Providential History of Modern Thought: A Unification Perspective

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 18, 2017 - Pages 1-54

The Divine Principle talks about the Period of Preparation for the Second Advent of the Messiah, which is the “four-hundred-year period from the Protestant Reformation in 1517 to the end of World War I in 1918.”[1] During this period, there were three rounds of division into “Cain-type” and “Abel-type” views of life: 1) the Renaissance vs. the Reformation, 2) the Enlightenment vs. Pietism, etc., and 3) communism vs. a “third reformation” of Christianity. This was so that the “foundation of substance,” or reintegration through love and surrender, between the Cain-type and Abel-type camps might be able to be laid worldwide three times eventually to receive Christ at the Second Advent in the last days.[2]

The Divine Principle says that in the period in question all this started when God divided the “guiding medieval ideology” into the Renaissance and the Reformation because it had been defiled by Satan due to the failure of the popes and emperors of the ninth century and thereafter to be faithful enough to establish the foundation of substance for the Second Advent of the Messiah.[3] This division was like that in Adam’s family, where “God had divided fallen Adam into Cain and Abel to separate Satan,”[4] so that the foundation of substance between the two sons, i.e., their reintegration involving Abel’s love for Cain and Cain’s natural surrender to Abel, might be laid to receive the Messiah, a restored Adam, on the family level.

By the way, this Cain-Abel typology of the Divine Principle is quite different in nature from the celebrated Cain-Abel typology of St. Augustine. The former believes that both the Cain-type and Abel-type camps, after establishing the foundation of substance between them to receive the Messiah, will equally be saved and restored through him, while the latter holds that on the day of final judgment after continuous struggles between the two throughout history, only the Abel-type camp will be saved and the Cain-type camp damned for eternity.[5] 

Regarding how this period started and developed, thinkers such as Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr, too, observe that the “medieval synthesis” was divided into the Renaissance and the Reformation, and that this division was repeated basically three times during this period. Tillich reports[6] that the three rounds of division were: 1) the Renaissance vs. the Reformation, 2) the Enlightenment vs. Pietism, etc., and 3) Marxism vs. the neo-orthodoxy of Karl Barth. In a similar vein Niebuhr observes[7] that they were: 1) the Renaissance vs. the Reformation, 2) the Enlightenment[8] vs. the continuing Reformation tradition,[9] and 3) Marxism vs. the dialectical theology of Karl Barth. Tillich and Niebuhr also talk respectively about “new ways of mediation”[10] and a “new synthesis”[11] needed between the two conflicting camps.

What is interesting is that while the Divine Principle is still ambigu-ously silent about what the foundation of substance, or reintegration, between the Renaissance and the Reformation in the first round would be, Tillich clearly identifies it as “Protestant orthodoxy” (or “Protestant schol-asticism”) in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.[12] And again, while the Divine Principle is silent about what the foundation of substance, or reintegration, between the Enlightenment and Pietism in the second round would be, Tillich clearly identifies it as the “theological synthesis” of Friedrich Schleiermacher[13] or the “universal synthesis” of Georg W. F. Hegel.[14] Another interesting thing is that what the Divine Principle calls the “third reformation” of Christianity in the third round both Tillich and Niebuhr unambiguously identify as the theology of Barth.[15]

The advantage of the Divine Principle, of course, is that it gives a much clearer explanation of the reason for the Cain-Abel typology than Tillich and Niebuhr, because of its teaching that the foundation of substance between Cain and Abel has to be established for the restoration of fallen Adam, to be able to receive the Messiah, the restored Adam. But we will use the insightful and reliable observations of Tillich and Niebuhr in order to a little more accurately rewrite the four-hundred year Period of Preparation for the Second Advent of the Messiah in the Divine Principle. This rewriting will therefore do the following things among others:

First, it will touch upon Protestant scholasticism as the foundation of substance between the Renaissance and the Reformation, the theology of Schleiermacher as part of the foundation of substance between the Enlightenment and Pietism, and the theology of Barth as a main Abel-type view of life in the third round, none of which is discussed in the Divine Principle.

Second, it will treat Hegel as a philosopher of synthesis between the Enlightenment and Pietism, rather than merely a representative of the Abel-type view of life as the Divine Principle seems to indicate.[16] It will also consider Immanuel Kant as another philosopher of synthesis between the Enlightenment and Pietism,[17] rather than merely another representative of the Abel-type view of life as the Divine Principle seems to suggest.[18] 

Third, it will show that it was actually Protestant scholasticism that was divided into the Enlightenment and Pietism in the second round, unlike the Divine Principle which does not say what was divided into the two. It will also show that it was in fact Hegel’s universal synthesis, along with the philosophical synthesis of Kant and the theological synthesis of Schleiermacher, which was divided into communism and Barth’s theology in the third round, while again the Divine Principle does not say what was divided into the two.

Fourth, it will suggest that the foundation of substance, or reintegration, between communism and Barth’s theology in the third round was, believe it or not, seen in important pre-1960s theologies of synthesis such as the theologies of the later Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, H. Richard Niebuhr, and Paul Tillich. This is a new suggestion, and the present writer admits that it might need to be more carefully examined elsewhere by historians of theology.

Finally, it will suggest a fourth round of division, which happened mainly in America during the turbulent 1960s but about which the Divine Principle is silent: the division of the pre-1960s theological synthesis into Cain-type radical theologies such as “death of God” theology, black theology, and feminist theology vs. Abel-type theological views such as neo-Fundamentalism and neo-Pentecostalism.[19] Accordingly, a fourth round of reintegration, which followed the fourth round of division, will also be discussed as the foundation of substance laid in the 1970s through the 1990s to receive what Sun Myung Moon calls the “fourth Adam.”[20] It will be seen that several schools of reintegrative theology, such as Evangelical theology, reconstructive postmodernism, and the theologies of Karl Rahner and Jürgen Moltmann, as well as the “head-wing”[21] thought of Rev. Moon, contributed to the fourth round of reintegration. 

It is clear, therefore, that the “modern” period does not just mean the four-hundred year period between 1517 and 1918 but the longer period from the Reformation to today.[22]


Medieval Scholasticism and Its Breakdown

1. Formation of Medieval Scholasticism

Medieval scholasticism was an attempt to unify everything centering on God. In order to solve all the practical problems of human beings, it attempted to synthesize faith and reason, theology and philosophy, religion and culture, and church and state centering on God. In the Middle Ages it was common sense to understand that all are to be united under the authority of God and under the authority of the Church representing God. God was as natural to everyone as the air we breathe is to us. It was indeed a noble ideal. Unless we understand this point well, we may be inclined to think rather simplistically that the Middle Ages were the “Dark Ages.” 

Medieval scholasticism started from around the ninth century and enjoyed its golden age in the thirteenth century. It had two major schools: the Augustinian and Thomistic. Both had one thing in common: they attempted to synthesize everything centering on God. But their approaches were quite different from each other.[23]

The Augustinian school inherited the tradition of St. Augustine (354-430), and its representatives included St. Bonaventure (1221-1274) of the Franciscan order. This school taught the unity of faith and reason grounded on its basic assertion that faith precedes reason. Because God as the Creator knows this world much better than we do, we first have to unite with God and accept the world by faith before we eventually can know the world well by reason. 

By contrast, the Thomistic school was formed by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) of the Dominican order, who used the then rediscovered philosophy of Aristotle for doing theology. This school taught the unity of faith and reason, saying that while they are independent of each other, they support each other without contradiction. Therefore, while accepting revelation and the traditional teaching of the Church on God by faith, it also observed the created world by reason to deduce God’s existence and attributes from it. Thus it taught that these two independent ways of understanding God—by faith and by reason—are not contradictory but complementary.

According to the Divine Principle, the formation of this medieval synthesis, whether Augustinian or Thomistic, was providential preparation for the Second Advent of the Messiah, through whom the “new truth” would be brought forth to “resolve the problems of religion and science as an integrated human endeavor, guiding religion, politics and economy to progress in one unified direction based on God’s ideal.”[24]

Thus, the Second Advent of the Messiah was initially supposed to take place based on the foundation of substance to be made between Emperor Charlemagne (r. 800-814), in the position of Abel, and Pope Leo III (r. 795-816), in the position of Cain, when the latter crowned the former Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 800.[25] The coronation of Charlemagne was very significant from the viewpoint of the Divine Principle. This must be why many historians talk about it in appreciative ways, even if they may not realize its connection with an expected Second Advent of the Messiah. James Bryce, for example, goes so far as to say that the coronation was not only “the central event of the Middle Ages” but also “one of those very few events” without which “the history of the world would have been different.”[26] 

2. Breakdown of Medieval Scholasticism

These two major schools of medieval scholasticism were at the zenith of their reputation in the thirteenth century. For some time, the Thomistic school was dominant over its Augustinian counterpart. Eventually, however, radical members of Augustinian school such as John Duns Scotus (c. 1266-1308) and William of Ockham (c. 1287-1347) challenged and dissolved the synthetic approach of the Thomistic school, by separating faith from reason.

Opposing Aquinas’ intellectualism, Scotus believed that in God and also in human beings the will has primacy over the intellect. God’s will is thus absolutely free, and the reason for God’s free choices cannot be found. Our intellectual observation of the created world, therefore, can never ascertain the reason for God’s actions. There is no intellectual way to know God from the created world.

Ockham, while accepting Scotus’ voluntarism, also adhered to nominalism, according to which what truly exist are only particular individuals. It holds that universal concepts are merely names made from thinking on individual existences, rejecting the view that they exist in the mind of God. Thus our knowledge of particular individuals in the world does not lead us to any reality beyond that experience, and in particular it does not lead us to God.

The assertions of Scotus and Ockham resulted in this: God can only be reached by faithful submission to the biblical and ecclesiastical authorities and not at all from the created world, while the created world can be known only by direct observation through reason. This helped to destroy the Thomistic school and even the Augustinian school. This led to the breakdown of medieval scholasticism, and a separation between the religious and secular realms. 

But the problem was that in spite of this breakdown the Church still wanted to continue to exert its authority over the secular realm. Hence, according to Tillich, by the end of the Middle Ages a “desperate fight between autonomous secularism and religious heteronomy developed.”[27]

Heteronomy means a state in which a finite and limited authority, exalting itself to the level of the infinity of God, “claims absolute authority and demands the submission of every other reality,” and it is therefore usually “demonic.”[28] The Catholic Church, says Tillich, had this heteronomous trait.[29] The Church, therefore, had to be deprived of its power by the Renaissance and the Reformation. In the words of Tillich, “The Renaissance and the Reformation were the means by which the church was deprived of this power.”[30] 

Regarding this, the Divine Principle, too, references the effect of the demonic: “The popes and emperors… in the Carolingian period” were supposed to lay the foundation for the Second Advent of the Messiah, but they became “faithless,” and “their faithlessness and immorality allowed Satan to corrupt the guiding medieval ideology [i.e., the medieval synthesis],” with the result that “for the separation of Satan,” God “divided” it into “two trends of thought: Cain-type Hellenism and Abel-type Hebraism,” which “bore fruit in the Renaissance and the Reformation.”[31]

a. The Renaissance

According to the Divine Principle, the Renaissance and the Reformation respectively emerged as people’s “external” and “internal” pursuits of the “original human nature” because it had been “repressed” in medieval feudal society.[32] Pursuit of that original nature was inevitably both internal and external, for human beings have the dual characteristics of “internal nature” and “external form,” being created in resemblance to God’s dual characteristics of “original internal nature” and “original external form” to “exist and thrive” based upon the give and take action between these dual characteristics.[33]

Regarding the reason for the emergence of the Renaissance, therefore, the Divine Principle says it is because “it is the calling of our original nature [from an external point of view] to pursue freedom and autonomy” when “repressed,” as “we are created to attain perfection by fulfilling our given responsibility of our own free will, without God’s direct assistance.”[34] The Divine Principle goes on to say:

The Renaissance came to life in fourteenth-century Italy, which was the center of the study of the classical Hellenic heritage. Though it began as a movement imitating the thought and life of ancient Greece and Rome, it soon developed into a wider movement which transformed the medieval way of life. It expanded beyond the sphere of culture to encompass every aspect of society, including politics, economic life and religion. In fact, it became the external driving force for the construction of the modern world.[35]

Reinhold Niebuhr has a similar characterization of the Renaissance, when he says that it “opposes the ecclesiastical control of all cultural life in the name of the autonomy of human reason and thereby lays the foundation for the whole modern cultural development.”[36]

b. The Reformation

The Reformation, by contrast, was more internal and faith-oriented. The Divine Principle says that the Reformation was “to restore our spirituality through religion,”[37] calling for “the revival of the spirit of early Christianity, when believers zealously lived for the Will of God, guided by the words of Jesus and apostles.”[38] It was initiated by Martin Luther (1483-1546), who posted his “Ninety-five Theses” on the castle door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, with the first thesis stating: “When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said ‘Repent,’ He called for the entire life of believers to be one of penitence.”[39] Other famous Reformers were Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) and John Calvin (1509-1564). 

According to Niebuhr, it was not only the Renaissance but also the Reformation that sought freedom. Freedom, as understood by the Reformation, primarily means “the right and the ability of each soul to appropriate the grace of God by faith without the interposition of any restrictive institution of grace.”[40] Consequently,

The Reformation opposes the dogmatic control of religious thought by the church in the name of the authority of Scripture, insisting that no human authority (not even that of the church) can claim the right of possessing and interpreting the truth of the gospel, which stands beyond all human wisdom.[41]

3. Protestant Scholasticism: Foundation of Substance between the Renaissance and the Reformation 

The Divine Principle acknowledges the possibility of the Renaissance and the Reformation uniting with each other to establish the foundation of substance with the former “submitting to” the latter,[42] but observes that the former actually “took a dominant position over” the latter with no sign of the establishment of the foundation of substance.[43] Niebuhr agrees with this observation by the Divine Principle, when he refers to the “defeat” of the Reformation by the Renaissance for two reasons: 1) because of the “moral pessimism and cultural indifference” of the Reformation; and 2) because “the phenomenal development of all the sciences and social techniques, of the conquest of nature and of the general extension of human capacities in the modern period” were advantageous for the Renaissance.[44]

Unlike the Divine Principle, however, Tillich and other scholars seem to be of the opinion that the Renaissance and the Reformation were somehow reintegrated to constitute Protestant scholasticism in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. John Dillenberger and Claude Welch, for example, characterize Protestant scholasticism as a sort of reintegration between revelation and reason; so, when talking about its similarity to medieval scholasticism in that regard, they say: “There was similarity… in emphasis upon a natural knowledge of God, supplemented by revelation.”[45] In fact, Johann Gerhard (1582-1637), a Lutheran, developed a theological system of grand synthesis in the seventeenth century “comparable” to that of Thomas Aquinas in thirteenth-century Roman Catholicism—a two-structure theory of reality: the superstructure of revelation and the substructure of reason, distinguishable yet without contradiction.[46] Hence we can safely posit that Protestant scholasticism was supposed to be the foundation of substance between the Renaissance and the Reformation.

In a way, Protestant scholasticism within the Lutheran tradition started with Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560), who “as a man of broad cultural, humanist and classical interests” systematically and intellectually explained Luther’s more unsystematic and prophetic teachings and coped with theological controversies by using “the utmost of tact and mediation in every situation.”[47] Melanchthon in his thinking gradually became more humanistic and synergistic than Luther. After the death of Luther, therefore, quite a hostile split emerged between extremely conservative followers of Luther (known as “Gnesio-Lutherans”) and followers of Melanchthon (called “Philippists”). Controversies intensified on issues such as the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, the relationship of the activities of the Spirit and human beings, and the place of law and works in the context of faith. These issues were finally settled in the Formula of Concord in 1577, which marked a victory for the basically conservative wing (neither the extremely conservative Gnesio-Lutheranism nor Philippism) and became an authoritative Lutheran statement of faith. In 1580 the Book of Concord, containing the Formula of Concord as well as the Augsburg Confession drafted by Melanchthon in 1530, the catechisms of Luther, etc., was published. 

Regarding this development of Lutheran scholasticism, Dillenberger and Welch state, “The Bible as Bible, understood through the Book of Concord, was synonymous with the Word of God.”[48] They go on to say about the scholastic nature of this development:

Faith in revelation meant assent to statements which had been given in an infallible form in a book. God’s truth meant propositions about God. Thus the initial warmth and freedom of Lutheranism gave way to a stress upon statements derived from the Bible. And these were set forth with the rigor of a theological method in which sensitive spirituality was often lacking. Men were now more concerned with being correct than with the revivifying power of the Spirit.[49]

Within the Reformed tradition as well, theological controversies occurred after Calvin published the first edition of Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536. To address the controversies, several confessions of faith such as the Belgic Confession of 1561 were formulated. “People were asked to believe the confessions, and the faith these were meant to safeguard often took second place”;[50] this was how Reformed scholasticism started to be created. 

After the emergence of Arminian liberalism, controversies intensified on issues such as God’s decree in predestination, Christ’s death for the elect only or for all people, and the possibility or impossibility of rejecting God’s grace. The Synod of Dort in Holland in 1618-1619 officially settled these issues in favor of the conservative side. In defense of the Synod of Dort, the Formula Consensus (Helvetic Consensus) was formulated in the Swiss Reformed Church in 1675, having the “most elaborate and scholastic official expression” of the Calvinism of the day.[51] In this context, the Reformed tradition, too, established a doctrine of biblical inerrancy, equating the Bible itself with the Word of God. One of the authors of the Formula Consensus was Francis Turretin (1623-1687), whose major work, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, adopted the scholastic method of Thomas Aquinas. This constituted the culmination of Reformed scholasticism, and was widely used as a textbook in the Reformed tradition for the next two or three centuries. 

Tillich interestingly encourages us to take Protestant orthodoxy seriously, because it “was and still is the solid basis of all later [theological] developments, whether these developments… were directed against Orthodoxy or were attempts at restoration of it.”[52] From the viewpoint of the Divine Principle, it can be said that Protestant scholasticism was very significant. Although the Divine Principle is silent about its existence, it was providentially supposed to be the foundation of substance for the Second Advent of the Messiah. 


Protestant Scholasticism and Its Breakdown

1. Breakdown of Protestant Scholasticism

Protestant scholasticism broke down into Cain-type and Abel-type views of life in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: the Enlightenment vs. Pietism, etc. Although the Divine Principle falls short of identifying Protestant scholasticism as the foundation of substance between the Renaissance and the Reformation, the reason for its breakdown is obvious from the viewpoint of the Divine Principle: it is because it was defiled by Satan, like medieval scholasticism had been. In the language of Tillich, Protestant scholasticism, too, became demonic because of its heteronomous trait.[53] 

In fact, Protestant scholasticism, whether Lutheran or Reformed, was heteronomously absolutist and dogmatic. Lutheran theologians dogmatically decided that the truth was “already fully given and unalterably fixed” in the Formula of Concord, and that “to depart from it or correct it in any way was out of the question.”[54] As for the Reformed tradition, its authoritarianism was such that after the Synod of Dort the Arminian Dutch statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (1547-1619) was executed and all Arminian pastors in Holland, about 200 of them, were deposed as heretics. 

Originally, Protestant scholasticism was supposed to be a reintegration between the Cain-type Renaissance and the Abel-type Reformation, with the former “submitting to” the latter for the establishment of the foundation of substance.[55] In fact, however, the former “took a dominant position over” the latter.[56] So their reintegration, if any, to form Protestant scholasticism seems to have been done in an imperfect way and even in a reverse way. This is the problem of “reversing dominion,” one of the primary characteristics of the “fallen nature,” explained in the Divine Principle.[57] This problem in the reintegration seems to have been found in both Lutheran and Reformed scholasticism, given what we know about how they were formed and how badly they treated their dissenters. So Protestant scholasticism, which was now heteronomous and demonic, had to be disintegrated into the Cain-type Enlightenment and Abel-type Pietism.

The Enlightenment and Pietism into which Protestant scholasticism was disintegrated, were two different ways of revolting against it. Thus Tillich says: “Historically, Pietism and the Enlightenment both fought against Orthodoxy [i.e., Protestant scholasticism].”[58] The Enlightenment and Pietism respectively stood for two kinds of autonomy: “rational autonomy” and “mystical autonomy,” which were both against the heteronomy of Protestant scholasticism.[59]

a. The Enlightenment

In explaining about the emergence of the Enlightenment as a revolt against Protestant scholasticism, Tillich talks about Protestant scholasticism’s two-story theory of reality which, like Thomas Aquinas’ theological synthesis, distinguished between the upper story of revealed theology and the lower story of natural theology. According to Tillich, the autonomous rationalism of the Enlightenment emerged as “a revolution… by the lower story fighting against the upper story”; to break down Protestant scholasticism, “the lower claimed the right to become the whole building of theology and denied the right to have any independent upper story at all.”[60]

It may be that the two-story theory of reality in Protestant scholasticism was established in such an intellectual way as to make the upper story of non-intellectual revealed theology ironically claim absolute intellectual authority. So the upper story had to be challenged by the lower, which became the Enlightenment.

Tillich also explains the value of Enlightenment concepts such as autonomy, reason, harmony, and tolerance. Autonomy is the “natural law given by God, present in the human mind and in the structure of the world,” thus being in opposition to the “arbitrariness” of heteronomy; reason is the “awareness of the principles of truth and justice”; harmony follows “from the principles of autonomy and reason”; and tolerance is something to be proposed against the “religious wars” of “various confessional groups.”[61]

The Divine Principle’s description of the Enlightenment as the Cain-type view of life is as follows:

By the turn of the eighteenth century, the Cain-type view of life had broken down the verities enshrined by history and tradition. All matters in human life came to be judged by reason or empirical observation. Anything deemed irrational or other-worldly, including belief in the God of the Bible, was thoroughly discredited. People’s energies were narrowly directed toward the practical life. Such was the ideology of the Enlightenment.[62]

A distinction can be made between non-religious and religious rationalism in the Enlightenment. Non-religious rationalists were atheistic, and they included Denis Diderot (1713-1784), Jean le Rond d’Alembert (1717-1783), and Baron d’Holbach (1723-1789) of the French Enlighten-ment. Religious rationalists were theistic, but they reduced religion to those essentials which can be rationally defended, such as certain moral principles like tolerance and a few universally held beliefs about God, and regarded all the other elements as not really necessary ecclesiastical trappings, such as sacraments, rituals, and doctrines of incarnation, atonement, resurrection, and Trinity. They included Edward Herbert (1583-1648), John Toland (1670-1722), Matthew Tindal (1655-1733), Voltaire (1694-1778), Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716), Christian Wolff (1679-1754), and G. E. Lessing (1729-1781). Many of the religious rationalists were also Deists, who believed that God, after creating the world, has no dealings with it. According to the Divine Principle, all these Enlightenment figures, atheistic and theistic alike, belonged to what it calls the “second renaissance.”[63]

b. Pietism

As was mentioned a little earlier, the upper story of non-intellectual revealed theology in the two-story theory of Protestant scholasticism ironically claimed its absolute intellectual authority, losing its God-centered religious subjectivity and assuming an authoritarianism of objectivity instead. Pietism, founded by the Lutheran pastor Philip Spener (1635-1705), was a revolt against it to restore the subjective side of religion which was lost. According to Tillich, Pietism was “the reaction of the subjective side of religion against the objective side.”[64] In a similar vein, Dillenberger and Welch state: “Dissatisfaction [with Protestant scholasticism] expressed itself in Pietism and in a kind of general revulsion against orthodoxy.”[65]

Pietism put such an emphasis on the subjective side of religion that it believed that there is no theologia irregenetorum (theology of the unregenerate), i.e., that unless you have the experience of regeneration, you cannot be a theologian; whereas Protestant orthodoxy apparently maintained that whether you are regenerated or not, you can still write a fully valid theology.

The Pietist nobleman Nicolaus Zinzendorf (1700-1760) helped to organize the Moravian Church, which stressed the importance of spiritual renewal through the Holy Spirit. Under the Moravian influence, the Methodist Church of John Wesley (1703-1791) started.

In addition to Spener and Wesley, the Divine Principle mentions about George Fox (1624-1691), who founded Quakerism, and Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), from whose writings the New Church was established, and says that they all started “new movements” which “stressed the importance of religious zeal and the inner life,” valuing “mystical experience over doctrine and rituals.”[66] According to the Divine Principle, they all belonged to what it calls the “second reformation.”[67] Perhaps, Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) and George Whitefield (1714-1770), who were among the main figures of the First Great Awakening in America, belonged to this, too.

By the way, Reinhold Niebuhr does not believe that these movements of religious renewal belonged to the Abel-type tradition of the Reformation. According to him, they, which he refers to as “sects” in Protestantism, rather belonged to the Renaissance tradition, part of which was the Enlightenment, because their “perfectionist impulse” was based on the “immanent logos” principle belonging to the Renaissance.[68] Tillich, too, recognizes a similarity between Pietism and the Enlightenment: both of them stood for the principle of autonomy, i.e., the immanence of God’s law in us, if in two somewhat different ways. Nevertheless, Tillich never forgets about the important connection of Pietism with Luther’s Reformation, when he observes that Spener was aware of the presence of “all the elements of Pietism” in the earlier Luther, and really wanted to restore it because it had been lost due to Protestant orthodoxy.[69] Perhaps, therefore, Niebuhr’s mapping of Pietism, Methodism, etc. within the Enlightenment is wrong. Niebuhr is basically a theologian of transcendence who is reluctant to approve any theology which “obscures the real dialectic between the historical and the eternal.”[70]

2. Nineteenth-Century Theology: Foundation of Substance between the Enlightenment and Pietism

Although the Divine Principle is again silent about what would be the foundation of substance, or reintegration, between the Enlightenment and Pietism in the second round, Tillich identifies it as the theological synthesis of Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) and the universal synthesis of Georg W. F. Hegel (1770-1831).[71] The moral religion of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) can also be added as another candidate of synthesis for the foundation of substance between the Enlightenment and Pietism. The importance of these three thinkers in this regard can be seen from the following words of James C. Livingston: “Those [works] of Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel alone determined the course of theology for the next century and beyond,”[72] although Livingston himself may not know the meaning of what the foundation of substance is. The projects of synthesis by these three thinkers actually determined the generally synthetic and optimistic character of nineteenth-century theology as a whole.

At this point, it would be pertinent to mention just briefly about the American Revolution as a synthesis between the “American Enlightenment”[73] (Cain-type) and the First Great Awakening (Abel-type) in the eighteenth century. Its importance consists in the fact that it marked a significant spread from Europe to America of the efforts to establish the foundation of substance to receive the Messiah. This point will be discussed in a little more detail below, when the importance of America as a Christian nation where the foundation of substance in the third round was to be laid is dealt with. 

a. Moral religion of Immanuel Kant

Kant experienced both the Enlightenment and Pietism. He started his career as a disciple of the Enlightenment rationalism of Leibniz and Wolff in Germany, appreciating the theme of rational autonomy. Also, as his parents were devout Pietists, he was aware of the good qualities of Pietism such as moral integrity after regeneration. But he gradually became dissatisfied with both, because he felt that the Enlightenment was overemphasizing the capacity of human reason, while Pietism was a little too emotional and even hypocritical. 

In order to critique the Enlightenment confidence on human reason, he argued in his Critique of Pure Reason (1781) that since our a priori forms of intuition (space and time) and forms of thought (twelve categories such as plurality and causality) are only applicable to the physical world of “phenomena,” we cannot know by “pure reason” things-in-themselves (“noumena”) behind the physical world. This was his agnosticism.

He then published Critique of Practical Reason (1788) to show an alternative way of establishing religion, which is to base religion on “practical reason” instead of pure reason. Practical reason is the rational faculty concerning human conduct, apprehending the moral law (the Categorical Imperative) within oneself. Autonomous obedience to this moral law within oneself always results in right action. For the sake of morality, practical reason can postulate God, freedom, and immortality. For Kant, practical reason in this sense is faith. He destroyed speculative knowledge in order to make room for this faith: “I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge, in order to make room for faith.”[74]

As can be seen in his Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone (1793), Kant reinterpreted traditional Christian doctrines in terms of his moral philosophy. For him, Jesus is a moral teacher who has reached moral perfection, and his divinity means his perfect humanity that is pleasing to God. Original sin means “radical evil,” our innate propensity to evil, whose origin is an inscrutable mystery, although it is at least not an inheritance from Adam but something we are morally responsible for. Justification means that we, with the help of Jesus, choose to have the right disposition to atone for past misdeeds, although we can even do this on our own because we already have the moral law within us. When we all have the right disposition this way, we can build an “ethical commonwealth,” which is the Kingdom of God on earth. 

Kant was criticized by many, including King Frederick William II of Prussia, for distorting Christianity, but his moral religion turned out to be a synthesis of the Enlightenment and Pietism. From the Enlightenment it borrowed the theme of autonomy, while denying its overconfidence on human reason. From Pietism it adopted the theme of autonomous spiritual maturity after regeneration, while negating its emotional fervor. Kant was actually the first to synthesize the Enlightenment and Pietism in the second round. To use the terminology of the Divine Principle, his synthesis was for the realization of the foundation of substance between them. The Divine Principle, therefore, may not be accurate when it says that he was a representative the Abel-type view of life.[75]

The importance of Kant as the first synthesizer in the second round was such that only with him did the eighteenth century start to understand “its limitations.” Thus he stood “at the turning-point of his age.”[76] The Kantian tradition of synthesis in morality was inherited by many in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, although it eventually disintegrated into Cain-type and Abel-type views of life in the third round in the early twentieth century.

b. Theological synthesis of Friedrich Schleiermacher

Schleiermacher, too, experienced both the Enlightenment and Pietism. He was exposed to Moravian Pietism through his father, who encountered the Moravian Brethren because the Prussian troops he served as a Reformed army chaplain were stationed where there was the Moravian community. He and his father learned that religion cannot be taught but should be awakened. At age 17, he enrolled in a Moravian seminary. Later, being drawn to the humanism and rationalism of the Enlightenment, he left the seminary and matriculated at Halle University to study in a more open environment. He now felt a great tension between Pietism and the Enlightenment.

In coping with the tension, Schleiermacher at one point was impressed with the Kantian synthesis which understands religion on a moral ground. But, after he was exposed to Romanticism, he gradually realized that even the Kantian synthesis is not good enough, because moral volition seems to contain a sort of unnatural manipulation, like the intellectual manipulation of Enlightenment rationalism, which makes gaps between God and us and among us. 

Schleiermacher opted for neither intellect nor moral volition but feeling (Gefühl) as a ground on which the deep religious experience of God can occur: “It [i.e., religion] is to have life and to know life in immediate feeling, only as such an existence in the Infinite and Eternal.”[77] Thus he went beyond the Enlightenment tradition of intellectual reason, while retaining its theme of autonomy. He also went beyond the Kantian way of moral synthesis, while keeping its theme of autonomy coming from Pietism as well as from the Enlightenment. Thus he concluded that feeling is an appropriate ground on which the Enlightenment and Pietism can be reconciled. His new synthesis based on feeling was evidently influenced by Pietism, because he later remarked, “After all I have passed through I have become a Moravian again, only of a higher order.”[78] His synthesis was well expressed in his On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers, published in 1799. 

Based on his new synthetic approach, he published his systematic theology, The Christian Faith (1821), to argue that Christian doctrines are accounts of our Christian religious affections set forth in speech. Thus God’s attributes of eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience are not to be taken as actually describing God but as how our experience of God-consciousness is related to him. Sin means our lack of God-consciousness. Original sin does not mean a first sin of the first human parents; it only refers to the fact that the whole human race lacks God-consciousness. Redemption comes only by divine grace, when the perfect God-consciousness of Christ is communicated to us. If we each have God-consciousness and have a fellowship of love among ourselves, then the Kingdom of God on earth can come.

It is to be noted that Schleiermacher was in favor of the 1817 announcement by King Frederick William III of Prussia (r. 1797-1840) on the union of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches, although he later disagreed with the king regarding his further claim of sovereignty over the Union. 

“Schleiermacher,” says Tillich, “represents what I call the great synthesis in the theological realm.”[79] Even Karl Barth, a staunch critic of Schleiermacher, admits that “Schleiermacher’s achievement” was a “historical necessity” well fitting “the whole spirit of nineteenth and twentieth centuries,” so that it is hard to reject it even if you are equipped “with a positive counter-argument.”[80] This indicates the immense influence of his theological synthesis in the nineteenth century and beyond. 

From the viewpoint of the Divine Principle, his significance consists in the fact that as a theologian he seriously tried to establish the foundation of substance, if imperfectly, between the Enlightenment and Pietism, although his name and his work are not mentioned in the Divine Principle at all. The Unification theologian Young Oon Kim seems to regard Schleiermacher as part of the Pietistic tradition in the second reformation,[81] but he should rather be considered as a theological synthesizer of the Enlightenment and Pietism.

The theological tradition of Schleiermacher was to be greatly challenged by the neo-orthodoxy of Barth in the early twentieth century.

c. Universal synthesis of Georg W. F. Hegel

Hegel was yet another important thinker who synthesized the Enlightenment and Pietism. To be precise, after entering the seminary at Tübingen in 1788 at age 18 he was actually trying to synthesize Enlightenment religion and Greek folk religion. Greek folk religion, however, was quite closely connected with and appreciated by German Romanticism, which in turn, according to scholars such as Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997), was rooted in Pietism.[82] So it would not be wrong to say that Hegel was pursuing a synthesis between the Enlightenment and Pietism.

As a young theologian during his formative ten-year period from 1788 to 1799, Hegel was faced with various polarities of experience such as the Enlightenment, Pietism, Romanticism, Greek folk religion, and Kant’s moral religion. He tried to develop the theological concept of the true religion by dialectically reconciling them into a higher unity.

To begin with, as a Romantic seminarian at Tübingen he found a tension between Enlightenment religion, an objective religion of the head, and Greek folk religion, a subjective religion of the heart. He was, of course, in favor of the latter. But after graduating from the seminary he became a Kantian, identifying Kant’s moral religion with the true religion of Jesus in order to go beyond the tension between Enlightenment religion and Greek folk religion. Toward the end of this formative ten-year period, however, he came to see a tension even between Kant’s moral religion and Greek folk religion. To solve it, he found a third way: Christianity. It seemed to him that the Christian teaching of love as embodied in Jesus is able to overcome any dichotomy. 

Yet he came to realize that even the Christian teaching of love as a subjective feeling is not enough, unless it is manifested in objective forms such as virtue and worldly action, and that unfortunately the “fate” of Christianity is that its manifestation in objective forms can never happen completely. This led Hegel after 1800 to make a shift from theology to philosophy. 

He developed a more penetrating form of logic in his absolute idealism, affirming an identity between thought and being, i.e., an identity between the rational and the real. As expressed in his works such as Phenomenology of the Spirit (1804) and Science of Logic (1812-1816), this means we can know the essence of reality by logically moving from the “thesis” to the “antithesis,” to be aufgehoben as a new “synthesis” of the two. The past participle of the German verb aufheben has the double meaning of being “done away with” and at the same time “preserved” at a higher level. 

God as the Absolute Spirit, therefore, discloses himself in the world through his self-development of Becoming (synthesis) of his Being (thesis) and Not-Being (antithesis). Also, particular things in the world, each with its self-development of becoming (synthesis) of its being (thesis) and not-being (antithesis), disclose with each other; and this process in the world continues until it ends in the Absolute Spirit. Thus God and the world are united, and all things in the world are united centering on God. God thus comes to self-awareness through the world. Hegel claimed that through this method we can explain and know everything in its rational necessity. This made him different from Kant and Schleiermacher, who were agnostic when it came to pure reason in that they were aware of its limitation. 

Hegel reinterpreted many traditional Christian doctrines by applying his philosophy. For example, the fall of Adam is a necessary dialectical movement from innocence or the insensate (thesis) to blamable knowledge or consciousness of estrangement (antithesis) in order to reach reconciliation (synthesis). The Incarnation means a necessary dialectical movement from Being (thesis) to Not-Being (antithesis) within the Infinite to reach the self-disclosure of Becoming (synthesis) in the finite. In this way, Hegel’s philosophy made the Christian faith more reasonable and acceptable to the modern world. 

Hegel’s final understanding of Christian doctrines may sound a little too simplistic to be plausible. But if his initial attempt to synthesize Enlightenment religion and Pietism (even under the guise of Greek folk religion) and his later universal synthesis through his absolute idealism were for the establishment of the foundation of substance for the Second Advent of the Messiah, he was providentially a very significant thinker. He was not simply a representative the Abel-type view of life, as the Divine Principle says he was.[83] From this point of view, Tillich’s statement that Hegel, along with Schleiermacher, “had a tremendous impact on the whole history of thought to the present day,”[84] can be appreciated even more deeply.

d. Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel as “head-wing” thinkers

As was noted previously,[85] Rev. Moon has coined the term “head wing,” by which he means a central position having the capacity of uniting together the left and right wings, which are Cain-type and Abel-type, respectively. If so, Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel, all of whose thoughts aimed at uniting the Cain-type Enlightenment and Abel-type Pietism for the establishment of the foundation of substance, may well be called “head-wing” thinkers. 

According to Rev. Moon, the head wing usually has a wider perspective of God to be able to go beyond the struggle between Cain-type and Abel-type camps to unite both. Thus he also calls it “Godism.”[86] Godism is indeed a Godly and noble position. It is fitting, therefore, that Stanley J. Glenz and Roger E. Olson call Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel “three intellectual giants,”[87] although Glenz and Olson may not know the meaning of the foundation of substance. 

Also, Protestant scholasticism, which attempted to integrate the Cain-type Renaissance and the Abel-type Reformation in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, may well be called a “head-wing” movement. This must be the reason why Tillich encourages us to take Protestant scholasticism seriously, as was noted previously.[88] 

In the history of Christian thought, however, Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel have been regarded as the shapers of so-called “liberal theology” in Protestantism.[89] Especially Schleiermacher, a full-fledged theologian and preacher, has been called the “father of liberal theology.” The problem here is that the word “liberal” has the pejorative connotation of being so progressive as to deviate from the traditional orthodoxy of Christianity. The three thinkers’ head-wing reinterpretations of Christianity, as was seen above, certainly looked quite different from, and even quite unacceptable to, traditional Christian orthodoxy, thus appearing to have deviated from it. Therefore they may well be pejoratively regarded as liberal from the viewpoint of traditional orthodoxy. (By contrast, although Protestant scholasticism may have been a head-wing movement in the first round, it has hardly been regarded as liberal even from the viewpoint of traditional orthodoxy; this is perhaps due to the absence at that time of the influential Enlightenment, which was later a component of the head-wing positions of the three thinkers in the second round.)

It should be pointed out, however, that these three thinkers were courageously broadminded and generous, when they accommodated the Enlightenment in their head-wing enterprises. This noble and positive sense of being liberal on their part should not be forgotten. It should probably be distinguished from other, irresponsible deviations from traditional Christianity. Roger E. Olson, a prolific writer of Evangelical Baptist yet Arminian persuasion, is aware of this distinction when he says that liberal theology is “not just any deviation from orthodoxy but an elevation of modern reason and discovery, the ‘modern mind,’ to a source and norm for theology.”[90] 

Hopefully, a true head-wing thought will eventually appear and go beyond both Cain-type and Abe-type views of life to integrate them so completely that its originally intended liberalism, in the noble and positive sense of the term, will no longer be questioned or critiqued by either of the two sides. Perhaps it can be said that the syntheses made by Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel were not perfect yet, and that this may be the reason why they have been blamed by traditional orthodox Christians for being liberal in the pejorative sense. 


Nineteenth-Century Theology and Its Breakdown

1. Breakdown of Nineteenth-Century Theology

Kant’s moral synthesis, Schleiermacher’s theological synthesis, and Hegel’s universal synthesis all helped to form the synthetic nature of nineteenth-century theology as a whole, which created a culture of optimism. 

Kant’s moral religion could be found especially in the value-judgment practical theologies of Albrecht Ritschl (1822-1889) and his followers such as Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930) and Wilhelm Herrmann (1846-1922) in Germany. The Ritschlians were usually supporters of the Prussian Union of Churches which united the Lutheran and Reformed Churches in opposition to Confessional Lutheranism. The Social Gospel theology of Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) in America, which tried to apply Pietistic faith to social issues, emerged under the influence of the Ritschlian school.

Schleiermacher’s theological synthesis was repeated in the nineteenth-century “mediating theologies” of Friedrich August Tholuck (1799-1877), Isaak August Dorner (1809-1884), and others, who attempted to reconcile the Christian faith with modern culture in Schleiermachian ways. They, too, were usually supporters of the Prussian Union of Churches. The philosopher and poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was the English equivalent of Schleiermacher, who on his own attempted to synthesize Romanticism and the Enlightenment. The American theologian Horace Bushnell (1802-1876) drew significantly on the work of Coleridge and also was acquainted with the theology of Schleiermacher; he was dubbed the “American Schleiermacher.”[91] Even Roman Catholic theologians such as Johann Sebastian von Drey (1777-1853) at the Tübingen School of Catholic Theology in Germany were Schleiermachian, as he believed in our innate capacity of God-consciousness and regarded the Church as a place of Christian nurture.

After Hegel’s death in 1831, his philosophy of universal synthesis continued to be a major school of thought for a while. It was inherited by the so-called Right Hegelians on the Continent. The popularity of Hegel’s thought declined in the second half of the nineteenth century, although his influence later extended not only into philosophy and theology but also into the political arena in the twentieth century. In the nineteenth century, “Hegel’s own direct influence was shortest lived,” compared with the two other thinkers of synthesis discussed here.[92] In fact, Hegel’s synthesis started breaking down in the 1840s, much earlier than those of Kant and Schleiermacher which broke down in the early twentieth century. Hence we will first deal with the breakdown of Hegel’s system, and after that the syntheses of Schleiermacher and Kant.

At this juncture, it should be mentioned that the synthetic nature of nineteenth-century thought, attributable to Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel, was far from perfect, perhaps because, as mentioned above, their individual syntheses were not perfect. Thus the nineteenth century, in spite of its basically mediating and synthetic nature, still witnessed the existence of very diverse schools of thought, both progressive and conservative. 

On the more progressive side, biblical historical criticism, which had originated from Enlightenment rationalism in the eighteenth century, developed in the nineteenth century to produce scholars such as Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette (1780-1849), who began historical criticism of the Pentateuch, and Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918), who proposed the documentary hypothesis for the composition of the Pentateuch. In the area of natural science, in 1859 Charles Darwin (1809-1882) published On the Origin of Species, presenting his theory of evolution. 

