Hey, I need your help understanding Paul Tillich on "faith and historical skepticism". Some of the things he says are just really confusing. When talking about what faith can guarantee he says it "can only guarantee its own foundation, namely, the appearance of that reality which has created the faith. This reality is the New Being, who conquers existential estrangement and thereby makes faith possible." Wha? I think he's trying to say that the fact that faith in Jesus exists is proof Jesus existed. (Circular)
He also goes on to say "No historical criticism can question the immediate awareness of those who find theselves transformed into the state of faith. One is reminded of the Augustinian-Cartesian refutation of radical skepticism." Augustinian-Cartesian refutation?
And " Without the concreteness of the New Being, its newness would be empty. Only if existence is conquered concretely and in it manifold aspects, is it actually conquered. The power which has created and preserved the community of the New Being is not an abstract statement about its appearance; it is the picture of him in whom it has appeared. No special trait of this picture can be verified with certainty. But it can be definitely asserted that through this picture the New Being has power to transform those who are transformed by it."
Lastly he continues about Jesus being this picture. " The concrete biblical material is not guaranteed by faith in respect to empirical factuality, but it is guaranteed as an adequate expression of the transforming power of the New Being in Jesus as the Christ. Only in this sense does faith guarantee the biblical picture of Jesus.....the picture has this creative power because the power of the New Being is expressed in and through it."
I've read this handout five times and I still don't understand half of what he's trying to say. I'd greatly appreciate any help.