Spring 1969

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Page 72



the inspired forms of God's speaking (primarily scripture) never takes him far from existential experience. This is really the point to his theology of revelation: the historical, categorical revelation which culminates in Christ is just the clarification of a self-communication God has chosen to work transcendentally throughout all human experience. It is a most gracious and useful clarification, for without it man turns his ambiguous experience into idols and perhaps despair, but it bears on an "intrinsic" sending by which the mysterious God is alreacly present to every human consciousness, in an unspoken approach which both offers and solicits Jove. Thus, the word-revelation of our Judaeo-Christian history declares a universal state of affairs. Rahner leans heavily on the dogma that God wills the salvation of all men (cf. I Tm 2), coupling it with the universal mediation of Christ to make the "supernatural existential" issue in the corollary of anonymous Christianity. This theological a prio1路i then moulds certain pastoral attitudes: one never preaches but to men who have some experience of grace; through all its tossings, faith can yet float calmly in the trust that the Deus sempe路r major lovingly pursues even those who reject him; the most important task is to locate the experience of grace and iilumine it with the gospel; the Incarnation gives the basic pattern or leit-motif to Christian life (including thought), because it is the permanent, definitive, irrevocable Urw01路t hypostatically joining the absolute God who gives himself tt路anscendentally to the categorical flesh of a "sacramental," historical revelation.


The simple, absolute mystery of God's self-giving is revealed by Christ to have an inner structure. That is, historical revelacan speak more definitely about God in himself and for us, because it expresses the ungraspable fulness of God's mystery in accurate, if always inadequate, categories. Rahner finds the basic structure of Christian revelation in the three mysteries of the Trinity, grace, and Incarnation. They are synthetic, integrated mysteries of God's active desire to give himself for our salvation. Because God gives himself to men, the immanent Trinity which God is in himself has come into our midst. That