saritura in-naltime

de la Plato la Isus

fptjUna din frumoasele surprize ale anului 2012 a reprezentat-o modul in care am fost felicitat cu ocazia onomasticii de catre reprezentanta editurii  Kregel Publishing, Laura Bartlett; cadoul a trebuit sa mi-l aleg intre o cana de cafea sau o carte. Grea alegere pentru un consumator de amandoua…cartea a invins si am primit astfel un volum pe care mi l-am dorit mai de mult – From Plato to Jesus: What Does Philosophy Have to Do with Theology?

Autorul, profesor Marvin C. Pate, mi-a retinut atentia la inceputul anului trecut prin abordarea lui echidistanta in domeniul spinos al interpretarii cartii Apocalipsa iar din discutia purtata apoi mi-a confirmat ca este un echilibrat interpret al Scripturii.

Imbinarea intre filosofie si teologie mi-a oferit dese momente de satisfactie intelectuala asa ca un drum de la Plato spre Isus nu putea decat sa incite si ordoneze ceva notiuni dobandite.

Te-ar surpinde sa descoperi ca ceea ce tu crezi/asumi ca vine direct din Biblie poate fi produsul unei idei lansate de Aristotel sau Plato? Aceasta incercare de a prezenta succesiunea in timp a dezvoltarii doctrinelor crestine in paralel cu aparitia ideilor filosofice ofera descopera un tablou surpinzator. Asta este o provocare pentru oricine sustine vre-o interpretare anume “pana in panzele albe”… Filosofia poate fi periculoasa (Luther a numit-o prostituata Diavolului, deh..) dar autorul o stapaneste bine in rigorile Revelatiei venite prin Cuvantul Biblic.

Pentru profesorul Pate, filosofia nu este doar o discutie despre notiuni complicate ce vor sa explice sensul existentei umane de aceea prin abordarea sa sunt aratate foarte clar avantajele filosofiei. Pate ofera cu succes argumente in favoarea ideei ca “philosophy is preparation for the gospel; philosophy anticipates and culminates in theology.” De aceasta afirmatie este legat faptul ca omul a cautat sa inteleaga sensul existentei sale si sa adune dovezi ca este format dupa chipul si asemanarea Divinului. Toate celelalte tensiuni intre universal si particular, intre experienta si ratiune se clarifica la momentul Intruparii.“To us,” spune Pate, “philosophy thereby anticipates, or is even resolved in the Incarnation.”

Structura cartii urmeza firul istoric si ofera posibiltatea de a vedea legatura ce exista intre mai multi ganditori si ideile pricipale prin care au structurat filosofia si influentat gandirea crestina in vremea lor(si dupa aceea). Prima parte este“From Socrates to Sartre: The History of Philosophy and Christian theology”.

In a doua partea sunt analizate doctrine majore ale crestinismului si ideile filosofice ce le-au amentintat sau afectat -“The Incarnation and the One and the Many: The Intersection of Philosophy and Christian Doctrine” – Intruparea, trinitatea, etica, eclesiologia, toate sunt tratate in aceasta sectiune; interesanta abordarea escatologie in aceasta combinatie. Ce m-a surpins? Modul in care combate/abordeaza cesationismul(pp 226, 271)

Metoda lui de analiza / raportare mi s-a parut dificila la inceput “the one and the many.”- “Singurul” si“multi altii”; matrice interpretativa ce s-a lamurit in cele din urma a fi “Singurul– Dumnezeu, divinitatea” si “multi altii – umanitatea”.

De-alungul istoriei multi dintre ganditorii crestini au fost implicati in filosofie si teologie incercand a imbina mai mult decat notiuni abstracte si a oferi raspunsuri cuprinzatoare la intrebarile imediat-existentiale.

Pate examineaza atent (si excelent) cautarea filosofica dupa adevar. Filosofia chestiona si cauta raspunsuri ce existau in teologie. Aceasta se poate vedea limpede in parta a doua a carti ce poate si un util exercitiu teologic supunand doctrinele crestin-esentiale la o analiza filosofica.

