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Monday, October 19, 2015

教會與國家:基督徒政治實踐的根據、意義與限制/ 柯志明教授

教會與國家
基督徒政治實踐的根據、意義與限制

柯志明
20151015 大肚山研經室
20151019 講於中華福音神學院「教會與政治研討會」



         1.上帝創造天地萬有,「萬有都是本於祂,倚靠祂,歸於祂」(羅11:36)。祂是最高存有與主權者(詩95:3),是萬王之王、萬主之主(申10:17; 2:47; 提前6:15; 17:14, 19:16),主宰一切受造物,一切權力都出於祂,也都服在祂之下並要受祂審判(詩9:8, 82:1-8, 96:13, 98:9)。因此,沒有上帝不容許而能存在的權力,包括義或不義的權力;而無論義或不義,一切權力最終都為上帝效勞,實現祂的旨意,彰顯祂的榮耀。
        因此,政治權力都應服事上帝,掌權者也都應是上帝的僕人,有義務以上帝的真理與公義維持人間秩序、賞善罰惡,使人過平安、自由、良善的生活,因而世上所有政治權力都應踐行與維護上帝的公義(羅13:1-4)。這是政治的原初義務(primary duty),所有政治權力都必須以此為其根據與目的。
        據此,人間任何政治權力都不是絕對的,因而不應無條件順從(出1:15-22; 3:16-18; 使4:19, 5:29)。凡違反或踐踏上帝真理與公義的政權都是不義的,也不應是合法的,人不但沒有義務順從這種政權,反而有義務革新。

Monday, October 12, 2015

敬虔守護生態:並讀《受造物頌》與《願祢受讚頌》 Piety Protects the Earth: Read Laudato Si through Canticles of the Creatures / 柯志明教授

敬虔守護生態
並讀《受造物頌》與《願祢受讚頌》

Piety Protects the Earth
Read Laudato Si through Canticles of the Creatures

Immanuel Chih-Ming Ke, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Department of Ecological Humanities, Providence University
3 Oct. 2015. “A Symposium on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si,” Providence University


Abstract
    Pope Francis officially published Laudato Si on 18 June 2015. It calls all people of the world to care for the Earth, “our common home,” through introspection, discussions, and taking actions. In this encyclical letter Pope Francis expects to achieve three goals: First, it assists us to recognize the grave challenges and difficulties in the present environmental crisis and the urgent need for solutions; second, it intends to go the root of the ecological degradation, and it analyzes the deepest cause; third, it provides an enlightening and guiding principles for human development based on the Christian tradition and experience of spirituality.
     Pope Francis takes its title “Laudato Si” from the reiterated eight times praising words “Laudato si, mi signore” in Laudes Creaturarum (or Cantico di frate Sole) by Saint Francis of Assisi. It is obviously evident that Pope Francis intends to continue the ecological spirit of Saint Francis who praises the Creator for the creation. Therefore, it could be said that Laudato Si is the modern interpretation and extension of the profound meaning that Canticles of Creatures implies. Accordingly, I think only through the real understanding of Canticle of Creatures and the Christian faith that it is rooted can one read and understand Laudato Si correctly and adequately, and thus can one grasp the insights and profound meanings of eco-Nature, which can be disclosed only by Christianity.
    It is just like what Laudato Si points out: creation comes about as the result of the God’s free decision and thus all things embody the God’s sublime, profundity, holiness, good will, above all the nature of His love. It is exactly as Pope says, “Creation is of the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things”; moreover, in terms of the most profound meaning, Pope points out that the whole creation embodies the profound Trinity of God, and even each creature bears in itself “a specially Trinitarian structure.”
    Consequently, this is the universe that can be understood only by person who has “Imago Dei.” What Pope cares about in this encyclical letter is the created world like this, and that is also the created world that Saint Francis of Assisi calls other creatures “bothers and sisters,” but not the no transcendental sense “Nature” called by modern atheists, materialists, and naturalists. Accordingly, humans are the created beings who posses a unique nature and a peculiar ecological status, so that they are responsible for caring the environment of the Earth. Therefore, Pope clearly indicates, “The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation.” Thus, it is as Pope John Paul II states, “The ecological crisis is a moral crisis,” so that what modern people need is an “ecological conversion” that is a religious conversion related to ecological environment.
    So far as that is concerned, humans cannot solve the problems of man-made ecological crisis unless they have a right faith. This is why the last chapter of encyclical letter mentions ecological education and spiritual conversion. Obviously, Pope expects that people could cultivate “pietas” toward God, just like the life of Saint Francis of Assisi manifested; people cannot care for all creatures as Saint Francis does unless they have the same piety. Therefore, I think although Pope does not explicitly indicate, his encyclical letter tells us this implicitly: Only Christianity can clearly and completely penetrates and reveals the fundamental degradation of humans and the world. In consequence, only Christianity can penetrate into the roots of the ecological crisis and reveal the solutions; besides, only the person who is like Saint Francis of Assisi, who completely believe in and submits to our Lord Jesus Christ and who is humble and pious, can regardless and selflessly protect “our common home” —the Earth.


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