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SUMMARY OF THEOLOGY TODAY: Perspect ive, Principles, and Criteria

International Theological Commission

CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1: Listening to the Word of God

 The Primacy of the Word of God


 Faith, the response to God’s Word
 Theology, the understanding of faith

CHAPTER 2: Abiding in the Communion of the Church

 The Study of Scripture as the soul of Theology


 Fidelity to Apostolic Tradition
 Attention to the sensus fidelium
 Responsible adherence to the ecclesiastical magisterium
 In the company of theologians
 In dialogue with the world

CHAPTER 3: Giving an Account to the Truth of God

 The Truth of God and the rationality of theology


 The unity of theology in a plurality of methods and disciplines
 Science and wisdom

CONCLUSION

THE PRIMACY OF THE WORD OF GOD

Church venerates the Scripture as an incarnate and living Word because God speaks and reveal
Himself to us through written form and Tradition. Sacred Scripture and Church Tradition are closely
connected and validly important to the growth of one’s faith. Scripture is the Word of God in written form
(OT and NT) while Sacred Tradition is the WOG passed to us in various forms: Liturgy, Prayers, teaching
of the Apostles and their Successors.

FAITH: THE RESPONSE TO GODS WORD

The WOG requires the response and the response is FAITH. Faith is the fruit of the personal
encounter with God and personal acceptance of God both intellectual and will. Faith requires the act
which I believe like action, entrustment, commitment (FIDES QUA) and faith at the same time require
also the truth which I believe: personal subjective, submissive or acceptance of the faith (FIDES QUAE).

THEOLOGY, THE UNDERSTANDING OF FAITH

Theology is the faith of the Catholic Church that seeks understanding (FIDES QUARENS
INTELLECTUM). In accordance with that, theology strives to understand in rational and systematic
manner the saving truth of God by trying to interpretate through the help of the HOLY SPIRIT the truth
of faith using all the possible means like literary analysis, human sciences, historical analysis and etc. the
purpose is to nurturing one’s faith and guiding one’s life.
THE STUDY OF SCRIPTURE AS THE SOUL OF THEOLOGY

Theology consist specifically study of the faith of the Church. Thus, we need an exegetical study
of the Scripture because we can read the Bible by simply study the content, literary methods, historical
analysis in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture. Theology should endeavour to open
wide the Scriptures to the Christian faithful so that the faithful may come into contact with the living
WOG.

FIDELITY TO APOSTOLIC TRADITION

Bible is not the only reference of our faith. But instead, the better reference is the Apostolic
Tradition or Oral Tradition like the homilies, catechism of the fathers of the Church which now written in
the books. The Fathers has handed over to the Magisterium of the Church which having a task to preserve
all the teachings of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church. We are obliged and required to obey and
follow the indication of the Church given by the Magisterium itself.

ATTENTION TO THE SENSUS FIDELIUM

SF or the sense of faithful is actually the appreciation of faith on the part of whole people or the
faithful or we call the universal Catholic understanding of God. The lay people are the tutor of our faith
because they are the one practicing the faith. The task of theologians is to clarify and articulate the
content of the sensus fidelium accurately what the Catholic faithful actually believe.

RESPONSIBEL ADHERENCE TO THE ECCLESIASTICAL MAGISTERIUM

Fidelity to the Magisterium is necessary for theology to be the knowledge of faith (SCIENTIA
FIDEI) and an ecclesial task. Bishops (Magisterium) and the theologians are working together to
articulate the faith of the Church and proclaim that faith and authentically interprets it. Even though
sometimes there will be tensions between theologians and bishops, but Catholic theologians should
recognize the competence of Bishops handed by the Pope to give an authentic interpretation of the WOG
handed on in the Scripture and Tradition.

IN THE COMPANY OF THE THEOLOGIANS

The Mother of the Church is very grateful is very grateful to have the theologians who on behalf
of the Church working and dedicating themselves as a writers, teachers, mentors, and an example for
those who are aspiring to be theologians. In order to have strong and solid foundation in service for the
Church, the theologians are obliged to work together as one colleague by supporting, encouraging and
inspiring one another. thus, they can be more convince to teach and to help improve and increase the faith
of the faithful.

IN DIALOGUE WITH THE WORLD

Church is living in the world and has to be responsible for the goodness of the world. Church
should know how to read the sign of times through events and news around. Such events could be a sign
of God intervene through the Holy Spirit into the life of His people and thus the Church must be involve
in various events of life through constant dialogue with the world.

THE TRUTH OF GOD AND THE RATIONALITY OF THEOLOGY

Human being always has a desire to know God and the truth of God. He encounters with many
questions and rationality argued presentation. And he started to reason out using his intellectual. It is aim
not all to replace faith, instead, lead to a deeper understanding of the truth of faith. Thus, faith and reason
are the two realities which cannot be separated because they need each other to be able to arrive to the
absolute truth about God.

THE UNITY OF THEOLOGY IN A PLURALITY OF METHODS AND DISCIPLINES.

Nowadays, theology has been fragmented into various disciplines of theology studies and its
make theology become more exciting. Theology also has already open the window to other sciences, but
sciences must not be allowed to impose their own magisterium on theology. Pluralism is a sign of good
theology but different kind of theology disciplines and sciences has to be accordance with the ultimate
truth which can be found only in God.

SCIENCE AND WISDOM

A criterion of Catholic Theology is that is should seek and delight in the wisdom of God which is
foolishness to the world (1Cor 1:18-25; 1Cor 2:6-16). Catholic theology should root itself in the great
wisdom tradition of the Bible, connect itself with the wisdom traditions of eastern and western
Christianity, and seek to establish a bridge to all wisdom traditions. As it strives for true wisdom in its
study of the Mystery of God, theology acknowledges God’s utter priority; it seeks not to possess but to be
possessed by God. It must therefore be attentive to what the spirit is saying to the Churches by means of
the knowledge of the saints. Theology implies a striving for holiness and an ever deeper awareness of the
transcendence of the Mystery of God.