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Liberation Theology

 

LIBERATION THEOLOGY

 

  1.   It appears to be a distortion of the gospel with respect to

salvation

faith

sin

church

scripture

 

 

  1.   It is appealing inasmuch as

(i) it takes seriously socio-economic history

and its relation to political history

 

(ii) it lifts up an aspect of scripture too readily

forgotten

 

(iii) it is related to life, to people, to the

majority of the world’s people,

rather than to academia

 

 

  1.   It followed a theology of hope (Moltmann) — hope for the

entire creation — and borrowed heavily from Marx’s

understanding of human distress

 

 

  1.   Its basic premises are

(i) people are economically depressed and therefore

dehumanized

 

(ii) the gospel (re)humanizes people

 

(iii) the gospel is this vehicle of economic liberation

 

(iv) Jesus is the paradigm for and the facilitator of              the embodiment of such liberation

 

 

Question: How thoroughgoing is Liberation Theology’s Marxism?

 

 

  1.   Liberation theology magnifies

(i) Hebrew prophetism

(ii) Hebrew messianism

(iii) the exodus tradition

 

 

  1.   In addition to traditional Christian vocabulary (albeit                retranslated) there is also a new vocabulary:

“conscientization”

“false consciousness’

“praxis”

 

Question: Are we aware how violent the world is?

 

 

  1.   Lessons to be learned from Liberation Theology

 

(i) we must attend to those whom scripture defends:

the underprivileged.

 

(ii) more than “charity” is needed

 

(iii) we must resist colluding with the principalities and            powers, and avoid providing religious sanctions for them.

 

(iv) the gospel must not be falsely spiritualized

 

(v) to be a-political is impossible

 

(vi) no church should be subservient to any political                               arrangement (i.e., no caesaropapism)

 

(vii) biblical texts which discomfort should not be ignored

 

(viii) we must re-think the “marks” of the church

 

(ix) all Christians are called to self-renunciation

 

(x) who writes history?

 

(xi) we defend the faith best by living it consistently

 

 

  1.   Questions concerning Liberation Theology

 

(i) Can the gospel be reduced without remainder to social                                                    transformation?

 

(ii) Can socio-economic transformation, however far-                             reaching, effect human transformation?

 

(iii) Is Marxist theory the only instrument of social

analysis?

 

(iv) To what extent does scripture provide the tools

for social analysis?

 

(v) Is Liberation Theology free from the ideology of

its own praxis?

 

(vi) If all human reflection is socio-economically                     determined, then is not Liberation Theology as well?

 

(vii) Cannot the living God address us, penetrating our

ideological blindness?

 

(viii)  Does Liberation Theology undervalue the doctrine of

justification?

 

(ix) Is its understanding of original sin weak?

 

(x)  Does it confuse our attempts at “doing justice” with                                                the Kingdom of God?

 

(xi) Does it say too little about the corruption of all                                                      human hearts?

 

(xii) Does it dismiss too readily the evangelical thrust for                                              social transmutation?

 

(xiii)  Does it tend to use the bible in a way for which it                                           faults other theologies?