– A good deal of older liberal Protestantism (Tillich et al) seems to conceive that reality can only really be understood and participated in by virtue of ‘symbols’
– When it comes to Christian beliefs and dogma, the agenda seems to be primarily one of stripping away the time and space elements from Christianity to transform Christianity into a kind of ‘timeless symbol’.
– This idea, as far as I can tell, comes from the belief that the if there are genuine time and space elements within the kerygma, then that entails that the kerygma depends on contingent time and space elements.
– Thus, the time and space elements are stripped away, leaving the ‘timeless’ message (Bultmann, for example).
– I see this as a reaction to the perceived ‘modern’ world, but ultimately a misunderstanding of the ‘modern’ world.
– There’s also a genuine distrust of metaphysics (perhaps this comes from Heidegger?).
– Finally, there is a loss of realism (moreso in, say, Tillich, than in others) – theological statements and formulations don’t have an external reference but have only symbolic value.