In response to these progressive schools, there arose conservative movements such as Confessional Lutheranism in Germany, the Oxford Movement in the Church of England, and in America, Princeton Theology by Calvinist theologians such as Charles Hodge (1797-1878) and Benjamin Warfield (1851-1921). 

a. Breakdown of Hegel’s universal synthesis

According to Tillich, the breakdown of Hegel’s universal synthesis was “a historic event.”[93] It can be said that his synthesis initially broke down into the atheistic anthropology of Ludwig Feuerbach (1808-1872), a Cain-type view of life, and the God-centered existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), an Abel-type view of life. This happened in the middle of the nineteenth century, although its final breakdown occurred in the early twentieth century when the communist revolution of Russia, inheriting the Feuerbachian tradition in a certain way, emerged as the Cain-type movement, and Barth’s theology of crisis, inheriting the Kierkegaardian tradition in a certain way, emerged as an Abel-type view of life.

Tillich says that the initial breakdown of the Hegelian system in the middle of the nineteenth century occurred when “Hegel was attacked from all sides and removed from the throne of providence on which he had placed himself,” because “the finished system [of Hegel] cut off all openness to the future.”[94] What is the meaning of “the throne of providence on which he had placed himself”? It apparently means the absolute status of Hegel’s finished system, which claimed to have secured the complete historical actualization of the coming into being of the Absolute Spirit, although historical Christianity never made that absolutist claim, always believing instead that God is distant and transcendent from us. Hegel’s finished system thus put itself “in the state of hybris” (by this Greek word Tillich does not simply mean “pride” but, more to the point, “self-elevation toward the realm of the divine”), but “then this hybris was followed by the tragedy of his system,” i.e., its tragic breakdown.[95] 

To put it another way, Hegel’s “essentialism” was attacked by “existentialists” such as Feuerbach and Kierkegaard, whether they were atheistic or theistic: “It was in protest to Hegel’sperfect essentialism that the existentialism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries arose.”[96] The all-embracing character of Hegel’s system saw no gap between existence and essence, as it asserted that existence is the expression of essence. But existentialists, whether atheistic or theistic, were concerned about the gap between existence and essence, looking upon human existence as a dehumanized state of estrangement or alienation from its essential nature. 

Although nowhere does Tillich specifically use the word “demonic” to characterize Hegel’s system, nevertheless it can perhaps be said that Hegel’s finished system turned out to be “demonic” in the Tillichian sense that it, even if it was a finite system, exalted itself to the level of the infinite, i.e., placed itself in the state of hybris. If so, it can be said, using the Divine Principle terminology, that Hegel’s system suffered from the invasion of Satan, and that it therefore had to be disintegrated into Cain-type and Abel-type views of life.

From the Cain-type camp, therefore, Ludwig Feuerbach, one of the so-called Left Hegelians, rebelled against Hegel’s absolute idealism by turning it upside down. This was well expressed in his The Essence of Christianity, published in 1841. Whereas for Hegel God comes to know himself in human beings in the world, for Feuerbach human beings come to know themselves in God. From Feuerbach’s existentialist point of view, this meant that we, whose existence is estranged or alienated from our own essence that is our own infinite nature, dream of worshipping God by projecting our own infinite nature, while being aware of our own self-alienation. God is therefore none other than the projection of our own infinite self-consciousness from which we are estranged: “God is the manifested inward nature, the expressed self of a man,—religion the solemn unveiling of a man’s hidden treasures.”[97] We thus create the infinite and perfect God, instead of God creating us. In this way Feuerbach reduced theology to anthropology. So the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, for example, simply means a reflection of our desire to address our self-alienation by seeing the non-alienated human nature in Christ. Feuerbach even went so far as to say that true religion will eventually be found in true human communion of non-alienation, and that human beings in this true communion can be called God. Perhaps in a way this still represented nineteenth-century optimism.

From the Abel-type camp, Kierkegaard sharply criticized Hegel’s absolute idealism by objecting that it has no room whatsoever for the importance of the individual commitment of faith in God. Hegel’s system only attempts to reach the truth by logical deduction and rational necessity with all-encompassing objectivity centering on God, thus attempting to solve even the real problems of life only in pure theory. According to Kierkegaard, however, there is no truth or no solution in such objective information or knowledge. For the real problems of life actually come from our estrangement from the true self, which is our estrangement from God due to our sinfulness and guilt—an estrangement which Kierkegaard called the “infinite qualitative difference” between God and humanity.[98] The problems can only be solved by the passionate, subjective inwardness of faith on the part of each of us, which fills the gap between God and oneself, between the eternal and the historical. “Truth,” therefore, “is subjectivity.”[99] Kierkegaard was such an important Abe-type theologian at that time, even though his name is not mentioned in the Divine Principle. 

Feuerbach’s atheistic Cain-type view of religion was bequeathed to Karl Marx (1818-1883), another Left Hegelian. Marx appreciated Feuerbach’s definition of religion as projection. But while Feuerbach’s definition just psychologically focused on individual human beings, Marx expanded religion to the socioeconomic level because of his awareness of the problem of injustice and exploitation brought forth by the Industrial Revolution. Religion is, for Marx, merely the assurance of an eternal fulfillment in the imaginary realm of heaven which the oppressed people illusorily embrace, yet it is no more than their projection of true humanism which does not exist in the estranged and dehumanized society of exploitation. In a way, the ruling classes, with which the Christian churches are allied, invented religion to prevent the masses from seeking fulfillment on the earth by diverting their attention to imaginary life after death. “Religion,” therefore, “is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”[100] Marx, then, suggested to overthrow, through revolutions, the unjust social conditions that produce this religious illusion. To justify this, he developed historical materialism based on Hegel’s dialectics of progress and Feuerbach’s materialism. 

It is to be noted that the Divine Principle correctly mentions Feuerbach and Marx who presented their Cain-type views of life.[101] The Divine Principle also says that Marx’ historical materialism, from which communism developed, belonged to what it calls the “third renaissance.”[102] In fact, Russia’s communist revolution in 1917 occurred in opposition to the optimism of the nineteenth century in general and the class society of the Russian Empire of that time in particular. 

The theistic Abel-type view of religion by Kierkegaard, on the other hand, was bequeathed to Karl Barth (1886-1968) in the early twentieth century. Barth’s theology on the Abel side, together with communism on the Cain side, completely finalized the Hegelian system’s breakdown that had begun in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Barth, going through the tragic time of World War I, felt that the whole of nineteenth-century theology, which was synthetic in nature because of Hegel as well as Kant and Schleiermacher, was too optimistic and humanistic to seriously understand the radical transcendence of God in Christianity. Barth, therefore, challenged it by making Kierkegaard’s notion of the “infinite qualitative distinction” between God and humanity a cornerstone of his theology.[103] Barth expressed his own criticism of Hegel by saying that in the Hegelian system “the identification of God with the dialectical method” brought forth the abolition of God’s sovereign freedom, making God subject to necessity, such that “This God, the God of Hegel is at the least his own prisoner.”[104] For Barth, God must be so “wholly other” that we are incapable of knowing him. The only way that we know him is through revelation, which God initiates to give us who are in faith. This was clearly expressed in the second edition in 1922 of his The Epistle to the Romans, which turned out to be a bombshell. It marked the rise of a new theological era associated with his name. 

Besides the new theological movement coming from Barth, Fundamentalism and Pentecostalism arose in America in the early twentieth century. Although they were not directly related to Barth, they, too, were concerned about the secular trend of the time. So they, too, can probably be considered part of the third reformation. They will, however, be explained later in the discussion of neo-Fundamentalism, which arose in the 1970s, and neo-Pentecostalism, which arose in 1960, as Abel-type views of life in the fourth round of division. 

b. Breakdown of Schleiermacher’s theological synthesis

Schleiermacher’s theological synthesis, too, broke down into Cain-type communism and Abel-type Barthianism, which respectively expressed themselves in history as the communist revolution of Russia in 1917 and the publication of the second edition of Barth’s The Epistle to the Romans in 1922. 

It seems that Marx and his successors in Russia did not specifically study the theology of Schleiermacher to react against it. The only possible link we can think of between Schleiermacher and Karl Marx was that Schleiermacher was deeply involved in the newly started Prussian Union of Churches, which included the Lutheran Church where Heinrich Marx (1777-1838), Karl’s father, converted from Judaism in 1817 or 1818 to eventually have Karl baptized as a young boy in 1824. But Karl grew radical and atheistic by associating with the Left Hegelians at the University of Berlin from 1837; and he apparently started resenting the Prussian Union of Churches when the Prussian state censored his journalistic activities in Cologne in 1842 and 1843. 

Marx eventually decided that the Church, whether in Prussia, Belgium, or England, was allied with the ruling classes and complicit in exploiting the masses in its system of capitalism. Furthermore, while Schleiermacher believed that religion has an essence to which it can be reduced, namely the feeling of absolute dependence, Marx held that religion has no essence since as the opium of the people it is just an illusory product of the socioeconomic conditions of exploitation. For Marx, therefore, if these conditions are overthrown, there is no need for religion. Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), who seriously studied the works of Marx during his Kazan State University days, agreed with Marx that religion is the opium of the people, and decided that the Russian Orthodox Church, allied with the ruling classes, was a great obstacle for the people. He was the main leader behind the communist revolution of Russia in 1917.

How about Barth’s relationship to Schleiermacher? Barth studied the theology of Schleiermacher very carefully, as he was originally trained in nineteenth-century liberal theology. Barth’s The Theology of Schleiermacher contains the “Concluding Unscientific Postscript on Schleiermacher,” which autobiographically reports that he was deeply involved with Schleiermacher over many decades.[105] But he eventually reacted against Schleiermacher. He decided that Schleiermacher’s theology is too much bound to human experience to appreciate the transcendence of God, which is sorely needed to overcome various crises of human beings. Theology should not speak of God by speaking of human beings. It should speak of God from God. Its task is to hear and witness the challenging Word of God instead of listening to our own words: “Religion confronts every human competence, every concrete happening in this world, as a thing incomprehensible, which cannot be tolerated or accepted.”[106] The living truth of God cannot be found in our own man-made synthesis between God and us. Thus Barth was against Schleiermacher’s theological synthesis of the Enlightenment and Pietism. In order to make these points, Barth numerous times critically referenced Schleiermacher in his major work, Church Dogmatics.

c. Breakdown of Kant’s moral religion

Kant’s moral religion, too, broke down into Cain-type communism and Abel-type Barthianism, which both reacted against it in two very different ways.

Marx, in his The German Ideology (1846) that was co-authored by Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), sharply criticized Kant by saying that Kant’s theory of autonomous “good will” could not have any revolutionary result, because it was unable to address the impact of the world coming from nature and also from the material relations of production in industrial societies. Rather, it was simply a reflection of the impotence and wretchedness of the German burghers of his day. Also, when Marx criticized the Prussian Union of Churches for being allied with the ruling classes to oppress the masses, he was indirectly critical of the Kantians of his day, who were Ritschlians in support of the Union.

Lenin also criticized Kant, in his Materialism and Empirio-criticism (1909), saying that while Kant initially appeared to lean considerably toward “materialism” when talking about the knowability only of the physical world (“phenomena”) by our sensation, his materialism was actually compromised by his “idealist” decision to declare things-in-themselves (“noumena”) outside of our sensations to be “unknowable, transcendental, other-sided.”[107] Lenin further observed in the same work that Feuerbach, Marx, and Engels turned from Kant to the Left because of his quasi-materialism. This work of Lenin, by the way, became an obligatory subject of study at all schools of higher education during the Soviet era.

What about Barth’s Abel-type reaction against Kant? According to Barth, Kant’s moral religion means to say that each of us as an agent of practical reason is the measure of religion and even the measure of God. This, said Barth, gives rise to the problem of a gap or discrepancy between Kant’s own religion based on the moral law within us and the revealed positive religion of Christianity centering on God. Kant himself sees no discrepancy between the two, said Barth, as he simply reinterprets the latter from the viewpoint of the former. But his reinterpretation results in a problematic distortion of the latter by the former, according to Barth. Therefore Barth suggested that we should question Kant’s approach and believe that it is not each of us humans but God who is the measure of religion. Our religion should spring from God, and theology should recognize “the point of departure for its method in revelation” to be God, who is “not identical with quintessence of human reason, with the ‘God in ourselves.’”[108]

On October 4, 1914, two months after the outbreak of World War I, ninety-three prominent German intellectuals, including fourteen Nobel laureates, signed a manifesto in support of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s war policy. Barth was much dismayed that Adolf von Harnack and Wilhelm Herrmann, who used to be his great teachers at Berlin and Marburg, were among them. Harnack and Herrmann were members of the Ritschlian school, which Albrecht Ritschl founded through the publication of his influential The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation in the early 1870s to reconstruct Christian theology in a Kantian way. It combined Kant with serious historical research on Jesus in the New Testament. It therefore had its own way of synthesis, refusing to go back to any of the previous traditions of the nineteenth century, whether the Enlightenment, Pietism, Schleiermacher’s theological synthesis, or Hegel’s speculative synthesis. For the Ritschlians, the main task of religion was to enable us to actualize ourselves as moral human beings in the Kingdom of God on earth. Apparently, they equated the highly developed culture in Germany with the Kingdom of God on earth. 

Barth in his The Epistle to the Romans vehemently criticized this Kulturprotestantismus (culture-Protestantism) for exalting human culture to the point of obscuring the distance between God and us: “Thinking of ourselves what we can be thought only of God, we are unable to think of Him more highly than we think of ourselves.”[109]

2. Pre-1960s Theology: Foundation of Substance between Communism and Barthianism 

In order for the foundation of substance to be established in the third round, Cain-type communism and Abel-type Barthianism should be synthesized. Let us see several attempts to synthesize the two prior to the 1960s. They included at least the theologies of the later Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), H. Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962), and Paul Tillich (1886-1965).

As was seen above, Barth reacted strongly against the synthetic nature of nineteenth-century theology as a whole by asserting the complete transcendence of God. Thus God can be truly known only through his revelation to us, as we deny ourselves to be faithful. He can never be truly known from the viewpoint of what is regarded as our own a priori religious nature. This was Barth’s initial, very conservative position during the period from 1916 to 1930. After that period, however, he realized that the God we can truly know only through his revelation is actually a God of love who through Jesus Christ stoops down to stay with us, while at the same time staying as a God of transcendence. Thus the later Barth started talking about God’s immanence grounded in Jesus Christ as well as his transcendence. 

This change to a more moderate stance explains how he became interested in worldly political affairs, joining the German Social Democratic Party in 1931. (Prior to his conservative period, during his younger days as a liberal pastor he was engaged in socio-political issues such as injustice and poverty, even joining the Swiss Social Democratic Party.) The later Barth, now showing his interest in politics again, actively opposed Nazism in Germany and spearheaded the writing of the Barmen Declaration in 1934.

The later Barth’s involvement in political affairs did not weaken after World War II, even when communism became a big issue in the Cold War. In 1949 he stated that the tension between East and West is God’s “concern,” thus being the “concern” of the Church as well, and that “the Church must seek an answer to the problem.”[110] His answer was that the Church, which stands for the Word of the living God, should assume “a third way,”[111] not taking sides with either communism or capitalism as both are idolatrously materialistic and inhumane to the people. The Church, from the perspective of the Word of God, should encourage not only the East but also the West to do the work of “reconstruction”[112] to enhance democracy, freedom, justice and peace within each bloc, so that the mutual hatred and anger between East and West may disappear for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Consciously or unconsciously, therefore, Barth was talking about what in the Divine Principle is the foundation of substance. Thus the later Barth can be regarded as a head-wing thinker. 

There seem to be at least two issues here that need to be addressed. First, isn’t it our task here to understand and explain how the later Barth synthesized communism and Barthianism rather than communism and capitalism? The answer, of course, is yes. But Barthianism here means early Barthianism, the conservative theological position of the earlier Barth (1916-1930). It stood in sharp contrast to with communism, and therefore can be deemed to be part of the capitalist West vis-à-vis the communist East. Barth himself admitted as much: “something inside us [including the earlier Barth] instinctively joins in the battle-hymn of the West, whilst it goes against the grain for us to listen to the chorus of the East at all.”[113] So, when the later Barth was trying to synthesize communism in the East and capitalism in the West centering on the Word of God, he was not far from trying to synthesize communism and his earlier Barthianism. 

A second issue is whether the later Barth constructed any theology specifically to synthesize Cain-type communism and his own earlier Barthianism. The answer is most likely no. Perhaps, however, he believed that his mature theology, expressed in his multi-volume Church Dogmatics published between 1932 and 1967, was good enough to talk about the importance of the Word of God for the “reconstruction” needed for the synthesis of the two.

Let us now proceed to the theological school of Christian Realism in America, of which Reinhold Niebuhr and his younger brother H. Richard Niebuhr were the most prominent members. Christian Realism was Barthian in that it accepted radical monotheism and the biblical view of human sin and predicament in opposition to the optimistic anthropology of nineteenth-century European thought. At the same time, Christian Realism was very much interested in dealing with various social issues caused by the sinful human situation—social issues which communism also was concerned about. Christian Realists, then, were relating radical monotheism and the biblical view of sin to addressing social issues. In this sense, it can be said that American Christian Realism was exploring a unique synthesis between earlier Barthianism and communism.

Reinhold Niebuhr was initially involved with the optimistic, liberal theological tradition of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, notably the Social Gospel coupled with the educational philosophy of John Dewey (1859-1952). But during the period from 1915 to 1928 when he was serving as pastor of Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit, he witnessed the sad reality of the exploited workers of the Ford Motor Company there, and realized that liberal theology’s naïve optimism about moral progress was not at all competent to solve the serious problem of the injustice in capitalism. In order to address this problem, therefore, he explicitly abandoned liberal theology in the 1930s in favor of two alternative solutions which, though actually opposite each other, co-existed within his new thought: the Barthian (and Augustinian) idea of human sinfulness in front of a transcendent God of love, on the one hand, and the Marxist analysis and solution of the problem of inequality, on the other. 

The unique tension between these two opposing solutions within Niebuhr’s thought showed itself in his influential book, Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932), published just a few years after he was called in 1928 to teach ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. The book argued that there is an irreconcilable tension between individual moral life and social life, because individual morality alone cannot handle the problems of injustice and unrestrained egoism which unavoidably exist in all kinds of social groups. These social problems, therefore, need to be handled by external political measures such as “self-assertion, resistance, coercion, and perhaps resentment.”[114] And even “violence.”[115] He thus accepted some insights from Marxism. (In 1930, he had helped to found the League of Christian Socialists.) 

It can be said, therefore, that Niebuhr’s own initial liberal theology had disintegrated into Abel-type Barthianism and Cain-type communism within himself. Eventually, however, he became aware of the unacceptable, bloody tyranny of Soviet Russia’s communist regime. So his real position was one of a reintegration, if still with considerable tension, between Barthianism and communism. His 1935 book, An Interpretation of Christian Ethics, was meant to construct such a reintegration with a prophetic fervor: “Only a vital Christian faith, renewing its youth in its prophetic origin, is capable of dealing adequately with the moral and social problems of our age.”[116] This reintegration, according to him, is still far from perfect due to our original sin.

Niebuhr also proposed a “new synthesis” between the Renaissance and the Reformation,[117] whose respective culminations in his view were Marxism and Barthianism. This new synthesis of the Renaissance and the Reformation, therefore, must contain a synthesis of Marxism and Barthianism. For him, this new synthesis is again far from perfect, given the limits as well as possibilities of human beings in history. It does not mean to bring thereby the utopian Kingdom of God on earth, but rather a world in which at least “tolerance” and proximate “justice” can be maintained.[118] The Kingdom of God will not come within history by human action. It will come rather as God’s gift from beyond. 

Niebuhr was concerned about the Cold War after World War II. While he was aware of the malignancy of communism, he also warned in his The Irony of American History (1952) that America as a Christian nation should avoid “a fanatic anti-communism” based on the idea of American innocence because it ironically “can become so similar in its temper of hatefulness to communism itself.”[119] As late as 1969, he even stated that “we’ve all followed [George F. Kennan] in shifting subtly from the containment of Communism to the partnership of the two superpowers for the prevention of nuclear war.”[120] It is noteworthy that Reinhold Niebuhr, hailed as “the greatest Protestant theologian in America since Jonathan Edwards,”[121] was trying to establish, if incompletely still, the foundation of substance, whether or not he was aware of the meaning of this Divine Principle term.

H. Richard Niebuhr, too, was initially a theologian within the nineteenth-century liberal tradition of Schleiermacher and Ritschl, writing his Ph.D. dissertation at Yale in 1924 on Ernst Troeltsch (1865-1923), a Ritschilian whose conception of sociological and historical development had been profoundly influenced by Karl Marx.[122] In the 1930s, however, H. Richard Niebuhr rediscovered radical monotheism by studying Barthianism. Thus in his The Meaning of Revelation (1941), he tried to “combine” Troeltsch and Barth, who were “frequently set in diametrical opposition to each other.”[123] These two can be combined or synthesized, according to Niebuhr, if our awareness of the limitation of our knowledge of God resulting from historical relativity and conditionedness, as shown in the historical relativism of Troeltsch (and in the religious relativisms of Schleiermacher and Ritschl as well), leads us to be “critical” of ourselves, “humble,” “faithful,”[124] “communal,”[125] and “confessional”[126] enough to be able to receive what Barth understands to be “revelation” from God, which, of course, is subject to progressive validation through our communal life.

What is to be noted here is that Niebuhr also spoke about the historical relativism of Marx and Engels in “economic history” in the context of Troeltsch’s historical relativism, by saying that “the point of such Marxian analysis” is that we, in all our thinking and acting, are “deeply influenced” not simply by the fact that we are economic people but rather by the fact that we are “men living amid certain, definite economic relations, who think as pastoral, agricultural, industrial, or bourgeois men.”[127] For Niebuhr, therefore, the synthesis of Barthianism and Troeltschianism is, in this aspect, the synthesis of Barthianism and Marxism. According to Niebuhr, this synthesis is liberating as an “approach to universality,”[128] and it can address the problems of idolatry, self-aggrandizement, self-defense, and self-justification that have plagued human society. 

This synthesis was also expressed in his classic work, Christ and Culture (1951), which discussed five different models of the relationship between Christ and culture: 1) Christ against culture, 2) the Christ of culture, 3) Christ above culture, 4) Christ and culture in paradox, and 5) Christ the transformer of culture. Niebuhr apparently stood for the fifth model of “Christ the transformer of culture,” and given that Marxism was part of culture, he must have had in mind Christ as the “transformer” of Marxism. It was a transformative synthesis of Christianity and communism that would not support the “[otherworldly] Christian attitude [that]… arouses Marx and Lenin to hostility” such that they object that “Christian faith is a religious opiate used by the fortunate to stupefy the people, who should be well aware that there is no life beyond culture.”[129] 

After World War II, H. Richard Niebuhr warned that it is not appropriate to simplistically regard America, a Christian nation, and the Soviet Union, a communist nation, as the epitomes of “good” and “evil.” America needs to repent for her shortcomings when confronted by the Soviet Union, as Israel was supposed to do when confronted by Assyria during the Old Testament period. For God transcends the illusions of both sides.[130] This indicated Niebuhr’s profound sense of an eventual synthesis between Christianity and communism.

Paul Tillich was another theologian who experienced the age of turmoil in which World War I broke out and the communist revolution of Russia took place. He initially associated with neo-orthodoxy, being an early follower of Barth’s theology. But Tillich showed much interest in Marxism as well, knowing the miserable conditions of the proletariat in Germany. While teaching at universities such as Berlin and Frankfurt from 1919 to 1933, he developed a synthesis between conservative Christianity and Marxism, which constituted his “religious socialism.”[131] Religious socialism is compatible with Christian love, not losing sight of God and therefore is “theonomous,” whereas the class struggle in capitalism is “demonic.” Religious socialism, however, has to be careful about itself, lest it become as materialistic and ideological as communism and capitalism. The proletariat is the bearer of the future for the fulfillment of Christian eschatological expectation, although it should be ready to go beyond its own status to reach the theonomous classless society. 

After persecution from Nazism led him to move to America in 1933 where, with the help of Reinhold Niebuhr, he received a teaching position at Union Theological Seminary, Tillich joined the League of Christian Socialists. But he came to realize the bloody tyranny of the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, he stopped writing about Karl Marx in order to avoid sounding anti-American. He now focused on theology. Even so, he became well known as a theological synthesizer, using the “method of correlation,” which brings together insights from Christian revelation with issues raised in human existence.[132] 

We have been observing that the foundation of substance for the Second Advent of the Messiah was prepared mainly by Protestants after the breakdown of medieval scholasticism. But it would be wrong to say that Catholics have had nothing to do with this preparation. At this point, therefore, we would like to note an important Catholic movement called nouvelle théologie (“new theology”) that occurred from the 1930s through the 1950s among reformist French theologians, including Marie-Dominique Chenu (1895-1990), Henri de Lubac (1896-1991), Yves Congar (1904-1994), and Jean Daniélou (1905-1974); this was also good preparation for the Second Advent. Although it was a movement outside of America, it soon became internationally influential. 

The nouvelle théologie was critical of neo-Thomism (neo-scholasticism), which, having enshrined Thomism as absolute and timelessly true, was dominant in the Catholic Church since the middle of the nineteenth century, standing behind the First Vatican Council in 1869-1870 and also spearheading the persecution of Catholic modernists such as the English Jesuit George Tyrrell (1861-1909) and the French theologian Alfred Loisy (1857-1940) who were trying to find a synthesis between the Catholic faith and modern historical-critical culture. The Nouvelle théologie tried to overcome the authoritarianism of neo-Thomism by “returning to the sources” (ressourcement) of the old tradition of Christianity to study the early and later Church Fathers including Thomas Aquinas in their real historical contexts, so that the deeper, more lively and open-minded tradition of the past might be recovered. In this sense it helped to mediate between the Catholic tradition and the rest of the world, and it prepared the ground for the Second Vatican Council,[133] which started in 1962 under the leadership of Pope John XXIII (r. 1958-1963) and continued until 1965. More importantly, it was Catholic preparation for the Second Advent. 

3. The Second Advent of the Messiah

The Divine Principle teaches that the Messiah comes after the foundation of substance is established between Cain and Abel camps. This teaching is quite similar to the “postmillennial” assertion by the Great Awakening tradition in America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, namely that the Second Advent of the Messiah takes place after Christians work hard and establish a good foundation involving social and political transformations, which itself means a Millennial Kingdom. The basic similarity between Unification eschatology and American postmillennialism, with respect to the non-apocalyptic foundation on which the Second Advent is to occur, is well pointed out by M. Darrol Bryant.[134] 

Unification eschatology, therefore, has difficulty accepting the apocalyptic claims of premillennialists that the Messiah returns in such a cataclysmic way as to bring a sharp break from the awfully evil condition of the world to inaugurate the Millennial Kingdom. (Nevertheless, regarding the eschatological timetable, Unification eschatology disagrees with postmillennialism and rather agrees instead with premillennialism, because it believes that the Messiah at the Second Advent, while coming only after the establishment of the foundation of substance between Cain and Abel camps, actually comes before the Millennial Kingdom which he comes to inaugurate and build.) 

As has been seen so far, the foundation of substance was established in three rounds during the Period of Preparation for the Second Advent of the Messiah and a little beyond it, with the foundation of substance in the final, third round having been laid through the pre-1960s mediating Protestant theologies of the later Barth, the Niebuhr brothers, and Tillich, and even Catholic nouvelle théologie in France. These pre-1960 theologies of mediation had basically emerged by the end of World War II. This coincided with the time when Sun Myung Moon, whom Unificationists believe had the messianic mission, started his public ministry: 1945.

Rev. Moon was born in Korea in 1920 and became a Presbyterian around age 10 when his whole family joined a Presbyterian church. By that time, Korea was already a nation where Christianity was rapidly growing. Supposedly he went through certain conditions in his own country to emerge as a Christian leader with a messianic consciousness. Moreover, according to the Divine Principle, after the Cain-type fascist nations of Germany, Japan, and Italy surrendered to the Abel-type democratic nations of America, Great Britain, and France at the end of World War II, “the age for building a new heaven and new earth under the leadership of Christ at the Second Advent had begun.”[135]

Moon believed that America is the modern-day Rome, relating to Korea as the modern-day equivalent of biblical Israel, and said that it has the crucial mission of realizing the God-given purpose of Christianity for the sake of the world.[136] He sent missionaries to America beginning in 1959, visited America himself in 1965 and 1969 on his world tours, and spent much of his life working in America after moving there in December 1971. Given Moon’s belief in America’s important mission, it is interesting to observe that although Barth was a Swiss and the nouvelle théologie a French movement, the Niebuhr brothers and Paul Tillich (an immigrant to America) were prominent American theologians who helped to make the foundation of substance in America in the last days.

