Theses (1981–1982) -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 15:0 (NA 1982)
Article: Theses (1981–1982)
Author: Anonymous


Theses (1981–1982)

We are extremely proud of our students and the research that they pursue. We have asked them to share a short summary of their completed theses at ATS in the hope that others may be made aware of these sources. The theses are bound and in the ATS Library. Those graduates that responded are listed below.

Terry L. Cross, Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Aspects of Revelation: A Comparison of the Views of Karl Barth and Carl F. H. Henry on Propositional Revelation

Revelation has been shaped into many things by contemporary theology. A major distinction between neo-orthodox theology and evangelical theology is the view that revelation is personal not propositional. The writings of Karl Barth and Carl F. H. Henry form representative material from which to better understand this distinction. Both Barth and Henry rely heavily on their view of God to shape their view of revelation. Barth sees God as the hidden subject who can never fully reveal Himself to man. However, God allows human language and concepts to speak to man, thereby allowing man to know “something” of God. In this way, Barth attempts to avoid skepticism about God. Henry sees God as personal but also rational, and therefore revealing Himself in a rational, written revelation. To dissolve revelation into a subjective, non-cognitive event in which God personally encounteres man is to cause the “suicide of theology.” The Scriptures are reliable, rational revelation from God and about God, giving man truth, not veiled information or subjectivity.

Casual readers of both Barth and Henry wrongly accuse them of being too personal or too propositional. Barth attempts to bring a cognitive element into his view, but his view of God allows man to know little of truth about God. Henry asserts God reveals Himself personally as well as propositionally, but he fails to emphasize this aspect enough (his chapters on the names of God do not adequately bring this personal aspect to the forefront). In addition, Henry’s view of the survival of the rational imago is questionable.

It is the thesis of this work that revelation is a divine truth revealed to man which can become the cognitive basis for divine encounter through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. In this way, a balanced approach is achieved without overemphasizing the personal or propositional aspects. Evangelicals want to hold on to a personal God revealing Himself, while at the same time they want to retain cognitive elements in revelation in order to have normative doctrines in theology, ethics, and Christian ministry. The Scriptures provide this cognitive aspect and the Holy Spirit gives a personal aspect through illumination.

William J. Dobben, A ‘Communications in Marriage Workshop...

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