Saturday, November 2, 2019
Religious Belief versus Intellectual Acceptance Essay
Religious Belief versus Intellectual Acceptance - Essay Example Theology is the organizing and systematizing of the doctrines of a religion to make them consistent with each other and relevant to the rest of life. It means the evaluation and correction of doctrine. One doctrine is not just as good as another unless it gives equal expression to the same belief, equal in the sense of being as true to experience and as easy to understand in the terms of its expression. A detached study of doctrines in relation to knowledge as a whole is undertaken in the philosophy of religion (Foster, 2000). Some doctrines do not change with changing a life but remain constant because the aspect of the experience to which they refer remains constant. An example, to be discussed more fully later, is the doctrine of the two natures of Christ. Working with the facts of Jesus' humanity and the conviction of his Deity as well, the Church after rejecting doctrinal formulations expressed in terms of dual personalities, or dual wills, or Divine spirit inhabiting a human body, settled on the doctrine of the two natures; namely, that Christ was fully man and fully God, yet one person (Willard, 2000). The doctrine of the two natures of Christ is held to this day because a better formulation of the central conviction has not been found. And, of course, insofar as there is similarity of belief and culture, there will be similarity of doctrine--hence, the degree of consistency within a particular religion that sets it apart from other religions. For example, in the doctrine of the Trinity--that God is one in three persons--person means something quite different from our contemporary idea of a person. Failure to appreciate this often makes people think that Christianity affirms the existence of three Gods. Or again, Protestants affirm their faith in the "holy Catholic Church," even though for many of them the first association of the word catholic is with the Roman Catholic Church rather than with the universal body of Christian believers, as they really define it.