America actually had already been prepared in the eighteenth century as a place to pave the way for the Second Coming. In this regard, the American Revolution (1765-1783) can be considered the historic event that integrated the American Enlightenment (Cain-type) and the First Great Awakening (Abel-type) to help to establish the foundation of substance in the second round. The American Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, which developed in the British colonies of America under the influence of the European Enlightenment, encouraged the use of human reason in various fields such as religion, philosophy, literature, arts, politics, and science, unhinged by any authorities outside of oneself. Many of the Founding Fathers such as Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) were, in fact, Deists within the Enlightenment tradition. By contrast, the First Great Awakening, whose main preachers were Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, stressed the importance of rebirth and spiritual conversion on the part of each individual in a Pietistic way. Its religious revivals made the Christian faith intensely personal to many average people throughout the colonies, thus inspiring them to obliterate class lines and change the existing landscape of hierarchical order religiously and even politically. 

The American Enlightenment’s appreciation of individual integrity through human reason, on the one hand, and the First Great Awakening’s understanding of personal maturity through piety and conversion, on the other, were apparently integrated to give rise to the American Revolution, whereby America obtained independence from the authoritarian monarchy of the United Kingdom centering on King George III (r. 1760-1801) and became a new republic. Franklin was deeply impressed with Whitefield’s sermon at a revival meeting in Philadelphia in 1739, and their close lifelong friendship thereafter[137] was perhaps a good symbol of the unity in the American Revolution between the Enlightenment tradition and the First Great Awakening. 

The foundation of substance established through the American Revolution in the second round and the foundation of substance established through the mediating theologies of the Niebuhr brothers and Tillich in America (as well as by that of the later Barth in Europe) in the third round are hardly regarded as liberal, while the theologies of integration by Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel in the second round are usually regarded as liberal. Supposedly the reason for this difference was that the American Revolution in the eighteenth century and the mediating theologies of the Niebuhr brothers and Tillich in the twentieth century put somewhat more emphasis, in their synthetic projects, on the Abel-type view of life (the First Great Awakening and Barthianism) than on the Cain-type view of life (the American Enlightenment and communism), while the theologies of integration by Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel could not do so, given the tremendous impact of the Enlightenment. 


Pre-1960s Theology and Its Breakdown

1. Breakdown of Pre-1960s Theology

But something apparently went wrong with the providence of Rev. Moon. After his public ministry started in 1945, he went through a 10-year period of difficulties, unable to be accepted by Christianity in his own country of Korea. According to him, Christianity now started to decline, not only in Korea but also in America and other parts of the world, and it even began to be invaded by Satan.[138] 

If his viewpoint is correct, it can explain why the pre-1960s theologies of synthesis formed by the later Barth, the Niebuhr brothers and Tillich broke down. This in fact happened in the 1960s, as they disintegrated into Cain-type radical theologies such as “death of God” theology, black theology, and feminist theology on the one hand, and Abel-type theologies such as neo-Fundamentalism and neo-Pentecostalism on the other—a fourth round of division. In fact, Satan’s invasion into Christianity was alluded to by the black theologian James H. Cone, who spoke of its “satanic” racism, and the feminist theologian Mary Daly, who spoke of its “demonic” sexism, as the reason for their revolt against it. And, needless to say, neo-Fundamentalists and neo-Pentecostals often talked about Satan standing behind mainline Protestantism.

Let us now look at the affiliations of Barth, the Niebuhr brothers, and Tillich, who helped to establish the foundation of substance in the third round as preparation for the Second Advent of the Messiah. Barth was a pastor of the Swiss Reformed Church, which is similar to American mainline Protestantism. The Niebuhr brothers were ordained ministers of the German Evangelical Synod of North America, the American branch of the Prussian Union of Churches in Germany, which in 1934 became part of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and in 1957 became part of the United Church of Christ, a mainline Protestant denomination today. Tillich was an ordained pastor of the Lutheran Church in Germany, and after coming to America he remained a Lutheran, thus being part of mainline Christianity. From this, it can be said that pre-1960s synthetic theology as theological preparation for the Second Advent of the Messiah was born from mainline Protestantism in America, which therefore had a very important mission.

Mainline Protestant churches had been central to the whole history of America since the arrival of the Pilgrims Fathers in 1620. Puritans and Anglicans were the first to form mainline Protestantism, and other denominations joined later. The evangelical approach of the First Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s reshaped Congregational, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches and strengthened Baptist and Methodist churches. The Second Great Awakening in the first half of the nineteenth century helped Baptist and Methodist congregations to rapidly increase their membership. The term “mainline Protestantism” was coined in the beginning of the twentieth century as it started to have tension and friction with the rise of Fundamentalism. But it can be said that mainline Protestant denominations, which today include the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, the American Baptist Churches USA, and the Christian Church (the Disciples of Christ), originally constituted America’s Protestant Christianity that was prepared by God for the Second Coming in the Last Days. They peaked in membership in the 1950s, when they constituted a majority of all American Christians. Many mainline Protestants were well educated, wealthy, and influential in society.

But in the 1960s, mainline Protestant churches began to rapidly decline in membership and in faith, as the pre-1960s synthetic theology of mainline Protestant Christianity broke down into Cain-type and Abel-type theologies. Thus the breakdown of synthetic theology coincided with the decline of Christianity in America and Korea mentioned by Rev. Moon. After the 1960s, mainline Protestants became a minority among Protestants, while Evangelicals, neo-Fundamentalists, and neo-Pentecostals increased in number as well as in zeal. 

a. Radical theologies of the 1960s

The Cain-type radical theologies of the 1960s in America included “death of God” theology, black theology, and feminist theology. They were Cain-type because they put more emphasis on the importance of humans and this world than on God, although it should be remembered according to the Divine Principle that after they reconcile with their Abel-type counterparts to establish the foundation of substance, they and their counterparts both would equally connect with God for salvation and restoration.

Death of God theology was developed mainly by William Hamilton (1924-2012) and Thomas J. J. Altizer (1927- ), who belonged to mainline Protestant Christianity. Hamilton, an ordained Baptist pastor who taught at Portland State University for many years, challenged mainline Protestantism by saying that the idea of God itself should be abolished because it has ironically contributed to human suffering and evil. By contrast, Altizer, an Episcopalian who taught at Emory University and Stony Brook University, argued in his The Gospel of Christian Atheism (1966) that God is dead in that the transcendent God now disappeared to become totally immanent in humanity. In this way Altizer affirmed the profane to the neglect of the transcendently sacred.

The spearhead of black theology was James H. Cone (1938- ), an ordained minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a mainline denomination, who has been teaching at Union Theological Seminary since 1970. He shared the plight of oppressed blacks through his upbringing in the South. His Black Theology and Black Power (1969) and A Black Theology of Liberation (1970) developed black theology as a theology of liberation of black people from “satanic whiteness” in mainline Protestantism.[139] According to him, as the biblical tradition shows that “God has been revealed in the history of the oppressed Israel and decisively in the Oppressed One, Jesus Christ,” so black theology regards God as “the God of and for the oppressed [black], the God who comes into view in their liberation.”[140] This posed a big challenge to established mainline Protestantism that was predominantly white.

Still another challenge came from feminist theology, which was developed by female scholars such as Mary Daly (1928-2010) and Letty M. Russell (1929-2007). Although Daly was a Catholic who taught at Boston College for more than thirty years, her influence on mainline Protestant women was great. In her The Church and the Second Sex (1968), Daly discussed the existence of “the ‘demon’ of sexual prejudice in the Church” and the need for its exorcism.[141] Her Beyond God the Father (1973), using controversially strong language, suggested that because the masculine God is the source of all kinds of aggression including sexism, we should “castrate” him.[142] Her radical feminism eventually went so far as to abandon Christianity, by asserting that God is only feminine like the pagan Goddess of antiquity. 

In contrast, Russell, a Presbyterian, was among more moderate, reformist feminist theologians. Initially working as a religious leader in East Harlem, New York, Russell experienced the problems of racism and sexism. So she felt the need for both justice and partnership that can overcome barriers, and published Christian Education in Mission (1967). Her later publications such as Human Liberation in a Feminist Perspective: A Theology (1974), written after she began serving as a faculty member of Yale Divinity School, showed her feminist ideas more explicitly. According to her, Jesus was a “feminist” in that he considered both men and women “equal” in severally having their own “total personhood.”[143] Women are not inferior to men. Based on this kind of biblical interpretation, she wanted Christianity to reject what she considered to be its patriarchal and oppressive tradition and go through a reformation.

b. Neo-Fundamentalism and neo-Pentecostalism

Any discussion of neo-Fundamentalism needs a prior explanation of Fundamentalism. Fundamentalism initially emerged in the early twentieth century as an angry and militant trans-denominational movement within American Protestantism in opposition to biblical criticism, Darwinism, and modern secularism, and even to mainline Protestantism itself. It can be considered part of the Abel-type third reformation according to the Divine Principle. While it arose independently from Barthianism, it shared with it grave concern about the liberal trend of the nineteenth century. The term “fundamentalism” was coined in 1920 after The Fundamentals, a series of pamphlets published from 1910 to 1915. Fundamentalists had two chief pillars of their theology: 1) biblical inerrancy, coming from the Princeton Theology of Charles Hodge and Benjamin Warfield, and 2) pretribulational premillennialism, inherited from the Anglo-Irish dispensationalist John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). Although Fundamentalists won in the Scopes Trial of 1925 in Tennessee against Darwinism, they gradually became unpopular, and attacks from the media contributed to their weakening.

In the 1970s, however, Fundamentalism reemerged into the public arena, posing a strong cultural separation from the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, gay rights, secular humanism, the ban of prayer in schools (based on a Supreme Court decision in 1963), abortion (legalized by the Supreme Court in 1973), and world communism. This new Fundamentalism as an Abel-type of school of theology was called “neo-Fundamentalism,” distinct from the historical Fundamentalism of the early twentieth century.[144] Harvie M. Conn observes that neo-Fundamentalism was “more rigidly identified with dispensationalism,” less Calvinistic, and had stronger tendencies toward “excessive emotionalism; social withdrawal; fear of cultural challenges to the gospel; neglect of ethical issues; theological pugnaciousness; pietistic individualism.”[145] Neo-Fundamentalists criticized Evangelicals such as Billy Graham for associating with liberals. Politically influential neo-Fundamentalist groups included the Moral Majority founded in 1979 by Jerry Falwell (1933-2007), the American Coalition for Traditional Values founded in 1984 by Tim LaHaye (1926-2016), and the Christian Coalition of America founded in 1989 by Pat Robertson (1930- ). James Dobson (1936- ), who founded the Focus on the Family in 1977, is another influential neo-Fundamentalist. 

How about neo-Pentecostalism, which also emerged as an Abel-type movement in the 1960s? It also had a predecessor, the Pentecostalism of the early twentieth century. That Pentecostalism began from the Azusa Street Revival under William J. Seymour (1870-1922) from 1906 to 1909 in Los Angeles, California, following a smaller yet deeply spiritual movement at Bethel Biblical College in Topeka, Kansas in 1901. Participants received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. It gave rise to Pentecostal denominations such as the Pentecostal Holiness Church, the Assemblies of God, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and the Church of God in Christ. Early Pentecostalism can be considered another part of the third reformation, along with Fundamentalism and Barthianism in the early twentieth century.

The beginning of neo-Pentecostalism is usually dated to April 1960, when the Episcopal priest Dennis J. Bennett (1917-1991) recounted his own personal experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, inspiring many of the congregants of his church in Van Nuys, California, to have the same experience. Neo-Pentecostalism differed from Pentecostalism in that it now involved virtually every mainline denomination, including even the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The people in all these various denominations who newly had Pentecostal experiences did not create new denominations, but remained in their own respective denominations to renew and revitalize them. Another difference was that while Pentecostals tended to stress the gift of speaking in tongues as the main evidence of receiving the baptism of the Spirit, neo-Pentecostals referred to a wider range of supernatural gifts as its evidence, with speaking in tongues as only one of them. Neo-Pentecostals are also called Charismatics. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal began in 1967 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

2. Foundation of Substance between Radical Theologies and Neo-Fundamentalism (and Neo-Pentecostalism)

When the pre-1960s theology of synthesis disintegrated in the 1960s into Cain-type radical theologies such as death of God theology, black theology, and feminist theology, on the one hand, and Abel-type theologies such as neo-Fundamentalism and neo-Pentecostalism, on the other, it brought forth tremendous theological and social chaos in America. Now that the foundation of substance laid in the third round had broken down, was Christianity finished? 

Rev. Moon did not think so. He believed that Christianity could still be revitalized. That was the reason he came to America at the end of 1971 to seriously start his ministry there. He began with three years of Day of Hope speaking tours from 1972 to 1974. Then he launched many ecumenical institutions, projects, or organizations such as the Unification Theological Seminary in 1975, the New Ecumenical Research Association (New Era) in 1980, the Interdenominational Conference for Clergy (ICC) in 1985, and the American Clergy Leadership Conference in 2000. They drew Christians of all different theological persuasions. As a head-wing thinker, his efforts to revitalize Christianity were geared toward restoring the unity of now-fragmented Christianity to establish the foundation of substance in a fourth round to prepare for the return of the Lord of the Second Advent. In a speech from 1973, therefore, he stated: 

We must unite with the coming of the Lord. The end of the world signifies that the time of the arrival of the Lord of the Second Advent is near. He must have a basis somewhere, some foundation prepared upon which he can begin to fulfill his mission. America is meant to be that base, but America is deeply troubled.[146]

The head-wing thought of Rev. Moon is the Divine Principle, which teaches God’s dynamic “dual characteristics” centering on his Heart of love. He believed that this makes possible genuine unity of God and the world, genuine unity of God and humans, genuine unity among humans, and genuine unity between humans and all things.[147] Rev. Moon also taught about the importance of love and reconciliation among enemies, following Jesus’ tradition. 

Within American Christianity itself, new attempts at theological reintegration to revitalize Christianity arose. These new attempts, in fact, were Evangelicalism and reconstructive postmodernism. 

