Saturday, April 23, 2005

Whilst I am no expert, it seems to me that the new Pope Benedict XVI is not going to be beneficial to the church. He has been criticised for being anti-totalitarian in politics but totalitarian in terms of theology. Whilst someone who claims to be a humble christian could be of benefit I have doubts.
It seems to me that one of the biggest problems that afflicts all religions is the idea of complete self-certainty. This is one of the things that I was reading about in my book by Paul Tillich this morning and I think it is even more relevant today than at any other time.
Whilst some would respond to this by re-moulding themselves in the role of cunning wise religious philosopher,it is clear that this is a time when the majority of people have huge doubts, huge confusions and huge uncertainties. Fundamentalism and triumphalism in terms of theology only serves to dirty the reputation of the church.
Paul Tillich takes the text ' To the weak I have become weak myself in order to gain the weak' :
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
"This is the most profound of the three statements that Paul makes about himself, and the most important one for our existence as theologians. We must become as though weak, although grasped by the Divine Spirit, the basis of all theology, we are not weak. How can we become weak without being already weak? We can become weak by having the strength to acknowledg our weakness, by restraining ourselves from all fanaticism and theological self-certainty and by participating - not from the outside, but from the inside - in the weakness of all those to whom we speak as theologians. Our strength is our weakness; our strength is not our strength. We are strong, therefore, only in so far as we point, for our own sake and for the sake of others, to the truth which possesses us, but which we do not possess."
(notice he doesn't say, I have become weak even though I am strong)

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