Doctoral Research Findings Aug ’06-May ’07

Six research papers and their principal findings:  
1. “The Source of Evil & the Hope of Modernity” (Genesis 1-3)
a. Mankind doesn’t trust the Bible for guidance. He has been misguided by theology & the behavior of Christians, which adds to native rebellion
b. 3 Cultural, Linguistic & Theological Traditions: Hebrew, Greek, Latin
c. Translations not that different; big difference in G. & L. interpretative traditions

2. “Jesus Between Global & Local” (Luke 4:1-30) Includes survey of contemporary denominations
a. Define: globalization & contextualization
b. Jesus’ contestations between globalism and local context
c. Jesus lived & witnessed in power of HS
d. Biblical teaching rooted in actual situatedness
e. Inauguration of the Kingdom and its rejection

3. “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” Dialogue between Anders Nygren & 3 contemporary reformed ethicists
a. Greece & Palestine historically, culturally & linguistically distinct; could not have had similar meanings for Love; eros never used in Bible
b. Nevertheless, history of how 2 loves merged, principally in Augustine
c. Definition of eros as monistic force of universe
d. Fundamental differences between:
Theocentric religion OR Egocentric religion:
Actual, historical OR Abstract, theoretical
God-focused OR Self-focused
Ethics OR Moralistic
Salvation by faith OR Salvation by love (Caritas
Fellowship w/God on man’s level OR Fellowship on God’s level
e. 2 Gaps between God & man: Creation (Ps. 115) + Sin (Rom. 3); Creation gap = basis for ethics
f. Classical theology blurs distinctions between God & man, leads to moralism: fides caritate formata + infusio caritatis
Luther broke w/synthesis: sola fide (not : faith + love)
g. Fundamental unity of testaments; not: law, then grace
h. Ethicists: love = motivation; Moralists: telos = “The Good”
i. Christianity changed the question & answer: why we do anything (do good/ love others)->who loves us? “We love because He first loved us”

4. “One Text, Two Hermeneutics, Two Ways of Life” (Galatians 5:4-6)
a. Evangelical Protestant: source = Bible: “sola gratia” leads to “either/or” thinking
b. RCC & Liberal Protestant: many sources leads to “both-and” thinking
c. e.g., hylomorphism: fides caritate formata (faith formed by love)
d. e.g., Benedict’s Deus Caritas Est = Platonic basis (Pseudo-Dionysius), not Bible
e. e.g., => Life in Italy

5. “Intercultural Learning the Kingdom of God” (Acts 10:1-11:15 Cornelius & Peter)
a. Biblical learning only rooted in real-life situatedness
b. Kingdom of God = culture/worldview; of a completely other kind
c. Christian disciple = IC learning; corresponds to IC Ed. Theory
d. Fideism: we cannot learn God’s culture; must be illumined & “enfaithed” by HS (Calvin on Galatians)
e. Worldview = tacit learning (99% of all we know); only way to transform tacit knowledge is informal and nonformal learning
f. Missions note: value of IC partnerships (Insider + Outsider)

6. “Church Revitalization & Worldview Transformation”
a. 3 Protestant views: Liberal, Evangelical & Pentecostal (essentially the same despite some differences)
b. Definition of native paganism + cultural worldview
c. Christian life & witness only possible by work of HS
d. “Christian worldview” = Christo-paganism
e. “Athens” (Plato) & “Berlin” (Aristotle) = 2 sides of one coin
f. Christians confuse biblical & Platonic (Being/Integration model) & now rejecting Aristotle (Reason) on basis of Plato, not the Bible

About dbporter

Dan Porter, living in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Married to Bonnie, an artist. We have three grown sons, all married to wonderful women, and in turn have eight children.
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