Re: The Climax of DOXA

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Mon Mar 30 1998 - 14:34:26 EST

On Sun 29 Mar 98 (20:11:11), Edgar <> wrote:
> From the Johannine Prologue to the Gospel's conclusio, DOXA is a prominent
> subtheme. Why? Why does John weave this important concept throughout his
> entire work? My answer: it seems to me that John moves from particulars
> (examples of DOXA as it relates to the Son of God), to generalities (Peter
> serves as an object lesson for Christians--John 21:18, 19). This literary
> process is the opposite of particularization and is called generalization.
> Philosophically (logically), it is called inductive reasoning. I observe
> twenty swans that are white; therefore, I conclude that ALL swans are white.
> This is not to say that my inference is correct, but making such inferences
> is called induction (reasoning from particulars to universals). Did John
> practice this methodology in his Gospel?

 Ah! With you now. Puny finite man proudly thinks (since the Fall) that he
 can begin with himself, and make observations, and build up a sufficient
 database of particulars in order that he might deduce therefrom valid
 universals. Impossible. God is infinite; man is finite. The creature cannot
 measure himself against the Creator. We can deduce nothing about God, except
 what God has been pleased to reveal to us through Natural and Special
 Revelation (Psalm 19; Hebrews 1:1-2). Romans 1:16-2:1 shows that man does
 not learn profitably about God through Natural Theology alone. Revelation
 (the Law, the Prophets and the Apostles) is indispensable (Ephesians 2:20).

 Inductive reasoning does not set out to deduce universals. When applied to
 Bible Study it resulted in the Protestant Reformation. The Roman Catholic
 emphasis on Aristotelianism and classical logic stymied progress in Science
 as well as in Theology (the Queen of the Sciences). Thomism never was and
 could not possibly be "Summa Theologica": only the "state of the art". I'm
 not arguing for Existentialism; that's only man despairing of ever finding
 the Truth, then jumping into the dark with both eyes tightly shut anyway.
 In Christ we have both Light and Life from Him who is the Way, the Truth and
 the Life. Glory Glory!

 Inductive Reasoning has its benefits: but even the existence of 1 black
 swan (and in Australia "all swans are black") disproves the statement that
 "all swans are white". So instead of universal Truths, we have working
 hypotheses. What has this to do with DOXA? It means that Jesus Christ is
 the Way, the Truth and the Life. His glory, and the glory of God yhe Father,
 is paramount. Only God is omniscient. I don't think John consciously used
 this methodology in his Gospel; I think it just fell out that way as he
 wrote under the enabling of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26).

 DOXA is a prominent subtheme; but it is one theme among many. The first main
 theme is the LOGOS. Then there is "Theology": God as Spirit, Light, and Love;
 Jesus as the Incarnate Son of God; Jesus as the Son of Man; The Holy Spirit
 hWS PERISTERAN etc, PARAKLHTOS. Then we have the World, Human Nature & Sin;
 then Salvation: New Birth, Lamb of God, Death of Christ, Eternal Life; then
 Faith (PISTEUW, never PISTIS); Knowledge (GINWSKW, never GNWSIS); FWS, DOXA,
 ALHQEIA. Then Ministry & Church: EKKLHSIA does not occur; but Baptism, the
 Twelve, Ministers, Footwasing, the Vine, the Bride & Groom do. Lastly,
 Eschatology has a whole further book devoted to it (Revelation). That's quite
 a syllabus!

> While Jesus' words are clearly prophetic and will unfailingly come true, I
> still think they could also be read (lingustically) as imperatival. I draw
> this conclusion from Jesus' words: "follow me." Follow in this context seems
> to be used in a specific manner, not in an abstract sense. Thus, Peter will
> follow Jesus by dying a death akin to Christ's. While Jesus is therefore
> predicting a martyr's death for Peter, he is also presenting a propositio
> to Peter which requires a decision. By extension, this propositio of
> willingness to suffer and die for Christ are set before every genuine
> Christian as well (1 Pet. 4:14-16).


 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:20 EDT