Let us deal with Evangelicalism first. The term “evangelical” originally stemmed from the New Testament word “gospel” and historically referenced the Reformation tradition in general because of its calling for a return to the gospel. But Evangelicalism here refers to a particular movement which emerged out of Fundamentalism in America around the middle of the twentieth century, and whose theological influence with its basic approach of reintegration was felt especially after the 1960s. 

While joining with Fundamentalism in opposition to the liberal and secular tendency of mainline Protestantism, Evangelicalism rejected Fundamentalism’s cultural separatism and anti-intellectualism in favor of greater dialogue with the culture of the world. Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003) expressed this Evangelical sentiment against Fundamentalism in his The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism (1947). He called for a new effort for mediation, without compromising the centrality of the gospel. Evangelicalism is often called neo-Evangelicalism, primarily in contrast to the evangelical aspect of Fundamentalism, and secondarily in contrast to the historical evangelical tradition of the American Great Awakenings. Famous neo-Evangelicals include Billy Graham (1918- ) and Carl F. H. Henry, and influential Evangelical organizations include Fuller Theological Seminary, Wheaton College, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 

While Carl Henry was inclined to stay within his own more conservative version of Evangelicalism, a growing number of Evangelical theologians in America, such as Bernard Ramm (1916-1992) and Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005), seriously wanted to reintegrate the theological left and right. Bernard Ramm was aware of the continuing menace of the Enlightenment. He therefore wanted to address it from the viewpoint of the biblical gospel, by developing “a theological method that enables them [i.e., Evangelicals] to be consistently evangelical in their theology and to be people of modern learning.”[148] Interestingly, he found Karl Barth’s mature theology to be promising in this regard.[149] Remember, the later Barth, too, was interested in mediating between the right and left. This was perhaps the reason Ramm felt that Barth was appealing. Ramm was also interested in the unity of religion and science, given his initial scientific background. Stanley J. Grenz, another prolific Evangelical writer, had a similar theological approach. He sought to integrate biblical truth and the cultural context in which the truth is expressed: “the process of contextualization requires a movement between two poles—the Bible as the source of truth and the culture as the source of the categories through which the theologian expresses biblical truth.”[150]

It should be noted at this juncture that after mainline Protestant churches decided not to work with Rev. Moon in America, as was evidenced in the 1977 release of a critique of his theology by the Commission on Faith and Order of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), he not only launched his own ecumenical projects such as the New Era and the ICC for the revitalization of Christianity but also started to work with Evangelicals such as Billy Graham, Bill Bright (1921-2003), and Don Argue (1939- ), by connecting The Washington Times (founded by Moon in 1982) with the National Religious Broadcasters and the Religious Roundtable. Even as early as 1978, Unificationists engaged in theological dialogue with Evangelicals.[151] Given the head-wing nature of Rev. Moon’s thought, it is understandable that he was able to work with Evangelicals. At the same time, his grave concerns about secular humanism and world communism also led him to work with Fundamentalists such as Jerry Falwell and Tim LaHaye through The Washington Times, the Coalition for Religious Freedom, etc. 

Before discussing reconstructive postmodernism, let us deal with the impressive theologies of reintegration by two European theologians: Karl Rahner (1904-1984) and Jürgen Moltmann (1926- ). Their theologies became very influential in America and were definitely helpful for the theo-logical establishment of the foundation of substance in the fourth round. 

Rahner, a German Jesuit theologian, inherited the tradition of the nouvelle théologie as a member of its “second generation.”[152] He developed his theology even before the 1960s, based on Thomism, existentialism, and Kantian transcendental philosophy. But it was after he served as a theological advisor to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) that his theology became well known and influential worldwide, making him “the most influential Roman Catholic theologian of the twentieth century.”[153] He used special terms such as “supernatural existential,” “obediential potency,” and “unthematic” to talk about the presence of supernatural grace in human nature and the potential ability of every human being, whether Christian or not, to hear transcendental revelation. This was none other than a serious attempt to reintegrate God up there and humans down here.

Moltmann, a German Reformed theologian, had a different approach for reintegration. His Theology of Hope (1964 German; 1967 English) tried to mediate between the theological left and right by presenting a “forward looking and forward moving” eschatology, “revolutionizing and transform-ing the present.”[154] Moltmann was involved with the Christian-Marxist dialogues of the late 1960s. His theology was not only eschatological but also practical, in that it encouraged the faithful to take up the cross for the underprivileged and marginalized, just like Christ did, for eventual social and political change. This change, according to Moltmann, is not simply man-made but rather from God’s deep sacrificial love. He developed his theology based on a “social doctrine of the Trinity,” which makes the reciprocal relationship between God and the world possible in the history of redemption headed for its eschaton.[155] 

A surprising way of reintegration came from postmodernism. By postmodernism here, we mean a reaction to the long-standing “modernity” tradition that has held sway since the Enlightenment and not a reaction to the aesthetic “modernism” of the first half of the twentieth century in art, architecture, and literature. Postmodernism in this sense was of two different types: 1) a “deconstructive” type, and 2) a “reconstructive” type. For our purpose, we are interested in the postmodernism of the reconstructive type. 

But first a word about the postmodernism of the deconstructive type. Deconstructive postmodernism was most famously presented by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), who coined the term “deconstruction” (déconstruction in French) in the 1960s to show that we should unmask the problematic nature of all centers such as an Origin, a Truth, an Essence, a God, and a Presence—problematic in the sense of being authoritarian, exclusivist, hierarchical, and repressive—and subvert all these centers. Thus deconstructionism challenged all kinds of presumably dogmatic positions since the time of the Enlightenment, whether they were Cain-type or Abel-type, atheistic or theistic. Deconstructive postmodernism wanted to attack and undermine both sides of the “binary opposites” because it saw too much struggle and conflict between them due to their respective dogmatisms based on their own centers.

But destruction usually in the long run leads to a reconstruction. That was the case with Derrida’s deconstruction. For although he was initially against any form of idolatry because he was not satisfied with anything at all, nevertheless it very likely meant that he was waiting for the Messiah, which he translated into the philosophical figure of the “to come” (à venir), of the future (l’avenir). His deconstruction, therefore, was not entirely nihilistic. Rather he had a passion for something yet to come, which, while still incomprehensible and impossible, is “undeconstructible,” and which he referred to as “justice,” etc.[156]

Thus emerged postmodernism of the reconstructive type in the 1980s and 1990s, which went beyond deconstructive postmodernism. It tried, in the postmodern context in which Derrida’s program of deconstruction was appreciated, to reintegrate and reconstruct both sides of the binary opposites at a higher level. Among the currents of reconstructive postmodernism are postmetaphysical theology, postliberalism, and postmodern Whitehead-ianism. Postmetaphysical theology started from the French thinker Jean-Luc Marion (1946- ), who was a student of Derrida but then went beyond him. In his influential work, God without Being (1982 in French; 1991 in English), he maintained that God should be thought of purely as love, with no reference to being. Postliberalism was created largely by the America Lutheran theologian George Lindbeck (1923- ), who in his main work, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age (1984), proposed experiential biblical narratives as a third way between the dogmatisms of both liberalism and the older orthodoxy. Postmodern Whiteheadianism came from scholars such as David Ray Griffin (1939- ), who applied the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) to the postmodern situation. His edited volume Sacred Interconnections: Postmodern Spirituality, Political Economy, and Art (1990) advocates interdependence beyond fragmentation and holism beyond the dichotomy of fact and value. 

3. The Fourth Adam

The Divine Principle calls Adam in the Garden of Eden the first Adam,[157] and Jesus Christ and Christ at the Second Advent the second Adam and the third Adam, respectively.[158]

According to the Divine Principle, the fall of the first Adam resulted in Satan’s invasion. Hence he had to be divided into Cain and Abel, his two sons representing Satan’s side and God’s side, respectively, so that they might lay the foundation of substance between them in order to receive the Messiah, the second Adam. Unfortunately Cain killed Abel, and the foundation of substance was not established, with the result that the Messiah could not come. Only much later, when the foundation of substance was somehow laid at the national level, could Jesus finally come to Israel as the Messiah in the position of the second Adam. 

But then Jesus was crucified, and his crucifixion occasioned the invasion of Satan again, although his unconditional love for his enemies when he was crucified resulted in his victorious resurrection; this spiritual victory constituted the very foundation of Christianity.[159] Regardless of Christianity’s successes, Christ must return to consummate God’s will as the third Adam. And, for him to return, the foundation of substance to receive him was needed within Christianity. 

As was mentioned earlier, Christ at the Second Advent was initially supposed to come based on a foundation of substance laid between Charlemagne, in the position of Abel, and Pope Leo III who, in the position of Cain, crowned him Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 800. But the foundation of substance at the time was not really laid due to the lack of faith on the part of those who were involved. As a result, the medieval synthesis was defiled by Satan and had to be dismantled into the Cain-type Renaissance and the Abel-type Reformation, which would then have to be reintegrated to make a new foundation of substance. As has been seen throughout this paper, during the modern period of history since the end of the Middle Ages, there were three rounds of division into Cain-type and Abel-type views of life, which followed by three rounds of reintegration to lay the foundation of substance three times. As a result, the Second Advent became a reality by the end of World War II. However, mainline Protestantism, which was instrumental for the third round of theological reintegration, afterwards failed to fulfill its responsibility. Hence that reintegration, which was meant to receive Christ at the Second Advent as the third Adam, broke down into Cain-type and Abel-type views of life in the 1960s, which unfortunately constituted a fourth round of division.

Following the fourth round of division in the 1960s, however, a fourth round of reintegration between Cain-type and Abel-type views of life occurred in the 1970s through 1990s in order to lay the foundation of substance to receive the Messiah again, this time beyond the third Adam. This fourth round of reintegration was made through Rev. Moon’s own head-wing thought, after he came over to America in 1971 and worked to revitalize Christianity. It was also made through theologies of synthesis within Christianity such as Evangelical theology and postmodern reconstructive theology, as well as the theologies of Rahner and Moltmann. All this made possible the coming of the Messiah as a fourth Adam. In 1997, therefore, Rev. Moon proclaimed the “era of the realm of the fourth Adam.”[160] 

According to Moon, this new era of the fourth Adam will be a time of joy, glory, liberation, fulfillment, and settlement, without any indemnity or persecution, in contrast to the older eras of the first three Adams in which we saw fall, indemnity, persecution, sorrow, and lamentation. To understand this point, it is worthwhile to quote his own words, although it may be lengthy:

From today [September 11, 1997] the era of the realm of the fourth Adam starts. The first, second, and third Adams needed indemnity. But in the realm of the era of the forth Adam, no indemnity is needed. So, in order to enter the era of the realm of the fourth Adam, the realm of Sabbath and the realm of liberation are needed. We enter an era in which there is no persecution. We enter an era in which there is no sorrow and no lamentation.

The first, second, and third Adams came to this earth with the han [Korean term denoting lamentation over justice not done] of God. The fourth Adam is not supposed to carry such han. In the era of the realm of the fourth Adam, we have to go to an era of settlement. From the original family centering on the fourth Adam can start the Heavenly Kingdom. The era of the realm of the fourth Adam refers to the era in which Adam and Eve become perfect without a fall in such a way as to be able to establish an ideal family. Here, there are no such concepts as fall, indemnity, and restoration. It refers to the original era in which the ideal of God is realized.

The fourth Adam is an Adam who represents the first, second, and third Adams. The first, second, and third Adams received persecution, but from the era of the realm of the fourth Adam there is no persecution but glory, no sorrow but joy, and no indemnity but ideal and delight. In this era of the realm of the fourth Adam, a nation is sought, the world is sought, and the cosmos is sought. And in the cosmos, we have to attend God by preparing the realm of liberation and the realm of Sabbath. From the fourth Adam begins settlement for the first time. And from this family is the blessing connected to the cosmos in glory. From this time begins the Heavenly Kingdom on earth for the first time.[161]

From above it can be understood that while the first three Adams experienced the invasion of Satan in one way or another, in the era of the realm of the fourth Adam, when the Heavenly Kingdom on earth is supposed to begin, there is no longer any invasion of Satan. The fourth Adam is, therefore, Christus Victor (the victorious Christ) in the sense that Swedish Lutheran theologian Gustaf Aulén (1879-1977) used the term.[162] According to Aulén, Christ comes primarily to be victorious by defeating Satan and liberating the whole world from satanic sovereignty (the “classic” view) rather than just to propitiate God’s offended honor or wrath on behalf of individual believers (the “objective” view) or to morally awaken them (the “subjective” view). As he put it, Christ’s atonement “is not regarded as affecting men primarily as individuals, but is set forth as a drama of a world’s salvation,”[163] i.e., as a drama of the reconciliation of the world to God through “a Divine conflict and victory” over the power of Satan.[164] 

Moreover, the fourth Adam in this sense will surely be victorious because the number four, according to the Divine Principle, represents the “realm of God’s direct dominion,” which is the “fourth stage” after passing through the “three stages of the growing period.”[165]

Another important feature of the era of the fourth Adam, according to Rev. Moon, is that we are all encouraged to be Christ-like, receiving the qualification of the fourth Adam to work responsibly toward the complete realization of the Kingdom of God on earth: “Families who got blessed on earth are vertically related to True Parents and have the qualification of the fourth Adam.”[166] We are, then, reminded of Jesus’ words: “he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mat. 10:38). Indeed, we are all encouraged to be responsible people in this new era, which for each of us is the “era of freedom and autonomy.”[167]



[1] Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: H.S.A.-U.W.C., 1996), p. 347. Henceforth abbreviated EDP.

[2] EDP, pp. 347-79. The reference to a “third reformation” of Christianity can be seen in EDP, p. 364.

[3] EDP, pp. 338-39.

[4] EDP, p. 350.

[5] St. Augustine, City of God, ed. Vernon J. Bourke and trans. Gerald G. Walsh, Demetrius B. Zema, Grace Monahan, and Daniel J. Honan (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1958), books XXI-XXII.

[6] Paul Tillich, A History of Christian Thought: From Its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism, ed. Carl E. Braaten (New York: A Touchstone Book, 1967), pp. 134-541. 

[7] Reinhold Niebuhr, The Nature and Destiny of Man: A Christian Interpretation, vol. 2: Human Destiny (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1964), pp. 127-212. 

