The subjects on this blog are mainly political and theological, but your ideas on other topics are welcome. My hope is that we can dialog honestly even if we disagree.. There are some previous posts on this blog. I will be responsible for them even though I may no longer fully support them.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Tillich &Theism

Paul Tillich speaks  of  "theism" in three ways, in his book COURAGE TO BE.  

(1) It can mean an unspecified affirmation of God.  E.g., a politician or public speaker may reference "God" in order to appear serious or morally trustworthy. Theism is thus used to convey a character quality from the speaker to the audience; but this can be negated if the audience takes its theistic affirmation [more] seriously.  (302)  

(2) A second meaning for theism is that it may be the name for the divine-human encounters found, for example, in the Judeo-Christian scriptures.  The personalistic representations of God show theism as the "non-mystical side of biblical religion and historical Christianity" ( (303)

(3) Theism in a third sense is dependent on the first two meanings. It is strictly theological and is thus dependent on the religious substance which it conceptualizes.  In the first sense it attempts to shore up the necessity of affirming God in some way.  It may formulate arguments for "existence of God".  In the second sense it attempts to translate the person-to-person experiences into a doctrine of two different realities which may or may not coincide.

All three of these views of theism must be transcended.  The first because it is irrelevant; and the second because it is one-sided.  The third must be transcended because it is just wrong.  It is bad theology  Check this out: