Dr. John Hannah December 4, 1992

Prayer: Our Father in Heaven, we gather this afternoon, your day, to worship you and sing the illustrious Hark the Herald Angel Sing, Glory to the Newborn King. We thank you for Him who divested Himself of heaven's glory, to be draped and wrapped in human flesh, to come upon this earth to be a Servant, He who made the world came into the world to meet us. And we thank you our Father that by your spirit you've opened our eyes to the beauty of this man, who has touched us so profoundly... We thank you for this season of the year in which it seems that even the world becomes a different place. But for we who have been redeemed by this one that we have not seen yet, it's a special season, in which we gather with those we love, and celebrate together by the giving of symbols, the reality of our affection for you, you who have given us the greatest gift, the redeemer. We thank you our Father that we know that our sins have been washed away, and that our dark night is forever over, and for reasons that we don't understand, you have granted us forgiveness in your Son. We do labor laboriously in this life, in which the residual effects of the dominion of sin... we cry out with Paul that what we should do, we don't. And that which we do, we shouldn't. Who can deliver us from this body of sin? We look forward to the day when that burden will be lifted, and we will be ever gracious for it. In the interim, give us the grace, we pray, to abide faithful, however unsuccessful we may be, as we struggle with our own selves in order to do your will. Thank you our Father for the guarantee of joy. I pray Father for these who are your servants, that you will be pleased to give them a wonderful weekend, a good night, a good day tomorrow, a wonderful Lord's day, as we reflect upon this Savior that we love. We pray that for each of us, that you give us the ability to do the things we need to accomplish, always reminded that our purpose in life is to glorify you, in all we do. We commit our few moments to you, we pray that according to our needs, and according to your mercy, you will deal with us. We give you praise in Jesus' name. Amen.

Lecture: What I'd like to do is this: 1. I'd like to say something about what is called the thirty years war, which in many ways is the climax to the era of the reformation. And then, secondly, I'd like to plunge into what is called the era of the enlightenment.

What I have tried to argue is this: obviously, there is an ancient period, a medieval period (and some of the meaning of that may be by now has rubbed off), and a reformation period. After the reformation period, comes the era of what we call the enlightenment. And that's what I would like to get into (in a small way), today. What I tried to say last time, is this: that, while the Protestants were breaking away from what had become the Roman Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Church was perceptive enough to know that it had, that there were justifiable reasons for dissent against them. They did not define those as theological but more as moral, so that even before the reformation began, there was a concerted and strenuous effort in the church to reform its ways, so that a generation before the reformation emerged, beginning in Spain, there is a very large and successfully concerted Roman Catholic reformation. The high watermark of that reformation is the Council of Trent, which from our bias of history, (which we obviously we think is true; we may be people that are somewhat wrong, but we do not lack integrity with our use of history), that at the Council of Trent, the high watermark of Romanism, the first of their great councils, they will simply dogmatize what had been floating in the church beginning with Peter Lombard. So the traditional definition of creedal Roman Catholicism is found in the decrees of Trent, and the confession that followed it, called the Tridentine Profession of Faith. So far so good? Its notion of authority, its notion of justification, and things like that, are spelled out, I think anyone would say, in a very clear fashion.

(Question from audience) No, I don't think so. I think the way to understand Trent is to understand it in light of its internal problems, moral and otherwise. But the other problem it had was the external problem of these protestant heretics. So its specification of theology in its rigidity is in a sense driven by Lutheran/Calvinism. (audience: but that theology was already there?) It was already there, but it wasn't spelled out dogmatically (in so) like we had.. If you read a Roman Catholic theology book like Herman Ott's text, a Jesuit text, when I read Roman Theology, I worked my way through that text. But if you read that text, their method of teaching theology is really rather a nice method. In bold print, in simple sentences, they spell out a central idea. And after that central idea, they will tell you in Latin, how the church has felt about the truthfulness of that statement. Sometimes, after a certain statement it will say, "serta fides", it's held by some, which means some of the scholars in the church have held to this notion, but not all have, and then the proof follows in very tiny print. Other statements will be followed by the phrase "sola fides", which means you must, upon the pain of excommunication, agree with that, then the proof follows. Those "sola fides" statements are a function of Trent. In other words, Calvinism becomes rigid, and perhaps overstated, by the threat of the Dutch Arminians, producing the Synod of Dort, which is strident Calvinism. It's Calvinism on the run; Trent in a sense is Romanism at its purest and worst state.. does that make sense?

