Concordia Theological Monthly

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history, faith, robinson, resurrection, death, kerygma, bultmann, easter, positivistic, confirmation

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


It is scarcely possible to read a theological treatise today without at some point meeting the current distinction between two levels of history, between Historie, and Geschichte, (following the Bultmannians), or between "outer" and "inner" history ( H. Richard Niebuhr), or between the "objective- historical" and the "existential-historical" (John Macquarrie). This distinction has primarily been occasioned by the rise of the historical-critical method in the 19th century, by the failure of the so-called "quest for the historical Jesus," and by the church's apologetic needs in the scientific ("positivistic") era. The primary aim of this paper is critically to examine this distinction, to point out certain difficulties that beset it, and to suggest a number of limitations that must be placed on the distinction if it is to retain its significance. In the process of criticism the paper will seek to reflect some of the concerns manifested in the contemporary philosophical analysis of religious discourse and, for that matter, in the overarching critique of the whole theological enterprise per se.


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

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Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars