Theology Reflection Essay

I was pleased to write an essay about theology and happiness for inclusion in a Festschrift for my friend Tim Gorringe. Readers of my new book Making Sense of Sex will recognize some of the arguments in the last couple of ... This short piece appeared in 'Reform', the journal of the United Reformed Church, in December 2009.

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Our theme was 'Breaking the Silence: Theological Reflection on HIV Prevention'. The essay shows how half a dozen or so models of marriage, found in Christian doctrine over the centuries, can actually illuminate the meanings given to marriage today in a compelling way. Theological arguments which lead to the same conclusion are discussed and approved.

I was invited to write this piece for the Orthodox Church journal, Sobornost, in July 2007, for its issue on the ... Don't be put off by the mellifluous simplicity of the title. 2007, the Archbishop of Canterbury said, For most Anglicans, questions about sexual ethics belonged in that category of teaching that was not up for negotiation as a result of cultural variation or social development.

The theme that 'marital values' can be found in lots of relationships that are not formally marriages is developed at length in my Theology and Families, chapter 5. At the time I was working on my Theology and Families. Bill Ind, invited me to talk to the diocesan clergy about these ... The Anglican Communion is divided over homosexuality (and much else).

I had been studying the teaching of Jesus about children in the synoptic Gospels, and I was feeling moved by Christ's obvious love ... The text of this piece was intended as a booklet, designed for use by two groups of people - marriage preparation trainers and clergy; and couples themselves who intend a Christian marriage. 2005) which services 'A' level Religious Studies students in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. First, in 2005 the Church of England Bishops had just published their guidelines, Advice to the Clergy, about the questions to put to couples coming to them for marriage in church, at least one of whom had been divorced. Some parts of the Communion declared that the issue had 'impaired' their 'communion' with other parts. Theologians who had contributed to the Theology of Education, or who were working as people of faith in secular universities, were invited to contribute to a volume (see link), The Idea of a Christian University.

We take these three as our focus because, unlike (for example) doctrines about providence or the attributes of God, these are distinctive to Christian theology and, unlike (for example) the doctrine of original sin or the Real Presence of Christ in the eucharist, these have been the subject of a great deal of discussion over the past couple of decades.

In the history of Christian theology, philosophy has sometimes been seen as a natural complement to theological reflection, whereas at other times practitioners of the two disciplines have regarded each other as mortal enemies.

Some early Christian thinkers such as Tertullian were of the view that any intrusion of secular philosophical reason into theological reflection was out of order.

Thus, even if certain theological claims seemed to fly in the face of the standards of reasoning defended by philosophers, the religious believer should not flinch. Augustine of Hippo, argued that philosophical reflection complemented theology, but only when these philosophical reflections were firmly grounded in a prior intellectual commitment to the underlying truth of the Christian faith.

Many of the doctrines central to Christianity have important philosophical implications or presuppositions.

In this article, we begin with a brief general discussion of the relationship between philosophy and Christian dogma, and then we turn our attention to three of the most philosophically challenging Christian doctrines: the trinity, the incarnation, and the atonement.


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