Thursday, March 02, 2006

More On Bultmann

As promised I thought I'd pass on a few more thoughts on Bultmann particularly as it pertains to Harmartiology. Please do not understand the following endorsements as promoting neo-orthodoxy (of course you have to have the disclaimer). However, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by some of what I read. Harmartiology is one of the few areas in which I feel like I have a decent grasp on much of the data. Therefore, rather than rereading some of the foundational material, I decided to branch out (pioneer into new territory, if you will) and read some neo-orthodox and liberal theologians. However, though I may strongly disagree with Bultmann in many areas, his treatment of sarx and sinfulness is not one of them. Sure, there are fine points over which we can always quibble, but much of what I read, I read with profit. First of all, his treatment of the semantic range of sarx is an excellent example of philology at it's best. And for those of you who know me well enough to know my thoughts on wordstudies (think of the baby and the bathwater) that's quite a concession. Furthermore, his section on sinfulness actually had a number of quotable quotes. For the sake of space and time, I'll provide only one example. The context of what he is discussing is the nature of fleshly living. He has been arguing that such living is often equated with immorality and wickedness; however he also groups moralism in this same category (i.e. fleshly living):

"Whether, then, it is a matter of giving one's self up to worldly enticements and pleasures, either in frivolitty or swept along by the storm of passion, or whether it is the zealous bustle of moral and religious activity that is iinvolved--life in all of these cases is apostasy from God--a turning away from Him to the creation and to one's own strength, and is, therefore, enmity toward God (Rom. 8:6) and disobedience to the will of God (Rom. 8:7; 10:3; II Cor. 10:5). All human wisdom, power, and greatness must come to naught in the presence of God (I Cor. 1:26-31)."

- Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the NT: Vol 1, p. 241

Way to go Rudy! Not bad for a pagan :-o


David said...

you call him pagan yet you read his swill!! you neo-orthodox, german-yammering, left-leaning, quasi-dispensensationalistic...huh huh (catching my breath), emergent-beerdrinking, friend of sinners and publicans!

NWMihelis said...

Which is precisely why we're friends!

OTwannabe said...

At least you are still trying to read conservatively. I always try to end my day with a reading from Von Rad, Mowinckel, Welhausen, or Gerstenberger. Imagine what what I would be labled!!!