Heilsgeschichte

Heilsgeschichte

The term, a German word, literally meaning “salvation-history”, was coined in the eighteenth century and used in the nineteenth century by certain theologians who rejected Schleiermacher’s attempt to rest theology upon religious feeling and emphasized the primacy of the biblical historical revelation. One way that this term is used today is to insist that the total history of revelation and salvation is connected with real events in actual history, of which Christ is both the center and the culmination. From all the variety of the New Testament elements there emerges one picture of the Christ-event from pre-existence to parousia. This view does not make the Christian religion dependent upon the vicissitudes of historical research; it is faith in Christ which makes sense of the witness of the biblical records, and faith is essential to the right understanding of their historical content. The stress is upon the acts of God in history.

(Adapted from A Dictionary of Christian Theology, s.v. “Heilsgeschichte”)
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