Now.. (comments from audience) textual criticism? I can't relate to textual criticism. I remember taking the course and what I got out of it was that it's not going to be my career. You pay a lot of money to figure out what you don't want to do. My whole career at Dallas Seminary was finding out that I didn't want to do it. (haah). But in the midst of all that pain, I figured out what I wanted to do. And only when you figure out why you're not doing something else, will you really find happiness in what you're doing. So I just eliminated a few things; took Hebrew, decided that wasn't my life; if someone else wants to parse it, they can. I'll read their proofs and stand on their shoulders, and bless God for them, but I don't want to be like them. Then I took Greek several times, and decided that was not my world, but I'm thankful for all of those who have been given the personality, but don't ask me to become like that. And then I went and took history, and I sat in classes, and said this is the most boring thing I've ever seen. So I decided, you know, with my talents, which are very few, what can I do that will honor the Lord, given what I am and am not? I figured since there weren't many teaching history doing all that well, I could be average or poor and do very well. Predicated upon that insight, I chose that profession. It's funny how you do those things.. Right? Because all of us want to do some good, so you got to find a place where you can do it, and I just couldn't. So I went to seminary.

The Thirty Years War. The Thirty Years War is fundamentally a good introduction to the rise of the enlightenment for a very simple reason: to understand the rise of the enlightenment, is to understand it in the context of the Thirty Years War as a reaction to both Protestantism and Catholicism. Thirty Years War is exactly that: a war, that while it occurs off and on, will last a span of about thirty years, primarily in Germany. Bohemian armies, French armies, German armies, Swedish armies, Danish armies will repeatedly invade Germany. When this war is over, and both sides are thoroughly exhausted, a third of Germany's population will have been liquidated. It is a nasty thing, because they invented things like the perfection of gunpowder; if you go to Frankfort, someday, which most tourists do, you go over to the Rhine the first day, but you're so tired, catch a boat going north, and up towards K_, as you sit along watching all the wineries, and you see all these broken-down castles, and you say to yourself, self, why are these castles broken down? And then if you go to K_, you can catch the... go to the real wine country... and all you have are these decimated castles, and as I looked at them and thought about them, it struck me that they were all destroyed during the Thirty Years War, as the great armies came up... and just decimated everything in front of them. It's a terrible war, fought between two polarized entities that would not concede, Catholics or Protestants, and they just blow themselves into oblivion. And when neither side could gain the upper hand, and just simply succeeded in destroying each other, they decided to stop. And when they stopped, in 1648, they marked the end of the Protestant Reformation. And it was agreed that the lands [that] were Protestant before 1624 would forever remain Protestant, and the lands that were Catholic before 1624 would forever remain Catholic. And that's why Protestants will send missionaries literally around the world, but not to Germany, because they agreed on the religious peace of... that Germany would be a patchwork quilt: Protestant areas would remain Protestant, Catholic areas would remain Catholic, and they will never exchange hands. That's not destroyed until World War I.. the Thirty Years War brings an end to the Reformation as we know it, but as people watched the Reformation, particularly those who were trying to figure out a way to rebel against orthodoxy, Protestant or Reformation, they came to a conclusion like I told you already, like Rousseau, sitting by the stove, that if you put your trust in the church, look what it will do, that is, it will destroy lives. The great Catholic armies have proven that. If you put your trust in the Bible, it will destroy lives. Protestant armies have proved that. So the commonality of placing your faith in what the church says or in what the Bible says, that commonality is that you're trusting something outside of you. So if you trust an authority that's imposed upon you, it can readily lead to tyranny and bloodbath. So in the enlightenment, serious scholars, who have not the doctrine of regeneration, will try to figure out where they can ground authority that doesn't produce a tyranny. And where is that? In yourself, which actually produces a tyranny, but they didn't know that. Right? I can't trust the authority of the church, and here's proof, clear, Thirty Years War. I can't trust the Bible; there is proof: Thirty Years War. So I must turn inside myself, and find a resolution there to authority. That's what they say. So what I would like to do is simply look at what is called the Enlightenment. And here is my theory.. (question from audience) [end of literal transcription; summary form follows, except for Hannah wisdom lits]

