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Natural Theology

(1,602 words)

Author(s): Link, Christian
1. Term What is called natural theology is not an independent theme but an ongoing, urgent problem in Christian theology relating to the question of truth. Natural theology wants to show that God is self-evident and that he does not serve merely as a deus ex machina in the world. It thus claims the adjective “natural” in two ways. The first reference is to the natural sphere in the concrete world order (Nature) as the natural horizon against which God appears. It is as natural beings that humans are under God’s impact and summoned to know him. The world itself has a…

Innocence, State of

(1,215 words)

Author(s): Link, Christian
1. Biblical The dogma of the state of innocence represents an attempt to develop systematically what the Bible has to say about the creation of humanity according to (or “in”) the image of God (Gen. 1:26–27; 1 Cor. 11:7). It shows that the emergence of sin was the decisive event in human history that triggered the events of salvation history (Rom. 5:12–21). It also presents the standards set up with creation that enable us to interpret both sin and regeneration or renewal (Eph. 4:24). Despite their dissimilarity, the two motifs—the historical and the anthropological (Anthro…