Thursday, October 30, 2008

To Compose, Or, To Decompose

Presently I'm reading Dictionary of Theology by the German, Catholic theologians, Karl Rahner and Herbert Vorgrimler. Lest anyone think that I am some sort of an intellectual let me set the record straight by saying that there are words in here I have never heard of; and that's from someone who reads the unabridged dictionary and thesauri for recreation.
The subject is the soul. And of course the question has to do with the destiny of the soul at death. Does it take flight to an upper- or lower-tier existence, or is it neither? Does one's body simply rest in the grave until That Day?
I've written on this previously but am no more convinced that the churches of today have it right. The Germans only add to the confusion when they speak of "...the principle of man..."
Their first confusing premise is that one must distinguish between "being" and "the principle of being."
They define "the principle of being" as "an intrinsic source of a being, because of which--without prejudice to its unity--that being exhibits a plurality of characteristics none of which can be sufficiently explained by any other, though each one, being part of the whole, is codetermined by the whole. The soul, in Christian teaching, is a principle of being, not an entity which exists for its own sake and has entered in an adventitious union with matter." (pg.483)
Did you get that? Me neither; principally because I don't consider it, "gettable."
As soon as the starter's pistol is fired they deny that they espouse Platonic (after, Plato) dualism but my reading of both the big words and the small ones tell me that the conclusions are the same; the BCE Greeks and the CE Germans. Id est, the soul is immortal. The Germans do it with stainless steel nuts and bolts which is heavier and less poetic than the Greek. (That was close ; I almost left out the "r").
Their essential conclusion (pg.484) states, "Hence reason and Christian faith tell us that the soul does not cease to exist at death, together with man's physical and biological consciousness. The soul is immortal (Denzinger 1440 f.), though this immortality is not to be considered mere continuance as before but a supratemporal fulfillment of the spiritual person who has finished the period when he was free to act in time, and though revelation testifies that ultimately this fulfillment will be manifest as the completion of the whole man.":
If we still don't get it I'll tell you why; or rather I'll let them explain: "...Scripture and Tradition form a single entity because they have a single origin--God's unique revelation--and mutually condition each other."[pg.507] [2nd VC, 9-10].
So there you have it; I think!
Rome uses the convenience of Tradition (you noted the word was capitalized didn't you), reason, faith, and revelation (that word is lower case in contrast to the Biblical Revelation, the true title of which is, The Revelation of Jesus Christ.). Christ is our Premise, our Faith, our Principle, our Promise. "Can you search out the deep things of God" [Job 11:7]
This is hefty stuff and it's time for me to go. I'm tired of standing on this soap box and besides most of the crowd went home long ago to watch TV. God Bless. e.c.

1 comment:

gadadhoon said...

...going a bit too deep for me to have the foggiest notion what you're talking about without five minutes of thinking for every minute of reading.
In other news, are you preaching this Sabbath? I don't remember if I asked you to or not. We need to organize all three generations on the same day.