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Dialogues between Faith and Reason | John H. Smith
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Rating Required Select Rating 1 star worst 2 stars 3 stars average 4 stars 5 stars best. Setting aside the conspicuous fact that not all of these figures are German, one immediately perceives something even more arresting—most of these thinkers are not even Christian.
- The Laughing Pen: An Epic Satire in Heroic Meter; Canto III.
- Dialogues between Faith and Reason: The Death and Return of God in Modern German Thought.
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The second factor, influenced by the first, is his preconceived conclusion that there is an inherent contradiction between faith and reason. And indeed, Smith does in fact misunderstand and misinterpret John.
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This leads to his characterization of logos and ultimately God throughout the book as a rationalist-mathematical concept. Yet, for the Evangelist, influenced by the Jewish-Hellenistic Wisdom literature, the logos is not merely a concept, but the Logos, Wisdom incarnate and the Second Person of the Triune God. What Smith does give us is something much broader. Despite his objections to the contrary, he relates the story of the modern struggle between Christianity and secularization, a story that shows how the external influences of secularization helped to foster the internal tensions within modern Christianity, tensions that are by no means inherent to Christianity itself.
His book is a good resource for understanding the philosophical background to German Christian theology in modernity. Ave Maria University Daniel M. Garland Jr.