On Being a Christian by Hans KungI first read this in 1975, soon after the Eng. translation came out. I found it to be an amazing and serious liberal R.C. exploration of the major questions of christian theology. Certainly it should be considered on the same level as many of the great protestant theologians (e.g. Tillich, Bonhoeffer, Bultmann, Kierkegaard). Considering this and many of his other works, it is no surprise that both Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger strongly opposed Kung’s relatively radical views. Re-reading it again nearly 40 years later, I would say if there was any truth to the christian image of reality, I would prefer Kungs church to that of most christian thinkers, RC or otherwise. Kungs discussions of the history of christian thought, the development and structure of the church, and especially his comparisons between RC christianity and 1)other world religions, 2)Judaism, and 3)other forms of christianity, are all fascinating and thought provoking. However, he is frustrating in that with each argument (and in ~600 pages he covers a LOT of arguments) he always haults at the brink – after showing the physical, philosophical, historical, and/or other problems with a particular belief issue, he then concludes with something along the line of, but faith answers all (of course, these conclusions are argued with his usual skill). I still think he is a brilliant, and learned man, but I wish his learning could push him a step further to even more liberal conclusions. Still, I recommend the book to serious students of christian thought/history, whether or not you are Christian yourself. One BIG caveat - while he repeatedly says he is also talking to atheists, except for those like me who still enjoy the history of christian thought separate from their own beliefs, atheists will not find him to be addressing them at all (no, I do not expect him to give up his beliefs, I am just noting that most of what he considers shared questions would not even mean anything to most atheists). And certainly I do nott recommend it to any of a more conservative christian mind unless they really can read it with a very open mind – this man is not shy about questions the precepts and assumptions of the christian cult. Finally, even though yes, I disagree with many of Herr Professor Kung’s conclusions, I still find myself greatly admiring the mind of this great thinker. Also – if you only can visit a few cities in Europe, Kung’s own Tubingen should be towards the top of your list!
Great Christian Thinkers
On 17 February the German Episcopal Conference issued a declaration concerning the conclusion of the doctrinal process of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the books The Church and Infallible? A question , by Prof. In that declaration the bishops also took a stand on the book Being a Christian which had just come out. With reference to the general directives on the normative significance of the tradition of the Church, the declaration said: "If Prof. Therefore also Prof. Thus also in Prof. In dialogue with representatives of the German Episcopal Conference, Prof.
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Qty :. Why should one be a Christian? Is there something more to being a Christian than to being human? Just what does it mean to be a Christian, especially in today's modern world? He looks carefully at the evidence in the Bible, at the challenges of modern humanisms and of the world-religions, at the questions concerning death, at the local and the universal church, at the individual's own personal decisions, and at the freedom that Christianity brings, including the freedom to serve. On Being a Christian is a vital and important statement about what it means to be a Christian. It seeks to bring to light for this present time the original Christian message and particularly the figure of Jesus of Nazareth.
Hard going, maybe because it's in translation. Nevertheless a revelation of fresh thinking. A call to critical thinking about what you mean when you say you're Christian.
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He is a PostBarthian darling, because his doctoral thesis was Karl Barth's Doctrine of Justification that fostered ecumenism between Catholics and Protestants. He's also a darling, because he protested the papist doctrine of Infallibility, and was censored for it, and lost his right to teach in the Catholic Church, yet he remains to be a proponent for the Catholic Church and for reunification of the universal Christian Church. I am always mesmerized when basic questions are put to world famous theologians, because their answers are always surprising! First of all, simply because—despite all my criticisms and concerns—I can nevertheless feel fundamentally positive about a tradition that is significant for me; a tradition in which I live side by side with so many others, past and present. Because I would not dream of confusing the great Christian tradition with the present structures of the church, nor leaving a definition of true Christian values to its present administrators.
Where is our starting point for knowing the person of Jesus Christ. What if any is the difference? He suggest that we know Jesus better today than any former generation of Christians except the first, due to our historically objective significant research. He goes on to say that historical-critical research cannot provide reasons for faith, only the message of Jesus can provide those reasons. He also believes that historical-critical research cannot destroy faith because the Jesus we believe in was a historical person.
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