Theological Mentors

Published: 2018-01-29 10:26:24
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John Calvin

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John Calvin was one of the original theologians who participated in the Protestant Reformation. Born in 1509 and lived until 1564, John Calvin moved from just being a French theologian but also a reformed that imitated the Calvinism theological system and mentored missionaries to spread the gospel. Having been inspired by Martin Luther (1483 to 1546), his reformation movement could be identified with the ecclesiastical reformation, and his teachings aligned to the Lutheran and Protestant traditions

While some of his teachings may not be palatable, Calvin is one theologian whose doctrine can endear anyone to theological and ecclesiastical teachings. I am particularly happy about his position on some issues affecting the church today, and I feel that he offers the best answer possible for my theological work. For example, his teaching on the institutes of the Christian religion had a profound influence on my perspective on the Christian religion because it touched on the law, the apostle's creed and the Lord's Prayer as well as the sacrament. I also liked the way he spoke directly about the Christian liberty. I loved his take in theology because he teaches about the thorough, systematic theology.

I am attached to Calvin because of his stand on a matter relating to God. For example, he believed that it is not the religion that is important but the faith. He agreed to leave Catholicism and joined the Protestant church despite the constant rebuke he got. S belief about the separation of the church from the state is a very important teaching to me as it addresses one of the major problems that I and other theologians face in their daily lives. He argued that if the church is subjected to the state or the state is subjected to the church, and then one must fall, and neither the state nor the church would be willing to fall. The church should not get involved in the civil issues, and neither should the state involve itself in the civil issues. The state should protect the church and should work as the church because the state is a Christian nation and not a secular government. Therefore, just as I have often believed that the state should be the overall but should not limit the church's activities so long as they are within the law, Calvin also proposed that the Christian should have the religious freedom (Anderson, 1949)

Apart from his argument on the state and the church, I was also convinced that his teaching on missiology is relevant today especially in my ministry. I believe that the church should be a place where theologians are incubated to go out and preach the word of God. Just as Jesus commanded the disciples to go out and spread the gospel, it is the duty of the theologian’s reformers to launch a school to instruct people and allow them to go out and spread the gospel. The fact that he trained over 140 missionaries to go out of Geneva and preach in 1561 makes him a good mentor (Hall & Hall, 1994). Emulating him would not only provide a sense of fulfillment but also help each the goals of every Protestant theologian- to preach the gospel. It is important to note that his missionaries did not only concentrate in France, but they also moved to other remotes areas such as Scotland, England, Italy as well as Netherlands and Poland (Maag, 2016)

Finally, I see him as my mentor because of his protestant work ethics. For example, from his work ethic, one can easily discern between the scared life and the secular life. As christens, we should be on the front line advocating form work ethics (Selderhuis, 2009)

Jeanne-Françoise Frémyot, Baronne de Chantal (1572—1641)

De Chantal may have been a canonized Catholic saint, but not many know about her achievements in theology. De Chantal’s works were not given much consideration before the twentieth century because most of her writing was mainly about the visitation order and that is why most of the works were mainly devotional. Most of her visitation order works had ecclesiastical history and were forced into the strict cloister associated with the seventeenth century. Her works were mainly used by the alumnae of the visitation academics. Most of the alumnae have later practiced her spirituality. Her works influenced nusomeof later days theologians including Brémond (1912) who referred to de Chantal as a spiritual theologian. He noted that de Chantal exhibited a complex variation of the then revered. Other works that were appreciated included the doctrines of the Soul, her spirituality, her gendered arguments, as well as her ideas on perfections,

I am particularly pleased with de Chantal because of her various philosophy. There are three main philosophies presented by de Chantal that I find informative and inspiring, and I might apply in my theological practice. I am also inclined to study her role in the Augustinian revival because I find some Augustinian revival principles more practical in this century and can be useful to the current group of congregants. Among her theological philosophies, I find her contribution to the nuns and the laywomen notable because of it provinces a very practical guidelines to the laywomen and nuns which today can be used with almost all women. For example, her teachings on perfection in Christ touch on very important virtues that are grounded on Christian faith despite slight coloration of the monastic teachings

Virtue theory

Despite people general tendency to overlook her teachings on the virtues such as temperance, fortitude, and justice, I find them more important in such a troubled environment where war, hunger, diseases, and hopelessness rule the congregants. Other virtues such as charity, humility, and abnegation, as well as abandonment all, speak about the need for Christians to be fair, and selfless