Question: what they called the Thirty Years War when it was starting (and obviously they didn't know it would last 30 years). Answer: they simply called it a religious war. (When we look back in time, we just throw on a title; it makes real good sense to us). Actually, when the primary armies were from Bohemia, they called it the Bohemian war. When the armies were largely from Sweden, it was called the Swedish war. Nations aren't exactly in it for religion, because, when the Catholic armies were just about the clobber the Protestant armies, the French Catholic king joined the Protestant army. What is the French Catholic king with the French Catholic armies joining the Protestants for? Answer: he wants a big land. Nations get a little bit greedy.. America is very kind to the world; we don't want land, we just want economic markets. That's a form of power. We're not imperialists, just economic imperialists.

Question: what is the significance of 1624? Answer: They chose that because the boundary lines were clear; both sides agreed to fall back to the borders of that time, nothing special; it was just clear at that time. They were clobbering each other pretty good, and after that [1624], it's hard to find a line that doesn't move. They just agreed: the Protestants will give back land that was Catholic; and Catholics likewise reciprocated.

Neither side was declared victorious; the war was cataclysmic; each side were fighting strongly. Either the Catholics were going to win or the Protestants. Each side was determined to be victorious. But they couldn't bury each other. They just killed each other until they finally decided..

Hannah: "Pain and pleasure is an interesting thing. You try to obtain the maximum amount of pleasure with the least amount of incurring pain. But when the pain becomes great, you're willing to give up some pleasure. We all do that."

So when they figured out they weren't going to win, that they might pay a high price to lose, or a high cost in not winning, then both sides agreed to stop. Protestants do not preach the Gospel in the Catholic region; Catholics do not venture into Protestant region. Both sides recognized the Protestant countries: Holland, Northern Germany, Switzerland; Catholic countries: Southern Germany, France. Kings are in there for Alsace-Lorraine, he's not in there for religious reasons. Alsace-Lorraine was a territory that goes back and forth between France and Germany for many many years. One historian says that all Europe is about is a bigger piece of the pudding.

What is it that people are enlightened about in the Enlightenment? Or to say it another way, is how the Enlightenment would view history just the opposite of us. They would deem times as dark ages of superstition when people trusted something outside of them, and there is good proof that if you trust the Bible, it can be terrible; but the very logical question is what do proofs indeed prove? And the answer to that is nothing. As Dave Hume says. But he was wrong when he argued therefore nothing can be knowable. In history, after the Hebrew era, there was the Greek Enlightenment which they called a great day, we call it a bad day; then the Christian era, they called a bad day; and we called a great day; and then came the Enlightenment which we called a bad day. So it's sort of fun.

Karl Barth is an important person. Barth will spend his ministry trying to beat back the advances of Enlightenment, and he'll do it by writing about God. (Barth is the best Hannah has read on this.) Barth characterized the Enlightenment in this way: as a system founded upon the presupposition of faith in the omnipotence of human ability. That's the essence of it. Immanuel Kant, who is in the middle of it (if there's a hell's hall of fame, he's the door keeper of it): he says, (this is a great line), the Enlightenment represents man's emergence from a self-inflicted state of minority. The self-inflicted state is when man was gullible enough to embrace religion. Here's his fundamental proof, you can see it repeated from the Enlightenment up until today, that mankind has progressed from a fumbling infancy to upright maturity. In that process in the past, we were irrational, so we made up myths to explain things that we couldn't understand.

Hannah: "When it thundered, and I had my girls, I would say to my girls, God is clapping His hands. When it was raining, (I would hope they forgive me for this), I would say to my girls, God is crying; you must have done something wrong. We make up myths, we make up stories to explain things that we don't understand."

But now we've come to maturity, where reason and science, and the scientific revolution, has filled in all the gaps. In the past, traditional religion is simply superstition. One says religion is a primitive passion: it's what we make up, as a crutch, to steady ourselves in an uncertain world. One calls it a projection of human needs: it has a sociological function, not an objective function. Karl Marx called religion the opiate of the people; it helps them along in their immaturity. We have now come to rational religion. The essence of religion is sociological creativity.

