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God of the Philosophers Reflection Paper

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Wolfhart Pannenburg's article, "God of the Philosophers," discusses how Christianity developed from Hellenistic theology and Platonism. However, many drifted away from these beliefs such as Protestants, who were looking to "dehellenize" and demythologize Christian thoughts. They decided to campaign against metaphysics, which concerns the "fundamental nature of being and the world." When metaphysics died down, questions about the existence of God and act of being started to arise. Many people disagreed with the idea that God was the creator of mankind and the world because some references in the bible are incompatible with science. Furthermore, people have denied acceptance to faith and reason. However, in order for others to fully comprehend the truth, Christians need to find the source of their distorted rationality and look deeper into reason itself. These ideas will be further explained through philosophers from the past.

Pope Benedict's lecture at Regensburg University emphasized that Hellenism--beliefs centering on gods and goddesses--was a major influence to Christian theology. However, the Greeks were searching for the "true nature of the divine" leading them to believe that there really is only one God. Although it was difficult to accept, "the God of Israel is, in fact, the one God conceived by the philosophers." Martin Luther believes that God is true because no other creature has the ability to create heaven and earth. Melanchthon, who influenced Protestantism, fought against metaphysics by "dehellenizing" Christianity. However, there were many uncertainties about how metaphysics really decayed. Comte, who coined sociology, believed that metaphysics declined because natural science began to arise. Dilthey, on the other hand, believed that history killed metaphysics while, Heidegger believed that his own beliefs of "being" led to the death of metaphysics. Overall, common criticisms on metaphysics led to "the rejection of rational theology."

Heidegger believed that a simple being is misunderstood as the "highest being." Although Nietzsche was an atheist, he still believed that a highest being does exist. Immanuel Kant believes that it is our freedom to judge whether something truly exists or not. And it is through Plato in which we decide whether a being is genuine. While Hegel believes that the infinite replaces the concept of being or highest being, Descartes argued in that finite beings such as humans are limited by the infinite, God. Protestants like Tillich believe that God was just an ordinary being, not a supreme being.

Although Christians believe in one God, the Trinitarian belief--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--also plays an important role in understanding Christianity. Athanasius believes God is Father and the Father needs a son. The father and the son both follow the Logos (word) of God and are connected with the Holy Spirit. Barth and Rahner emphasized the importance of a differentiated unity and the significance of the relationship between Trinitarian and monotheism in the development of Christianity. Israelites believe that God is the Father and people of Israel are his sons. And Christians believed that God is reincarnated into Jesus. Jesus obeyed his Father by spreading the word of God while the Father raised Jesus from the dead. The understanding of the trinity is necessary to have both faith and reason. Having these qualities gives people the ability to understand the Bible and respect it's authority for being the real word of God.

Since it is uncertain how God created heaven and earth, the real issue is how to believe in this God. Because some of the stories do not match up with science, many people reject the idea that God created the universe and mankind. An example of the conflict of reason, not truth, is when secularists reject the Resurrection of Jesus and the existence of a God and his responsibility in the world's creation. Christians need to locate reasons for why people reject God by looking deep down into what made them believe God.

After reading the article, I developed a clearer understanding of the Catholic belief. Although



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