The Old Testament and Christian Faith: A Theological Discussion

By Bernhard W. Anderson | Go to book overview

2 Is the Old Testament the Propaedeutic to Christian Faith?

ALAN RICHARDSON

The rise of scientific biblical criticism in the latter half of the eighteenth century rendered untenable the traditional Christian conception of divine revelation. No longer was it possible to conceive of revelation as consisting in infallible oracles of truth written down in the inspired text of Holy Scripture. In Germany the main stream of Protestant theology in the nineteenth century took its direction from Schleiermacher, who attempted to formulate an alternative view of divine revelation, now that it could no longer be identified with the divinely given propositional truths of the Bible. The dominant Continental nineteenth-century view, nowadays often called Liberal Protestantism, sought to ground theological truth upon the deliverances of the religious consciousness, the stream of awareness of God, which came into the world as a positive historical religion with Jesus and his Church. The significance of Jesus was generally held to reside in the fact that historically it was he who introduced into the world that new kind of God-consciousness, that new relationship between man and God, which is the distinguishing characteristic of the Christian religion.

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