Hannah: "... on a university campus... in the 60's, when people hated Christianity; whenever I would say I was a Christian, they would say to me you're a sick fella; all that religion is is a crutch for the weak who can't face the serious life(?).. when I went back in the 80's, to finish a second doctorate, I would say I was a Christian, and they would say that was nice, we're glad you've found meaning in life. Well, what they really meant by that is, (values clarification is the clarification that there are no objective values, there is only private value), so as long as you don't give me that crap, but believe it yourself, you don't really {harm} me. How do you respond to that...? You [need to] preach Christ and Him crucified. My sheep hear my voice; so for everybody that spits on you, and says, you, you interesting individual, another person will be standing, saying, why is this guy taking this crap? Maybe there is some reality here. Right? I have a friend, at seventeen, skipped college and went to Bornea, and has labored there now for twenty-five years, with cannibals. He never gets invited out for dinner.. although his dear wife made a big blunder; she was having some people over, and she didn't quite have the language down right, and bumbling she said, we'd like you to come over for dinner. And they thought they were coming over to be eaten! Got that straightened out. I said to my friend, I met him about a year ago in a missions conference and I said to him what are you doing out in Bornea, he's written a couple books now.. and he said, I'm hunting for God's children. And I said but how will you find them? He gave me that line: my sheep hear my voice. Preach Christ and there are people out there that are interested, and you'll find them... I had a harder time in the 80's than in the 60's; it the 60's they just hated me, and we all knew that, and it was sort of fun, they were really interested in hating me. In the 80's, they didn't care, that's worse. Apathy is worse than hatred. You can deal with hatred, you can't deal with apathy. You can't dialogue with apathy, you can dialogue with hatred. The 60's was the great era of rebellion, because we were all passionately involved in bringing about a better world. Now all that we're interested in bringing about is a bigger garage. That's a bad {sign}."

(Quote from p. 156) Immanuel Kant, ". . . a minor is one who is incapable of making use of his understanding," so there is the hermeneutic: authority resides in my mind, not in the church, not in the Bible, in me. ". . . God, the all-wise creator, had implanted in man a natural religion which taught both morality and immortality." So listen to yourself, it would say.

(Quote on p. 156) The Age of Reason developed; ". . . New inventions made possible better tools of discovery", it was a great age, it looked like they were right.

Hannah: "The first time I went to Rome.. I went into Coliseum.. I went to.. see where Paul was imprisoned.. and I thought to myself, if I had walked here in the year 60 a.d. I would have thought that Rome was eternal. 2000 years later, it is rubble. 2000 years from now, this is going to be rubble.. but it sure looked good in its day; I bet people said to Paul, 'eh, you're crazy, because what is now is now forever'." (Continuing with quote): ". . . a realm . . . subject to intelligible laws," They discovered those laws and identified those laws as 'god'. But did they discover all the laws?

Hannah: "Every once a while, God bangs a gong to remind us how stupid we are. I remember when Becky was near death, that I said to the doctor, you know, I am very thankful for the wisdom God has given you. A pagan doctor-- a good doctor. And he sat on Becky's bed when she was dying, he said to me, you know, John, you know the truth of this, I've been a surgeon for twenty years, and I have never healed a single person, because we don't know how to. We know how to do the things that accompany healing, but we don't know how to do it. And I thought for a pagan man who has worshipped at the throne of mathematics, reason, he was right. We go jogging together."

(Continuing with quote): "... mysteries of the universe," Telescopes are getting bigger. Planets are getting discovered. Comets, solar systems, we're figuring everything out, but are we?