[8] The Enlightenment, according to Niebuhr, is “a second chapter” of the Renaissance. See his Human Destiny, p. 165.

[9] It should be noted that according to Niebuhr the continuing Reformation tradition here does not refer to Pietism and Methodism. Surprisingly, he believes that Pietism and Methodism belong to the Renaissance tradition (whose second chapter is the Enlightenment) rather than to the Reformation tradition because he thinks that their “perfectionist claims” are based on the “immanent logos” principle of the Renaissance. See his Human Destiny, pp. 169-76.

[10] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, p. 504. Although what he refers to as “new ways of mediation” here refers primarily to various schools of mediation from the late nineteenth century and the earliest part of the twentieth century before World War I as a continuation of the second round of reintegration, nevertheless he is unquestionably a theologian of mediation to overcome polarities in the post-World War I period in the third round of reintegration as well. According to him, any “theology of mediation” is “mediating the tradition to the modern mind,” without “compromising the message with the modern mind” (ibid., p. 505). Cf. Langdon Gilkey, “Tillich: The Master of Mediation,” in The Theology of Paul Tillich, ed. Charles W. Kegley (New York: The Pilgrim Press, 1982), pp. 26-58.

[11] Niebuhr’s “new synthesis” between the two traditions (Human Destiny, p. 207) is quite a humble one, far from perfectionist or utopian, as it constitutes “the twofold emphasis upon the obligation to fulfill the possibilities of life [following the Renaissance tradition] and upon the limitations and corruptions in all historic realizations [following the Reformation tradition],” implying “that history is a meaningful process but is incapable of fulfilling itself and therefore points beyond itself to the judgment and mercy of God for its fulfillment” (ibid., p. 211).

[12] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, pp. 276-83, 305-11. Although Tillich says, “Orthodoxy,” capitalizing the initial letter, the present paper says, “orthodoxy,” using the lower case.

[13] Ibid., pp. 386-410.

[14] Ibid., pp. 410-31.

[15] Ibid., pp. 469, 535-39. Niebuhr, Human Destiny, pp. 159.

[16] EDP, p. 356.

[17] This is what modern scholarship says about the position of Kant. 

[18] EDP, p. 356.

[19] Neo-Fundamentalism and neo-Pentecostalism are to be distinguished from Fundamentalism and Pentecostalism, which emerged in the early twentieth century, supposedly belonging to the third reformation along with the theology of Karl Barth.

[20] For an explanation of the “fourth Adam,” see the very end of the present paper.

[21] Moon coined the term “head wing,” and by it he means a central position which has the capacity of uniting together the left and right wings, which are Cain-type and Abel-type, respectively. See his “Reflection of 1986,” a sermon at Belvedere, Tarrytown, New York on December 28, 1986: “Godism is the ‘head wing.’ That is a new word. The human body has a head and two arms, the right and the left. Godism is like the head, while the arms are the left wing and the right wing… the right wing and the left wing, representing Abel and Cain, have continued to struggle. The right and left wings will not settle their conflict until the ‘head wing’ comes forward and says, ‘You two guys, instead of fighting, you must cooperate!’ … Thus the ideology of heaven and earth has emerged. We stand neither on the right nor on the left, but rather are vertically uniting upper and lower, heaven and earth.” sunmyungmoon86/861228.htm.

[22] By the adjective “modern,” Christopher Ben Simpson means “what comes after the medieval,” including things happening today. See his Modern Christian Theology (London: Bloomsbury, T&T Clark, 2016), p.7. We follow his definition.

[23] For an excellent explanation, see Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, pp. 180-87.

[24] EDP, p. 338.

[25] EDP, pp. 321, 338.

[26] James Bryce, “The Coronation as a Revival of the Roman Empire in the West,” in The Coronation of Charlemagne: What Did It Signify? ed. Richard E. Sullivan (Boston: D. C. Heath and Co., 1959), p. 41.

[27] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, p. 188.

[28] Paul Tillich, On the Boundary: An Autobiographical Sketch (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1966), p. 40. 

[29] Ibid., p. 39. See also Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol. 1: Reason and Revelation: Being and God (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), p. 85. 

[30] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, p. 188.

[31] EDP, p. 350.

[32] EDP, pp. 351-52.

[33] EDP, p. 348.

[34] EDP, p. 351.

[35] EDP, pp. 351-52.

[36] Niebuhr, Human Destiny, p. 150.

[37] EDP, p. 349.

[38] EDP, p. 352.

[39] John Dillenberger, ed., Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1961), p. 490.

[40] Niebuhr, Human Destiny, p. 152.

[41] Ibid., p. 150.

[42] EDP, p. 351.

[43] EDP, p. 350.

[44] Niebuhr, Human Destiny, p. 156.

[45] John Dillenberger and Claude Welch, Protestant Christianity: Interpreted through Its Development (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1954), p. 97.

[46] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, pp. 279, 310.

[47] Dillenberger and Welch, Protestant Christianity, p. 80.

[48] Ibid., p. 85.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid., p. 89.

[51] Arthur Cushman McGiffert, Protestant Thought before Kant (London: Duckworth & Co., 1911), p. 153.\

[52] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, pp. 276-77. See also pp. 306-8.

[53] Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol. 1: Reason and Revelation: Being and God, p. 86.

[54] McGiffert, Protestant Thought before Kant, p. 145.

[55] EDP, p. 351.

[56] EDP, p. 350.

[57] EDP, pp. 73, 193.

[58] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, p. 286.

[59] Ibid., pp. 286-87.

[60] Ibid., pp. 310-11.

[61] Ibid., pp. 289-91.

[62] EDP, p. 355.

[63] EDP, p. 364.

[64] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, p. 284.

[65] Dillenberger and Welch, Protestant Christianity, p. 98.

[66] EDP, pp. 356-57.

[67] EDP, p. 364.

[68] See note 9.

[69] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, p. 284.

[70] Niebuhr, Human Destiny, p. 176.

[71] See notes 13, 14.

[72] Charles C. Livingston, Modern Christian Thought, vol. 1: The Enlightenment and the Nineteenth Century, 2nd ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1988), p. 116.

[73] The term “American Enlightenment” was not used in the eighteenth century, but was coined by historians and philosophers after World War II.

[74] Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1965), p. 29. Preface to second edition. Italics from the book.

[75] EDP, p. 356.

[76] Karl Barth, Protestant Thought: From Rousseau to Ritschl, trans. Brian Cozens (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1959), p. 150.

[77] Friedrich Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers, trans. John Oman (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1958), p.36. Italics added.

[78] Friedrich Schleiermacher, Letters, trans. F. Rowan (London: Smith Elder, 1860), I, p. 283.

[79] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, p. 388.

[80] Karl Barth, The Theology of Schleiermacher: Lectures at Göttingen, Winter Semester of 1923/24, ed. Dietrich Ritschl and trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), p. 260.

[81] Young Oon Kim, Unification Theology and Christian Tradition, rev. ed. (New York: Golden Gate Publishing, 1976), pp. 267-69.

[82] Isaiah Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism, ed. Henry Hardy (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999).

[83] EDP, p. 356.

[84] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, p. 301.

[85] See note 21.

[86] Moon, “Reflection of 1986.” 

[87] Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson, 20th-Century Theology: God and the World in a Transitional Age (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1992), p. 25. 

[88] See note 52.

[89] Grenz and Olson, 20th-Century Theology, p. 25.

[90] Roger E. Olson, “What Is ‘Liberal Theology’?” 2013/10/what-is-liberal-theology/.

[91] Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People, 2nd ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), p. 610.

[92] Livingston, The Enlightenment and the Nineteenth Century, p. 137.

[93] Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, p. 413.

[94] Ibid., p. 414.

[95] Ibid.

[96] Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol. 2: Existence and the Christ (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1957), p. 24.

[97] Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, trans. George Eliot (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1957), pp. 12-13.

[98] Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition for Upbuilding and Awakening, ed. and trans. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), p. 126.

[99] Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, trans. David F. Swenson and Walter Lowrie (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968), pp. 169-224.

[100] Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right,’ ed. and trans. Joseph O’Malley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), p. 131. 

[101] EDP, p. 355. It also mentions D.F. Strauss (1808-1974), another Left Hegelian, and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), Marx’s co-worker.

[102] EDP, p. 364.

[103] Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans, 6th ed., trans. Edwyn C. Hoskyns (London: Oxford University Press, ), p. 10.

[104] Barth, Protestant Thought, p. 304.

[105] Barth, The Theology of Schleiermacher, pp. 261-79.

[106] Barth, The Epistle to the Romans, p. 258.

[107] Vladimir Lenin, “The Criticism of Kantianism from the Left and from the Right,” which is chap. 4, sec. 1 of Materialism and Empirio-criticism. archive/lenin/works/1908/mec/four1.htm.

[108] Barth, Protestant Thought, p. 191.

[109] Barth, The Epistle to the Romans, p. 45.

[110] Karl Barth, “The Church between East and West,” in Against the Stream: Shorter Post-War Writings 1946-52, ed. Ronald George Smith (New York: Philosophical Library, 1954), p. 127.

[111] Ibid., pp. 132, 136, 145.

[112] Ibid., pp. 143-46.

[113] Ibid., p. 135.

[114] Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1932), p. 257.

[115] Ibid., p. 259.

[116] Reinhold Niebuhr, An Interpretation of Christian Ethics, Living Age ed. (New York: Meridian Books, 1956), p. 38.

[117] See note 11.

[118] Niebuhr, Human Destiny, pp. 213-87.

[119] Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1962), p. 170.

[120] Ronald H. Stone, “An Interview with Reinhold Niebuhr,” Christianity and Crisis (March 17, 1969): 48.

[121] “Death of a Christian Realist,” Time, June 14, 1971.

[122] Regarding his connection with Marx, see Ernst Troeltsch, Der Historismus und seine Probleme (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1922).

[123] H. Richard Niebuhr, The Meaning of Revelation (New York: Macmillan Company, 1960), p. x.

[124] Ibid., p. 17.

[125] Ibid., pp. 36-37.

[126] Ibid., pp. 18, 40-43.

[127] Ibid., pp. 13-14.

[128] Ibid., p. 45.

[129] H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1951), p. 6.

[130] H. Richard Niebuhr, “The Illusions of Power,” Pulpit 33 (April 1962): 100-3.

[131] Some of Paul Tillich’s articles written during the period between 1919 and 1933 are included in his Political Expectation, ed. James Luther Adams (New York: Harper & Row, 1971). See also his The Socialist Decision, tr. Franklin Sherman (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), which was originally published in Germany in 1933.

[132] Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol. 1: Reason and Revelation: Being and God, p. 64.

[133] For the connection of the nouvelle théologie with Vatican II as well as its connection with Catholic modernism, see Jürgen Mettepenningen, Nouvelle Théologie – New Theology: Inheritor of Modernism, Precursor of Vatican II (New York: T&T Clark International, 2010).

[134] M. Darrol Bryant, “Unification Eschatology and American Millennial Traditions,” in A Time for Consideration: A Scholarly Appraisal of the Unification Church, ed. M. Darrol Bryant and Herbert W. Richardson (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1978), pp. 261-74.

[135] EDP, pp. 375.

[136] “The mission of America as the world-level Rome,” in Cheon Seong Gyeong: Selections from the Speeches of True Parents (Seoul: Sunghwa Publishing Co., 2006), pp. 1200-04.

[137] Regarding the friendship of the two people, see, for example, Larry Gragg, “A Mere Civil Friendship: Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield,” History Today 28 (1978): 574-79.

[138] Sun Myung Moon, “The Unification of My Country.” God’s Day midnight address at Chungpadong Church, January 1, 1990: “Korean Christianity was invaded by Satan, causing Christians all over the world to ignore God’s Will.” Moon-Talks/SunMyungMoon90/SunMyungMoon-900101Mid.htm. 

[139] James H. Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1986), p. 64.

[140] Ibid., pp. 60-61.

[141] Mary Daly, The Church and the Second Sex (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), p. 193.

[142] Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1985), p. 19.

[143] Letty M. Russell, Human Liberation in a Feminist Perspective: A Theology (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1974), p. 138. 

[144] Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1989), pp. 619-20.

[145] Harvie M. Conn, Contemporary World Theology: A Layman’s Guidebook (Phillipsburg, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1973), pp. 119-21.

[146] Sun Myung Moon, Christianity in Crisis: New Hope (Washington, D.C.: HSA-UWC, 1974), p.62.

[147] For an explanation of this aspect of the Divine Principle, see Theodore Shimmyo, “God and the World: Advantages of the Unification Doctrine of God’s Dual Characteristics,” Journal of Unification Studies XVI (2015): 27-64.

[148] Bernard Ramm, After Fundamentalism: The Future of Evangelical Theology (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1983), p. 27.

[149] Ibid., p. vii.

[150] Stanley J. Grenz, Revisioning Evangelical Theology: A Fresh Agenda for the 21st Century (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1993), p. 90.

[151] Richard Quebedeaux and Rodney Sawatsky, eds., Evangelical-Unification Dialogue (New York: Rose of Sharon Press, 1979).

[152] Simpson, Modern Christian Theology, p. 267.

[153] Grenz and Olson, 20th-Century Theology, p. 239.

[154] Jürgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope, trans. James W. Leitch (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), p. 16.

[155] See, for example, Jürgen Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God, trans. Margaret Kohl (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993).

[156] John D. Caputo, Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida (New York: Fordham University Press, 1997), p. 128.

[157] EDP, pp. 178, 202.

[158] EDP, p. 202.

[159] Sun Myung Moon, “The Life of Jesus as Seen from God’s Will, and God’s Warning to the Present Age, the Period of the Last Days,” speech delivered at the 20th Anniversary of the Washington Times, May 21, 2002 (

[160] Jin, Sung Bae, ed., “Important Ceremonies and Proclamations in the Era of Family Federation III” (가정연합시대 주요 의식과 선포식 III) (Seoul: Sung Hwa Publishing Co., 1991), pp. 165-75. 

[161] Ibid., pp. 165-66. English translation from the Korean by the present writer.

[162] Gustaf Aulén, Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of the Atonement, trans. A. G. Herbert (New York: Macmillan, 1978).

[163] Ibid., p. 6.

[164] Ibid., p. 4.

[165] EDP, p. 296.

[166] Jin, “Important Ceremonies,” p. 166. English translation from the Korean by the present writer.

[167] Cheon Seong Gyeong, p. 1616