This essay deals with heresy in the New Testament, using a statement on this topic from Bishop Erling Pettersen as its starting point. Several questions are raised. Did those regarded as heretics believe in Jesus? Did they preach alternative paths to salvation? And did they ill-treat the congregations? This essay shows that the heretics confronted in the New Testament probably did believe in Jesus, that they were closely related to the congregations which are addressed, and that their message not necessarily entailed an alternative path to salvation. But if so, why was their message viewed as a heresy? And does the New Testament appeal to «the gospel», a concept of great importance in contemporary discourse on heresy, in order to discern heresy from true doctrine? Apart from a shorter excurse on the letters of John, the essay is confined to the letters to Timothy.
This article discusses how the German philosopher Lorenz B. Puntel understands the relationship between philosophical and theological discourse about God. Puntels main claim is that it is only possible to speak meaningfully and true about God in a religious and Christian sense within the framework of a comprehensive theory of reality. He understands philosophy as a theory about the general structures of reality. A theory of this kind must be maximally coherent and intelligible. The article shows how Puntel construes his conception as an alternative to the tradition which in various ways claims that no discourse about God is really about God as he is in himself. Finally, the article emphasises how Puntels philosophical discourse about God can be connected to a theological understanding of the trinitarian God and his self-revelation in history.
In this paper the conception of Christian love within the texts of the Danish theologian N. F. S. Grundtvig (1783–1872) is analyzed. In these texts we find an implementation of the Biblical quotation from Colossians 3, 14: «And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness» (King James Bible). Grundtvig strongly criticises contemporary popular ideas of the concept of love. The Biblical expression of the bond of perfectness does not describe a sort of love coming from natural man. This bond of perfectness is the work of the heavenly father and this bond is according to Grundtvig also a matter of constraint, discipline, and obligation. Those true Christians who have left the world and entered the Christian congregation and entered the fatherly community of the bond of perfectness are subdued to a sort of voluntary force and they accept to follow in the footsteps of Jesus all the way to the cross and crucifixion. To be a true Christian within the boundaries of the bond of perfectness is to accept self-humiliation and self-degradation. In this way according to N. F. S. Grundtvig the concept of love popular in the world is quite wrong and illusionary.
From the very beginning of the German occupation of Norway a severe conflict arose between the church and the Nazi authorities. In April 1942 it came to a dramatic climax, as the church broke its relations with the state, on the basis of the confession document «Kirkens grunn», «The foundation of the church», which was read from the pulpit in all churches on the first day of Easter. The pastors declared then that they would no longer serve as state officials, and consequently would no longer take salary from the state. From one week to another they had no income and living for themselves and their families. The congregations, however, felt a responsibility toward their ministers, and after a surprisingly short time a financial organization was constructed, with support from the congregations all over the country. The leader of this economic church front was the Oslo director Sam Knutzen. The work had to be done secretly, because the Nazi regime declared it to be illegal and hostile against the state.
This part of the church resistance movement in Norway has surprisingly enough not been examined by church historians. This article describes how the work was organized and kept secret, and those who were responsible throughout the country. For a period of three years the Norwegian church was in some respects a free church, totally independent of the state. In 1945 the state system continued as it had been before the war, but the recognition of the church as a religious fellowship, and not merely a part of the official system, was strengthened among most Norwegians. The question of church finances, however, did not play an important role in the practical church discourse in following years.