BECAUSE TILLICH intends his system to be fully systematic, no word, no phrase, no metaphor, and no popular expression remains unaffected -- in principle at least -- when it is brought within the system's orbit. The authority of the system must extend throughout the entire kingdom of language.
This is the reason why, although Tillich describes theology as the methodical interpretation of the contents of the Christian faith, he finds that most of the leading terms used in traditional Christian doctrine stand in need of drastic reinterpretation. In fact, it is almost a law that, the more central to doctrine a word or phrase may be, the more certain it is to be marked out for replacement. The word faith is apparently among the most unsatisfactory of all,1 sharing its position as a theological scandal, perhaps, with the words sin and Incarnation. Whether substitute words can be found, or whether old words will have to go on working even though they have outlived their usefulness, Tillichs knows that his theology will not leave things as they were. His Method, especially, calls for 'an interpretation of the traditional symbols of Christianity . . . which preserves the power of these symbols and which opens them to the questions elaborated by our present analysis of human existence.2____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The System and the Gospel:A Critique of Paul Tillich. Contributors: Kenneth Hamilton - Author. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 197.
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