Re: history please

Murphy (
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 18:18:35 -0500

James Peterson wrote:
> Pauck traces Tillich's rejection of God's existence when faced
> with the suffering in the trenches during WWI. Yet as a chaplain he was
> still expected to preach, so he did, using "God language" to express ideas
> that were important to him, but that had nothing to do with God actually
> existing. After the war he left the ministry and became a full time academic
> philosopher until he fled to New York City as a refugee from the Nazi
> regime. The only job he could find was teaching systematic theology at
> Union Seminary. There he trained a whole generation of pastors to carry on
> what he considered to be the good moral influence of the church and its
> teaching, while he actually redefined such language. For example, Tillich
> was quite happy to admit that when he refered to "God," he meant
> thoughtless, personless, "being itself," not the purposeful Creator of the
> Biblical tradition.

This is a parody of Tillich. Tillich rejected God's "existence"
because he believed God to be the Ground of Being - _deus est esse_ - &
therefore could not exist - or his existence be _denied_ in the same way
that entities in the world can. As for "leaving the ministry", take a
look at his post-war sermons (in, e.g., _The New Being_ or "The Shaking
of the Foundations_).
Again, I say wearily, "I am not a Tillichean."
George Murphy