Four Greek Terms That Frame Our Catholic Faith, by Stephen Beale

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of God, by Donald DeMarco
February 3, 2020
Founder’s Quote
February 4, 2020

By Stephen Beale, Catholic Exchange, February 3, 2020

Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. He is a former news editor at and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary.  

Stephen BealeThere is no shortage of Greek words that define the contents of our faith—words like logos and agape. But there is another set of Greek terms that express the way or the form in which the contents of revelation are presented to us.

According to Catholic theologian Erich Przywara, there are four such terms: kerygmamysteriumkairos, and oikonomia (a framework that he has adopted from another theologian, the Lutheran philosopher Paul Tillich, reworking it according to the Thomistic tradition). Put simply: kerygma refers to the proclamation of the gospel; mysterium involves those things which are hidden; kairos is God’s timing; and oikonomia concerns God’s dispensation or administration of things.

The question that Przywara is seeking the answer to this question: What is the primary form under which God’s revelation appears to us? For example, we can see how, from an evangelical Protestant perspective, the kerygma might appear paramount, given that tradition’s focus on sola Scriptura.

The answer, of course, is that God’s revelation appears to us in all four ways—word, mystery, timing, and His overall arrangement and ordering of things. Therefore, we need to delve deeper into what each word means in order to better understand our relationship with God’s revelation.  ….

Read more here