By Paul; Edited by Braaten, Carl E. Tillich
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Additional resources for A History of Christian Thought: From its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism
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.
The Roman Church took over the heritage of the Roman Empire. We should never forget this fact. If we are tempted to evaluate the Roman Church more highly than we should, we ought to ask ourselves: how many Roman elements are in it, and to what extent are they valid for us in our culture? We should do the same thing with the Greek philosophical concepts which created the Christian dogma. To what degree are they valid today? Of course, it is not necessary to reject something simply because it happens to be Roman or Greek, but neither is it necessary to The Preparation for Christianity 3 accept something which the church has derived from Rome or Greece, even if sanctioned by a dogmatic decision.
So he laid stress on order together with the Spirit. In the Pastoral Epistles, which were attributed to Paul, the emphasis on ecclesiastical order became increasingly important. By the time of the apostolic fathers the ecstatic spirit had almost disappeared. It was considered dangerous. And why, they asked, do we need it? Everything the Spirit had to say has already been classically expressed in Scripture and tradition. Therefore, instead of the prophets who traveled from place to place as the apostles did, we now have definite norms and authorities arising in the Christian congregations.