Revelation as Testimony: A Philosophical-Theological Study

Revelation as Testimony: A Philosophical-Theological Study

by Mats Wahlberg

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Overview


According to the pre-modern Christian tradition, knowledge of God is mainly testimonial: we know certain important truths about God and divine things because God himself has told them to us. In academic theology of late this view is often summarily dismissed. But to do so is a mistake, claims Mats Wahlberg, who argues that the testimonial understanding of revelation is indispensable to Christian theology.

Criticizing the currently common idea that revelation should be construed exclusively in terms of God’s self manifestation in history or through inner experience, Wahlberg discusses the concept of divine testimony in the context of the debate about how any knowledge of God is possible. He draws on resources from contemporary analytic philosophy — especially John McDowell and Nicholas Wolterstorff — to argue for the intellectual viability of revelation as divine testimony.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802869883
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 11/08/2014
Pages: 246
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author


Mats Wahlberg is associate professor of systematic theologyat Ume? University, Ume?, Sweden. He is also the author ofReshaping Natural Theology: Seeing Nature asCreation.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction 1

2 Revelation and Knowledge of God 20

2.1 Revelation, Propositions, and Personal Relations 25

2.1.1 Prepositional and Manifestational Revelation 28

2.1.2 Misconceptions about Prepositional Revelation 33

2.1.3 Conclusion 41

2.2 The Problem of Knowledge of God 42

2.2.1 Kaufman's Challenge 43

2.2.2 A Response to Kaufman's Challenge 47

3 Theories of Revelation 52

3.1 Revelation as History 52

3.2 Revelation as Inner Experience: Nonconceptual Experience 59

3.2.1 Friedrich Schleiermacher 59

3.2.2 Karl Rahner 64

3.3 Revelation as Inner Experience: Conceptual Experience 71

3.4 Revelation as Dialectical Presence 80

3.4.1 Emil Brunner 81

3.4.2 Karl Barth 84

3.5 Revelation as New Awareness 89

3.6 "Postliberal" Views of Revelation 9

3.6.1 Ronald Thiemann 92

3.6.2 John Milbank 97

3.7 Conclusion 101

4 Divine Speech 107

4.1 Locutionary and Illocutionary Acts 109

4.2 Double-Agency Discourse 110

4.3 Possible Ways for God to Speak 113

4.4 Biblical Interpretation 115

4.5 Where Does It All Start? 120

5 Knowledge by Hearsay 124

5.1 Reductionism and Anti-Reductionism 124

5.2 John McDowell's Anti-Reductionism 132

6 Entrance into God's Own Knowledge 144

6.1 The Prophet P 145

6.2 Doxastic Responsibility 150

6.3 Jesus 152

6.4 The Epistemic Function of Miracles 158

6.5 The Task Ahead 165

7 Responsible Belief 172

7.1 Trusting the Gospels 172

7.2 Believing Reports about Miracles 182

7.3 Believing in the Resurrection 200

8 Faithful Knowledge 213

8.1 Objections and Clarifications 214

8.2 What about Faith? 223

Bibliography 234

Index 244

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