Saturday 10 November 2012

My three greatest theologians: John, Paul, Pascal


In listing the three greatest understanders of Christianity in my personal judgment, it should be clear that what is being judged here is me, not the vast numbers of theologians who have vastly greater insight than myself but who I have not read, or not understood.

Anyway here they are.

1. St John the Apostle and Evangelist; author of the fourth Gospel, letters and Book of Revelation. Who knew Christ, was the first to understand and recognize Christ and his ministry, the disciple whom Jesus loved - and one of the most intelligent people in the history of the world.

2. St Paul the Apostle - Aristotle to St John's Plato; a different but equal intelligence; who met the resurrected Christ and was divinely inspired.

3. Blaise Pascal. The wonder of the modern world, a gift for us. Like John and Paul he completely understood the problem of the world and the human condition; and understood that only Christ offered an answer: that there is no other answer, not even in theory.



AlexT said...

I'm surprised you didn't include Fr. Seraphim Rose. I seem to recall you saying that he had more to say to the modern mind than almost any other theologian (or am i mistaken?).
Though i like your list, i would be hesitant to add any of the Apostles. I have always viewed them more as messengers than theologians or apologists. That's very nitpicky, i know, but i don't think the average human experience applies to them. They were trained and instructed by God personally. How amazing is that when you stop and think about it? I can never quite fathom what that would have been like.
I'm rambling.

dearieme said...

"Who knew Christ...": forgive my ignorance - do you mean that he'd known Jesus while he was preaching, or do you mean "knew Christ" in some spiritual sense?

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - I mean he was a contemporary of the incarnate Christ while He was on earth.

dearieme said...

So the former, then?

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - yaaas - is this a trick question?

dearieme said...

No: it's just that it can be hard to know when a religious type is speaking literally or figuratively.

Simon said...

Stop trying to reframe, dearieme!

dearieme said...

I don't know what "reframe" means, Simon.

Is it when the crowd disparages the ref?