If natural theology does not speak directly of the nature of God but only speaks through analogy, saying what God is like ...
and, if through kataphasis we affirm that God is like this or that ...
but, if through apophasis we deny that he is like this or that in precisely the same way that creatures are ...
then, eminently, what does revealed theology reveal ?
The Logic of Revelation by John-Peter Pham
Footnote re: kataphasis, apophasis and eminence
INDUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT OF ATTRIBUTES
The elaboration of the idea of God is carried out along
three converging lines.
(1) The positive way of causality
In virtue of the principle that whatever excellence is
contained in an effect is represented in the efficiency
of the cause, reason affirms that every positive
perfection of created being has its transcendental
analogue in the first cause. Hence, from the
existence of an intelligent being, man, in the
cosmos, we rightly infer that God is intelligent ,
that is to say, His infinite perfection is
superabundantly adequate to all the operations of
(2) The negative way
If we fix our attention precisely on the Infinity of God,
then, focusing the negation not upon the positive
content of any created perfection but upon the fact
that, because it is finite it is determined in kind and
limited in degree, we may affirm that it is not found in
God. We may say, e.g., that He is not intelligent.
The meaning of the statement is not that God
lacks intelligence but that in Him there is no
intelligence exactly as we know it. Again, since
there is no imperfection in God, every concept of
defect, privation, and limitation must be negated of
God. Many negative names, it is true, are applied to
God; as when, for instance, He is said to be
immutable, uncaused, infinite. It should, however, be
carefully observed that some attributes, which, from
the etymological point of view are negative, convey,
nevertheless, a positive meaning. Failure to perceive
this obvious truth has been responsible for much
empty dogmatism on the impossibility of forming any
concept of the Infinite. The basic note in the idea of
the Infinite is existence, actuality, perfection; the
negative note is subordinate. Furthermore, since the
force of the latter note is to deny any and all
limitations to the actuality represented by the former,
its real import is positive, like the cancellation of a
minus sign in an algebraic formula; or, it discharges
the function of an exponent and raises actuality to the
(3) Way of eminence
The concept of a perfection derived from created
things and freed of all defects, is, in its application to
God, expanded without limit. God not only possesses
every excellence discoverable in creation, but He also
possesses it infinitely. To emphasize the
transcendence of the Divine perfection, in some
cases an abstract noun is substituted for the
corresponding adjective; as, God is Intelligence
; or, again, some word of intensive, or exclusive,
force is joined to the attribute; as, God alone is good,
God is goodness itself, God is all-powerful, or
Divine Attributes - The Catholic Encyclopedia
Here it is! Jim Arraj's:The Jesus of History & The Jesus of Faith
Jim asks: Have the findings of the historians about Jesus made it more difficult, or impossible, to believe in the Jesus that faith proposes to us?
I encourage you to explore the answers that Jim proposes. Perhaps we could kick off this thread by citing our favorite quotes from this last section of The Christian Mysteries?
Glad to see that finally made its way onto the net.
I'll start out easy, here, and say that the first and most helpful thing about Jim's approach is the distinction between the Jesus of Faith and the Jesus of history. Granted that these are both the same Jesus, but the way we talk about the Jesus of Faith will be very different from the way we talk about the Jesus of history. The New Testament is more concerned about the former, presupposing certain "givens" about the latter: e.g., that he really lived, taught, worked miracles, was arrested, tried, suffered, died. Even here, however, the New Testament presents these deeds with the Jesus of Faith in mind.
Enough for now. Jim's work here is a very important one, Catholic theology at its best!
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