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THEO 301 (Sp '18) T04a - Four Existential Questions

Copied from THEO 403 (was Folk/Traditional Religions)
by

Hartmut Scherer

on 14 March 2018

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Transcript of THEO 301 (Sp '18) T04a - Four Existential Questions

God reveals his purposes in broad strokes
Four Existential Questions
Righteousness
and justice and the problem of
evil
and injustice
Knowledge
to decide and the problem of the
unknown
Well-being
in this life and the problem of
misfortunes
Meaning
in this
life
and the problem of
death
Misfortune
is related to ancestors, demons, witches, local gods, magic and astrology
- health in Scripture

-> Shalom
In order to guarantee success,
God speaks to humans in:
Why is there injustice and why am I wronged?
It is not enough to say that this will never happen to Christ followers
We need to have a
biblical view
of sin and holiness, of purity and pollution.
Some guidelines:
Local churches should be
caring
and
healing communities
Christians must
model a biblical response
to injustice
God can use
suffering for good
.
We are called to
share
in the
sufferings of Christ
The
end
of the human story is not suffering, but
joy
The church is to
speak out against
all the
sin
Adversity
Choose a belief system ("toolbox") to explain it
Diagnose the cause using this system
Select a remedy and apply it
Christian response:
-
minister
to the people
in crisis (! magic !)
- a theology of suffering
-
trinitarian view of God
- understandable
ways
some
seek hidden knowledge
from gods, spirits, and ancestors
Divine Guidance
Two general principles of divine guidance
God opens and closes doors through circumstances
- his word
All Christ followers need to learn to dependent on God
- community of faith
Four Existential Questions*
The
real questions about death
are:
A Christian response:
- Why and why now?
- How will this affect
me and my family?
- new meaning in death
as their
loved ones meet
Christ
and
fulfill
their
salvation
;
Diachronic
meaning is given to life through
A Christian response:
- personal stories,
- group stories,
- and cosmic drama
- show them how
their lives are
part of
God's cosmic story
Synchronic
meaning
A Christian response:
In Christ we have a . . .
- in becoming,
- in belonging,
- in having a home,
- in doing and
possessions
- new
identity
,
- new
community
,
- new
home
on earth,
- new
gifting
- new
view of possessions
- in being,
- share
Christ's victory

over death and the
hope of
eternal life
Example:
You want to become successful.
How can you achieve this?
Western solution:
Hard work and careful planning
Japanese solution:
Visit the Hozenji temple for business success
How do you respond to someone who likes to read his/her horoscope?
- different
ways (changes
as people grow in faith)
- Discernment
is key.
Some misconceptions
about divine guidance
Humans must guess God's will.
God's will is one option among many.
God has only one perfect plan for his children.
A magical approach to divine guidance.
God makes all decisions for his children.
Sources and Image Credit
2)
devastation, hurricane, destruction; https://pixabay.com/en/hurricane-devastation-destruction-60550/.
1)
Cemetery; https://pixabay.com/en/cemetery-veteran-widow-sadness-269663/.
3)
crystal ball; https://pixabay.com/en/psychics-crystal-ball-fortune-teller-1026092/.
4)
world trade center; https://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/4428688046/in/photolist-7KmbEs-abs3aD-gC77bx-bBiGAt-nawoAF-8PxpeC-eYzc2G-cuSmE3-6o5oYD-qDTGgu-5kBxPi-akvJfS-fwdgiT-cJGVPU-pPPWUx-6X5X8C-FWq1Mn-gqK3L-pPPYDe-pDa8NR-qb96HP-fwdfWR-bDjXKK-Dm4Zj-DpMwq4-qu2T6o-8zoiBL-8zoiBu-B2DRij-bBB7P3-s1V4Bf-8A9Vtx-e7AzoW-cuSmAJ-bxKrLs-5vHLSp-okMpsy-qTjxaM-o3UMNE-5oy7Cy-bCqCsm-c1sR8L-pX9h1D-baF6-fwPHDZ-s7tY7i-f8bXFG-fwsBPf-euAUKr-dn2AHG/
5)
Judaism; https://pixabay.com/en/prayer-jew-hebrew-judaism-801506/
6)
Shiva; https://www.flickr.com/photos/alicepopkorn/14592515906/in/photolist-oeuszQ-q2Ykex-cuenDd-qnG9Qc-suCRDB-qjTgvF-oKQkKK-bb3jMt-apHbtn-gd15FC-6r79Ad-pKHFdC-8WcYHR-qgJfXp-pqWp6M-rmLFSC-pDuUMa-soatsy-hZWPn1-4BGY6P-4BMftY-4AFTQ6-i52FmB-prvwbc-4BGXKi-4BH2KK-qbcKJs-4BMh8W-s2CrCB-5b4WZp-4BMgGG-4BMhxw-pzJHn-7A6NLn-hZWHQm-vHqbng-fGg7ed-gK2g6h-4yTUhT-7x7Y9C-oBLjw3-kWrZ3M-5b9gTq-5PsgRk-i528XN-kYif8T-qvHBPn-c4EkSj-A9U122-81CsTQ
7)
Dome of the Rock; https://pixabay.com/en/dome-of-the-rock-mosque-islam-dome-574488/
8)
Buddhism; https://pixabay.com/en/monk-religion-buddhism-faithful-868247/
9)
Hozenji temple; https://www.flickr.com/photos/24328671@N07/9206315049/in/photolist-3Xkfz7-f2wLHP-brAiJW-87Na5P-87RnL7-87NbNk-87Ro5S-87NaAZ-f2wQ9x-piVetu-pApTbt-f2M4Tb-3Xg1cP-f2M3aY-3XfBU8-9PSoEX-4jfz6g-4jfAH4-3XfTQX-4jjD9Q-4jfzVc-4jjDWC
Bible; https://pixabay.com/en/hand-bible-religion-453220/
10)
Why did someone die/live (e.g., following a sickness or accident)?
What is the cause for well-being or misfortune (e.g., wealth,
barrenness, crop failure)?
How do I obtain guidance for an uncertain future (e.g., traveling, marriage, business decisions)?
Where do I find justice/protection amid evil (e.g., protection from
the evil eye)?
*Adapted from Hiebert, Shaw, and Tiénou,
Understanding Folk Religions
, 74ff.
Full transcript