Your Online Cup of Tea
I can’t stress how important it is, when reading historical accounts and writings, to try and limit as much as possible, bringing your modern assumptions into their historical context. Otherwise, it is likely that you won’t understand things as they did. In which case, what’s the point of reading what they said, if all we’re going to do is define by our own terms what they meant?
“It is as if theologians had difficulties in ‘holding together’ the various aspects of this act, as if human words and categories were not fully adequate to the totality of the baptismal mystery. There appeared a certain discrepancy between Baptism itself-its liturgy, its texts, rites and symbols-on the one hand, and the various theological explanations and definitions of Baptism on the other, between the act and its explanation, the sacrament and its comprehension…The most striking aspect of this discrepancy is the inability of modern or post-patristic theology to explain the relationship between Baptism and the Death and Resurrection of Christ…This clear affirmation [between Baptism and Pascha] did not remain central, however, when theology began to be understood and developed as a rational explanation and interpretation of the Christian faith. One continued to pay lip service to the baptismal ‘sybolism’ of death and resurrection but the real meaning of the sacrament…
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