Capitolul 11 este unul ce incita prin analizarea Suveranitatii lui Dumnezeu si a responsabilitati umane/liberal arbitru. Discutia poate capta accepte paradoxale iar concluziile nu se lasa usor descoperite. Capitolul accentueaza si celebra disputa intre calvinism si arminianism.

Sunt pasaje in Noul Testament ce plaseaza implicarea umana in momentul decisional peste conceptul de Suveranitate a lui Dumnezeu. Este intr-un fel nerezonabil sa gandesti ca Dumnezeu nu ofera manturie fiecarui om si ca i-a predispus la aceasta doar pe unii din momentul in care descrie menirea Bisericii sa duca Evanghelia la orice om(pp.233).

Pate introduce in discutie apoi o alta alternativa interpretativa vazuta in pozitia sustinuta de teologul iezuit Luis de Molina implicandu-l apoi si pe un alt profesor-teolog, William Lane Craig, in gasirea unei pozitii acceptabile de rationamentul uman fata de realitatea Suveranitatii divine si pozita unei decizii libere ce ii apartine omului.

Mi s-a parut concludenta structura prin care analizeaza perioada Evului Mediu. Profesorul Pate identifica doua curente majore ce influenteaza intreaga gandire filosofica prezentand legaturile intre filosofia greaca si scepticismul contemporan. Aici Augustin pare a realiza legatura intre ideile lui Plato si Christos in timp ce Aquinas merge pe variant aristoteliana. Aparitia lui Luther adanceste cumva falia intre credinta si ratiune acesta respingand teologia naturala stabilita de Aquinas si imbratisand modelul augustan in care credinta triumfa asupra ratiunii.(pp45-46)

Cartea este un reusit compendiu de filosofie si are avantajul de a raporta aceasta la teologie – ofera suprinzatoare conexiuni intre cele doua(filosofie si teologie/doctrina). Concepte precum rationalism, empiricism, idealism, romanticism  sunt identificate pozitiv prin aportul adus la formarea gandirii.

Desi isi formuleaza opiniile bazandu-se pe un fond interpretativ conservator profesorul Pate realizeaza o lucrare echilibrata chair si prin lipsa analizarii ideilor unor folosofi ai spatiului estic si oriental-islamic.

Prin modul in care este scrisa, reprezentarile grafice si notele de final, cartea poate fi parcursa usor de studenti, profesori sau pastori; nu este greu accesibila nici pentru un cititor ce nu este dispus unui efort academic sustinut.

Profesorul C. Marvin Pate mi-a dovedit inca o data ca este pe profilulul meu: un conservator ce gandeste curajos dincolo de limitele prin care se defineste.

As pozitiona aceasta carte in primele 5 ce ar trebui traduse publicului roman in 2013.

From Plato to Jesus: What Does Philosophy Have to Do with Theology? – una din cartile pe care cu siguranta le voi reciti. Multumesc inca o data Laura Bartlett pentru ocazia de a reviziui aceasta carte aparuta la Kregel Publishing.

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C. Marvin Pate (Ph.D., Marquette University) este profesor de teologie crestina la Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Coeditor la Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy and End Times este un binecunoscut autor sub semnatura sa aparand ”Four Views on the Book of Revelation”, “Apocalypse”, “Doomsday Delusions”, “The End of the Age Has Come: The Theology of Paul” sau Reading Revelation.

 

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One of the biggest surprises of 2012 was produces by Laura Bartlett representative Kregel Publishing who congratulated me for my birthday and offer my as a gift a book which I wanted more than – From Plato to Jesus: What Does Philosophy Have to Do with Theology?

The author, Professor Marvin C. Pate, draw my attention early last year providing a balanced views for a good interpretation of the book of Revelation.

Combination between philosophy and theology gave me frequent moments of intellectual satisfaction so a road from Plato to Jesus could only excite my mind and order some notions captured along the way.

You would be surprised to discover that what you assume it comes directly from the Bible may be the product of an idea launched by Aristotle or Plato? This attempt to present sequence while the development of Christian doctrine along with the emergence of philosophical ideas provides discovers a surprising picture. Philosophy can be dangerous (Luther called a Devil prostitute, auch…) but the author (Mr. Pate)well mastered the concepts providing numerous insights related with the Bible standard.

For Professor Pate, philosophy is not just a discussion about complicated concepts that will explain the meaning of human existence and therefore the approach are clearly shown benefits philosophy. Pate successfully provides arguments in favor of the idea that “philosophy is preparation for the gospel, philosophy anticipates and culminates in Theology.” This statement is related to the fact that man has sought to understand the meaning of his existence and gather evidence that is made in the image and divine likeness. All tensions between universal and particular, experience and reason, and so on tends to be clarified by Incarnation. “To us,” says Pate, “thereby anticipates philosophy, or is resolved in the Incarnation.”

The structure of the book follows the historical thread and offer the possibility to see links between many thinkers and ideas that have influenced Christian thoughts/interpretation in their time (and then). Basically this is what you can found in the first part of the book – “From Socrates to Sartre: The History of Philosophy and Christian Theology.”

In the second part are considered major doctrines of Christianity and philosophical ideas that have threatened or affected – “The Incarnation and the One and the Many: The Intersection of Philosophy and Christian Doctrine” – the Incarnation, the Trinity, ethics, ecclesiology, all are treated in this section; interesting approach to eschatology in this combination. What has surprised me? How Professor Pate approaches Cessationism l (pp. 226, 271)

His method of analysis seemed difficult at first “the one and the many” but this interpretive/explanatory matrix was helpful after all to positioning what is coming from God and what humanity developed.

Throughout history many Christian thinkers were involved in trying to combine philosophy and theology more than abstract notions and provide comprehensive answers to questions immediately-existential.

Pate examine carefully (and excellent) philosophical search for truth. Philosophy is questioning and seeking answers that existed already in theology. This can be seen clearly in the second part of the book that perhaps a useful exercise Christian theological doctrines essential subjecting a philosophical analysis.

Chapter 11 is one that incites by considering God’s sovereignty and human responsibility / free will. Discussion can capture not accept paradoxical and conclusions are easily discovered. Chapter accentuates the famous debate between Calvinism and Arminianism.

There are passages in the New Testament that places human involvement in decision making over time the concept of Sovereignty of God. Somehow is unreasonable to think that God offers salvation to every man (describing the mission of the Church to carry the Gospel to every man (pp.233)) and in the same time he restricted this to the “chosen ones”. Pate is adding another interpretive position held by Luis de Molina Jesuit theologian and then ideas from another teacher-theologian William Lane Craig tiring to construct an acceptable position (for our limited reasoning) to understands the Divine sovereignty and spectral decision that belongs to humanity(free will)

Analyzing the Middle Ages Professor Pate identify two major trends affecting overall thought presenting philosophical connections between Greek philosophy and contemporary skepticism. Here Augustine seems to make the connection between the ideas of Plato and Christ while Aquinas embraces the Aristotelian way. Luther’s appearance somehow deepens the gap between faith and reason that rejecting natural theology of Aquinas and supports Augustine model having a major contribution to the western approach of “faith triumph over reason”. (Pp45-46)

The book is a compendium of philosophy even it’s fails to include ideas from ideas of Eastern philosophy (or oriental-Islamic roots) Professor Pate opinions are based on a conservative interpretation but the result offer a balanced approach. The book structures (way how it is written) graphics and endnotes, developed a very good instrument for students, teachers or pastors, even for a reader who is not willing to an academic effort.

Professor C. Marvin Pate proved to me once more he is a bold conservative thinking beyond the limits which defines his position.

I position this book in the first 5 books which are better by translated for Romanian language market in 2013.

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