The Noetic versus the Pneumatic


The God who plays with man as a puppet is not the God who becomes man to gain his life by suffering his death. The movement that engendered the saving tale of divine incarnation, death, and resurrection as the answer to the question of life and death is considerably more complex than classic philosophy; it is richer by the missionary fervor of its spiritual universalism, poorer by its neglect of noetic control; broader by its appeal to the inarticulate humanity of the common man; more restricted by its bias against the articulate wisdom of the wise; more imposing through its imperial tone of divine authority; more imbalanced through its apocalyptic ferocity, which leads to conflicts with the conditions of man’s existence in society; more compact through its generous absorption of earlier strata of mythical imagination, especially through the reception of Israelite historiogenesis and the exuberance of miracle working; more differentiated through the intensely articulate experience of loving-divine action in the illumination of existence with truth. The understanding of these complexities by which the gospel movement differs from the movement of classic philosophy, though, cannot be advanced by using such topical dichotomies as philosophy and religion, metaphysics and theology, reason and revelation, natural reason and supernaturalism, rationalism and irrationalism, and so forth.

CW VOL 12,
The Gospel and Culture
§ III, p 189.

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