There is a need for a new paradigm to understand Christian faith, with postmodernity's challenge. While we must not allow postmodernity to undermine the Christian faith altogether, there are valid points that must be affirmed..
1. The limit to all knowledge and objective understanding to truth claims.
2. The need for a critical realism.
3. The individual and context as "beginning and end-point" of faith.
While these "truths" are valid in postmodernity's critique, we must affirm, at the same time;
1. The need for an apology or reason for the faith.
2. The need to understand the humanity of Jesus, and the ethical dimensions of the O.T.
3. The individual's need for "community", while affirming the individual's convictions.
Jesus, as the perfect man, represents God to those who are outside the religious and political power structures. What can this mean except that God is "for" ALL of humanity.
A Christian humanism (experience)- While the Christian humanist would begin their understanding of faith through experience, it would not limit their understanding of Jesus' life as witnessed by Scripture in communal commitment.
A Christian universalism (tradition)- The Christian universalist would affirm the cultural and historical aspects of other religious traditions, not undermining the individual's identity, but at the same time expanding the traditional understanding based on Scripture.
A Christian agnosticism (reason)-The Academy, whose "world" inhabits the arena of the mind would use their expertise to challenge the student in faith formation.
A Christian fundamentalism (text)-Perhaps this is where the challenge of "change" is most resisted. Fundamentalism understands their position on Scripture as the only means of understanding all of life.
These "parts" of the Quadralateral (reason, tradition, Scripture, and experience) are points of entry to understanding Christian faith. The methodology to understanding faith is an approach to ethics.
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