of Reformation idea is the philosophy of justification by religion ‘ ( McGrath pg101 ) . This philosophy is that God cancels out our wickedness and makes us suit to be saved and is one manner of nearing the philosophy of the Atonement – being made at one with God.

Martin Luther was considered to be the most successful personality of the European Reformation and of import in the history of the Christian church.

Luther was convinced that the church had misunderstood and lost the kernel of Christianity. The Roman Catholic divinity stated that faith entirely can non warrant adult male, but by being active in charitable workss and donating money to the church it would assist.

Luther believed that the church had become corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what were the cardinal truths of Christianity. Luther protested against the church selling its indulgencies to raise money. His wrote the ‘Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences ‘ , which became known as The 95 Thesiss. Luther could non understand why the church was going wealthy at the disbursal of the hapless.

His Hagiographas were translated from Latin into German, their message spread much more widely due to the printing imperativeness. Peoples could read and construe Bible and this lead to the ironss of papal and ecclesiastical authorization being removed which brought about greater political and economic freedom. However it besides brought widespread rebellions among the German peasantry.

The most of import philosophy to Luther was the philosophy of the justification, Gods act of declaring a evildoer righteous, by religion entirely through Gods grace. He taught that redemption is a gift of Gods grace, which was merely come-at-able through religion in Jesus as the Messiah, which gave the hope of ageless life.

Luther did non concentrate on predestination, but his modern position of predestination was that people are predestined to heaven, but non predestined to hell.

Luther stated that any who believed in God received righteousness through co-operation with God instead, than on their ain actions wholly. He believed that our redemption would merely come through religion and that ‘God ‘s righteousness was non an averaging justness but a gift to the faithful ‘ ( Hill pg 178 ) . Everyone was offered hope, every bit long as they had religion, that redemption and forgiveness was possible, for everyone.

Luther, like Zwingli the Swiss theologist, argued that redemption and forgiveness was besides possible through infant baptism as this was the minute of entry into the Church, even though this was no countenance in the Bible. The Anabaptists, who said that lone mature grownups could do a witting pick, Luther and Zwingli.

This was in contrast to the Roman Catholics who besides said a kid should be baptised, merely in instance of decease, otherwise it would pass clip in purgatory as it has non been cleaned from the original wickedness with which it was born. Unlike Aquinas, it was believed that redemption is here and now as Christ is with us here and now, therefore hope is cyclic and non additive.

The Roman Catholic impression of purgatory is that it gives the chance for person to purge, or cleanse, him or herself in order to make heaven. The reformation rejected purgatory as there was no biblical foundation and was inconsistent with the philosophy of religion.

Jurgen Moltmann idolised Albert Einstein. Before Moltmann could go to university he was drafted into military service in 1944, going a captive of war between 1945 and staying so in England until 1948.

Moltmann lost all hope and assurance in German civilization because of the concentration cantonments. Often his compunction was so great that he felt he would instead decease than unrecorded with the guilt of what his state had done.

As a POW he met a group of Christians in cantonment. He bit by bit identified more with the Christian religion claiming ‘I did n’t happen Christ, He found me ‘ ( ) . His experience as a POW gave him a greater apprehension of how suffering and hope reinforce each other. This left a permanent feeling on his divinity.

Moltmann was strongly influenced by Karl Barth ‘s dialectical divinity, which focused on the ‘qualitative difference between God and worlds and the interplay between opposing or self-contradictory thoughts such as clip and infinity or finite and space ‘ ( Greanz pg40 ) . Moltmann grew critical of Barth ‘s disregard of the historical nature of world and began to analyze Bonhoeffer.

Moltmann became more concerned with societal moralss and the relationship between church and society. His became greatly interested in Luther and Hegel and their philosophy of justification and the divinity of the cross. Otto Weber helped Moltmann to develop his eschatological position of the churches cosmopolitan mission.

The Marxist philosopher, Ernst Bloch, work on the ‘Principle of Hope ‘ , inspired Moltmann ‘s first major work, ‘Theology of Hope ‘ . His work was eschatologically centred and stated that through religion we are bound to Christ, and as such have the hope of the resurrected Christ, and cognition of his return.

Against a background of secular hope, which was frequently grounded in Marxist political orientation, Moltmann argued the demand for ‘the rediscovery of the corporate Christine construct of hope, as a cardinal motivation factor in the life and idea of the person and the church ‘ ( McGrath pg475 ) . He besides stated that eschatology needed to be brought to the head and made cardinal in importance in Christian thought.

Moltmann ‘s thought of Christian divinity was that is should supply a vision of hope through the transforming work of God. Hope and faith depend on each other to stay true and significant, and merely with both may one happen ‘not merely a solace in agony, but besides the protest of the godly promise against enduring ‘ ( ) .

In Moltmann ‘s position the hope in inquiry is based on the public hope of the whole of creative activity and non merely on private, experiential or private hope. All of creative activity is waiting for the ‘God of Hope ‘ and the regenerating power of his plants. It was of import that Christianity rediscovered its eschatology, and its importance to a universe in which there is so much agony and wickedness, and is looking for that hope in a secular universe outside Christian traditions. The church needs to rediscover its ain divinity of hope if it is to be effectual in our secular society.

Liberation divinity is a dramatic development in Christian divinity in the recent decennaries. It is thought to be the ‘response of the developing universe to the doctrinal compulsions of Western Theology ‘ ( Hill pg306 ) .

Gustavo Gutierrez has possibly been the most influential and prominent of all release theologists. He writes through the eyes and positions of the hapless and laden, stressing pattern over philosophy. Guitierrez argued, along with Segundo, that Christian thought could merely be developed on the footing of experience. His position is that the Bible reveals a God of action who brings hope to the oppressed. Liberation divinity hence seeks to travel beyond the traditional concern with orthodoxy, right belief, and alternatively focal points on orthopraxy or right pattern.

Gutierrez says true release has three chief facets,

First, it involves political and societal release. This removes the immediate causes of poorness and unfairness.

Second, it involves the liberation of the hapless, the marginalised, and the oppressed from all the things that limit their ability to develop themselves freely and with self-respect.

Third, it involves release from selfishness and wickedness, and enables Restoration of a relationship with God and with other people.

However, in the 1980 ‘s, the Vatican attacked the South American release theologists for their affinity with Marxism. Gutierrez emphasised that Liberation divinity was influenced by the eschatology of Moltmann and besides by Barth ‘s accent of allowing the Bible speak to us instead than frailty versa which was therefore a narrative of redemption and release which would convey new hope.

In his divinity, Gutierrez gives both critical and constructive ways of a continual journey and a new manner for being with God, which condemns wickedness and announces Gods grace. Following Luther ‘s ‘ lead, Gutierrez helped Latin Liberation divinity to be rooted in a demand for civil rights under the subjugation of the Roman Catholic Church. This would give an understanding the God is here with them on Earth. This is a modern cyclical position that Eden is with them instead than a additive position of expecting them in Eden.

Following Luther ‘s ‘ lead of reformation divinity, Gutierrez helped Latin Liberation divinity to be rooted in a demand for civil rights under the subjugation of the Roman Catholic Church.

In decision, Christian hope is based on the fact that God is good, merciful and in all things He will make what is best for us. Our hope is in the satisfaction of Jesus ‘ promises, through the grace of God. Our hope is that when we depart this universe a new universe exists. One in which the rescue of wickedness, concern, and all other human agonies will be taken off.

Throughout history the influences and experiences of the great scholastic theologists have given us many changing positions on hope, heaven and hell. Each theologian gives a different position on their apprehension, and how their eschatology has been affected by the society and epoch they lived in.

Inaugurated, the land of God has begun to exert its influence within human history although its full realisation and fulfilment prevarication in the hereafter.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. 12/04/2010 14/04/2010 14/04/2010 12/04/2010

Ford, D F ( 2005 ) . The Modern Theologians. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Oxford, UK.

Grenz, Guretzki, Nordling ( 1999 ) . The Hodder Pocket Dictionary of Theological Footings. Hodder Headline Ltd. London, UK.

Hebblethwaite, B ( 1984 ) . The Christian Hope. Marshall Morgan & A ; Scott. Basingstoke, Hants, UK.

Hill, J ( 2003 ) . The History of Christian Thought. Lion Hudson Plc. Oxford, London.

McGrath, A ( 2007 ) . Christian Theology, an Introduction, Fourth Edition. Blackwell Publishing. Oxford, UK.

McGrath, A ( 2007 ) . The Christian Theology Reader, Third Edition.

Blackwell Publishing. Oxford, UK.

McGrath, A ( 1999 ) . Reformation Thought. Blackwell Publishing, Carlton, Victoria, Australia.

Schwarz, J ( 1995 ) . Word Alive! An debut to the Christian Faith. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

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