Hannah: "I have learned that in preaching the gospel, people don't really mind my preaching Christ, but that they really mind me preaching on sin. But it's related to Christ.. it really is. You'll never understand the solution, 'til you perceive the malady. And I don't hear much preaching about sin or hell in the evangelical pulpits that I've seen. In other words, Christianity has been simply inculturated, and you can't find the Christ, it seems to be {hidden}... if there is only one book to study all your life, read it once a month and keep reading it forever, I have a friend who [in] his entire ministry was teaching one book in the dormitories of the University of Oklahoma, that one book was what? Romans. Because everything you need to know is right there. What sin is, what justification is, what walking with God is about, and what sovereignty is about, and then what morality is... you'll always have trouble with sin *heh heh*, that's sad. I remember when I was trying to convince my neighbor that she needed a savior, she's a dear lady, I like her a lot, and she now tolerates me, and she tolerated me a lot more until I got to sin. On her third husband, it seemed to bother her. I assured her that she is not nearly as bad as the lady at the well. She hates my guts, until her kid fell on the ground and put a popsicle stick through the roof of his mouth, then she called me over, and I had to pull the stick out... that's okay, I like that. One of the blessings you'll have is [that] everyone is going to have trouble, count on it. People are going to die.. people may not believe in death and all that, but everyone faces the grim reaper, and if you don't know it, you'll face it in your parents, before you have to face it; so you finally get around to the great question... So just hang on, be friends, waiting for tragedy, and delight in the greatness of God. That's the truth."

End of Manschreck quote: "Glorious future"? What have we done? An atomic bomb. And now we got a real ugly feeling that the North Korean have it; and the Iranians have it. Some irresponsible power is going to use it. In the olden days, if you kept a big military, you were safe because you taught the world if they struck you, you would strike them with such power, that they would never forget it. So it's the old pain and pleasure; you want some pleasure I'll give you more pain. Nowadays, there's no second strike potential; they get you, you're wiped out, right? So you got a little problem in technological warfare right now. It's exciting. In other words, we might be on the brink of eternity, and the Americans created it.

Hannah: "Maybe a theological question.. what is a Christian nation? Answer: they don't exist, they never did. Depravity is depravity, and it won't go away, until the Savior comes. The best we can do is to walk softly and get a .38 .. you get a .38 for a very simple reason. Someone broke into my house; I was away preaching. My one daughter was sleeping in her bedroom, and my mother-in-law was watching her. Someone came up to the window... mom, I don't know if she was depraved or not, but she always thinks of the good; she heard someone outside and thought it was a meter reader.. a meter reader? 3 a.m. in the morning? They don't work that late. In fact, they don't work.. but, she went to the bedroom to look out to see if it was a meter reader, just as the person threw an axe through the window; it took her straight to the floor.. now if mom had gotten up.. of course, when he saw the blood, he ran... My daughter was sleeping there. That's the day I decided that I could always ask for forgiveness for murder. I have several guns, and I am not afraid to use them. No question about it. I will blow them away... Repent? Of course. Sure. But we live in a world, that if there is no fear, there is no righteousness. So even the righteous things cannot free."

(Commenting on Barth's quote on 156-7): This is a great quote. Error does not begin with denying the inerrancy of Scripture.. not by denying the trinity.. not by denying who Jesus is. Error begins by denying what you are. Sin. That's where it always begin. And when you're sick of being called a sinner because the Bible says so, then you deny inerrancy to get rid of it. Denial of inerrancy is an aftermath... Some even did not doubt the miracles of the Bible.

Hannah: "The thing I don't find around Dallas Seminary is the word sin. And if that goes, the whole deck of cards becomes meaningless, because sin and redemption is what it's all about."

What Barth is saying, men is enlightened about in the Enlightenment is that they are not sinners, that the mind is not fallen, that mind is that sure, safe, and infallible god to a better world. Not the church, look at the Thirty Years War. Not the Bible. Both of those systems have a bad track record. But now look at ourselves. Either find it in our minds or find it in our moral sense in our inner hearts. Instead of the holy church and bible, the Enlightenment argued if you could only understand the bible to be the future, then your future becomes the bible. Our answer to that is, no, the Spirit of God is the Bible. In the place of cooperative salvation, or in the place of grace, they would put discovery. That it is the goal of man, using his rational faculties, he finds the benevolent creator of the universe.

Looking at the miracles in the Bible, they only had two choices to make. Some made a hard choice, what you find in the Bible is conscious deception, that talk about a virgin birth, a resurrection appearance, is simply a religious lie. Followers lied about their founders. That's the hard-core reaction against the Bible. The soft-core reaction is unconscious misperception. Unusual events were mistakenly viewed as miracles, that when Jesus walked on water in the deep dark night, he was actually walking on sandbars. They would also argue that events were embellished through repetition; we see that in the way they date the gospels, when critics date them in the third century, because they have to account for this oral tradition, to discredit the recorded accounts.