On the other hand, Christians need to unite with God ecstatically; they have to be humble and acknowledge God's existence and providence because, without humility, one cannot do anything. God is the provider, and without killing one, the human beings are useless. I find teaching about humility in the pulpit more interesting because the congregants are the sheep that are entitled to the shepherd and thus most teach the sheep has to be humble. True Christians must be able to annihilate themselves, their desires before they unite with God. Without being humble in spirit, the congregant’s exterior, their action as well as their words would not be humble. Humble Christians, laywomen, and nuns must show humility by ensuring that their honor, love, and self-esteem are all aligned with god's desire for human beings to be humble and submissive. It is only by being humble that their attachment to the corporeal goods, social class, and acclaim, as well as the wilfulness, can be destroyed. I am more convinced that the humility that de Chantal spoke about was Christological and by being humble, the nun, and the laywomen would be exhibiting Christ-like humility. Other virtues used in her theory include charity and prudence. All these virtues can develop in one a high level of theological transformation

Nature and Will

De Chantal’s philosophies are increasingly relevant to my daily service, and I have to mediate upon them every day. For example, her philosophy on the human nature speaks tome as it also answers some of the questions every human being have about the will. I concur with her argument that considering the original sin; the human being has fallen short of god’s glory and thus must repent realizing a complete reformation. The human beings must first reform to be acceptable to God and unite with God. The people are self-loving sand their self-loving nature has cost them, gods, divine providence. Self-love has created a big rift between God and human beings and it only by reformation that can create the bridge that existed between them and God. Human being must be redeemed by grace. I always teach my congregants that human beings came into the world not to love by or according to nature but came to the world to overcome nature and this include their self-loving nature. Human beings must overcome their self-righteous nature and seek first the kingdom of God in humility and prayer.

I particularly l iced her teaching because she states hat human beings must first cultivate virtues and be willing to pay the prices of true Christianity. Cultivating virtues is like an internal spiritual fight and the only one who can get connate the violence suffered by heaven is strong in spirit. The strong in spirit are victors because they are ready to renounce themselves, their life and carry their cross every day. Ascetical transformation requires one to cultivate virtues such as humility, self-awareness, and totally acknowledge their moral misery. To please God and makes things right with God, man has to destroy his nature. This requires one to practice mortification and completely renouncing ones internal inclination to nature and self-love.

Divine attributes and Augustinianism

Other teachings that l find valuable from her work that I would like to emulate and preach include the divine attributes. Even though the attributes may be general in nature, her explanation renders them valuable. For example, she taught about the attributes of God that man should emulate to have confidence in God. For example, she outlines attributes such as omnipotence, goodness, and wisdom. For a man to be like God, they have to demonstrate perfect goodness and erect wisdom, and this comes only by practicing to be like God, they have to have confidence in God and trust him even in their times of most difficulty. ‘

Finally, I consider de Chantal as my theology mentor because of Augustinian influence. I am particularly in love with her theory of concupiscence which is contained in the boo of exhortations addressed to the Visitation nuns. The prescriptive law is not only relevant with the Visitation nuns but with the current congregants and not only the female community. Justice de Chantal, I find love as the most important virtue that the religious community should seek. As faithful, I find her teaching about loving God first before any other thing and then love their neighbors second Friedrich Schleiermacher

Friedrich Schleiermacher was born in 1768 and died in1834. Between those years the German philosopher and the father of the modern theology are credited with hermeneutics because eh was among the first people to have interpreted the Bible. Friedrich Schleiermacher was also known for his work in relations to the systematic theology. While he has many other works that were either appreciated or rejected by other Christians and critics. I find his pluralists piety very touching as it explains what a true christens should do and no do as well as what true Christianity mean. For example, while piety may differ between different religions, it may also be diverse based on the geographical and religious background. For example, the devotion demonstrated by the Turkish Christians may differ from the piety demonstrated by the Indian Christians. However, the most important thing is that each religion is just a valid grouping of piety and this may be different from other religions. This does not mean that any religion is bad just because their piety differs from the Christians piety.

He openly denounces anyone who tried to confuse Christianity a with religion because Christianity is just a smaller portion of religion. There are some outward doctrines and practice of true religion that tend to be very different from other religions. However, what is important in Christian if is that one must be truly pious

Secondly, I like Schleiermacher theology because he took a sober view of the traditional theology and reshaped it to make it relevant to the prevailing situation. For example, he argues that theology would be useless if it does not reflect one's personal experience of piety. He argues that even the young faithful may conceive God as personal, other factors may be at play in their perception, for example, the argues that notions such as divine resolve, pity, as well as veracity are not easy to ascribe literarily. It is also important to note that one may not speak of God and separate him from the world because God is only known by his works on the earth an upon a human being. There is no personal god only a living God

Finally, based on his theological standing point, it is cleared that he was opposed the old dogma including the traditional Christian theology of belief as well as prophecy and even the scripture. He totally reworked the traditional theology of revelation, inspiration, and grace. Therefore, even though the Christians should demonstrate their faith by following Gods command, their religions should not only concentrate on the outwits demonstration of the doctrines and his religious system. Religion is not any other form of knowledge or tradition or activity, but it requires humility and submission to God.

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