Theology is Based in History

Christian theology is based in history, not in abstract theorizing about God.  When we  honor our Church Fathers, we honor them for their work in interpreting God revealing Himself in history, in actual events. We read the Scriptures to enter into the revelation of God, not to make the book sacred, but because they reveal history to us.

“For whereas the Aristotelian notion suggests that knowledge of God is attained as we withdraw from temporal reality and ascend higher and higher in the scale of being, the Judaeo-Christian tradition directs us to what has happened, to temporal reality, and indeed to a particular sequence of events within temporal reality – the history of Israel culminating in the history of God Incarnate – as the locus for our knowledge of God.[…]  Theology in fact – whatever the theory – concerned itself with texts and their meaning, that is, with what men had said and thought. It gave to history a dignity that perhaps it otherwise would not have had: the raw material of theology was not simply abstract thought, or even myths, but things that have happened. Much theology indeed, perhaps even the most important part of it so far as influence and an impact went, concerned itself with what had happened and was happening: with God’s dealing with Israel, and with the New Israel – as a whole, in Church history, and with particular individuals, in the lives of the saints.” (Andrew Louth, Discerning the Mystery, pp 46-47)

 

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