Theology of Hope: Critiques and Questions (Love: The Foundation of Hope, Part 2)

Posted By on July 12, 2019



I feel a little bit embarrassed to be the center of a theological debate because I feel myself more as a member of a theological community who tries to make his contribution and I would like to be received as as just a member and not put at the center when the 17th National Conference of Trinity Institute gathered to celebrate the life and work of Jurgen Moltmann and his wife the noted feminist theologian Elizabeth Mullen Mendel Jurgen Moltmann theology of Hope was the central focus theologians from around the world convened in New York st. Louis and San Francisco to pay tribute to the mote man's work and to discuss its implications for today's world over the years moat monster ology of Hope has not been without its critics and as might be expected this conference raised several questions including the charge that moat Mons emphasis on the compassionate suffering of God might be perceived as limiting God's power there was also some question about the place of the Holy Spirit in the theology of hope and moat Mons actual position on the nature of the Trinity the major surprise of the conference came out of Milan's own presentation the personal side of eschatology loved death and eternal life his exploration of life after death seemed to run counter to the position he took 20 years ago when his celebrated theology of Hope was published he now has adopted more traditional views of the life after death in an attempt to keep up with professor Moltmann we will now examine these three controversies Trinity's director of communications the Reverend Leonard Freeman discussed the nature of power the nature of the Trinity and finally the nature of life after death with Professor McMahon and the other theologians I may have a personal obsession over against power because of my personal experiences of alienating power etc this may be true and we may have a different tradition in understanding power in Germany than they have it in Britain but I don't think that I vote for powerlessness over against power there is no way in which the church as an institution can avoid power even if it declares itself to be on the side of the poor and outcast it exercises itself powerfully on their behalf in accordance with power structures which already exist within society and even the very articulate of gifted theologians on behalf of the poor is certainly an exercise of power as such it is deceptive to contrast power with love I think in most ordinary human experience there are power elements in in loving relationships most ordinary human beings realizes not least in marriage that the power the exercise of power and being in love are go very much hand-in-hand just an ordinary human experience and I wanted to say that as far as I could see the same thing was true of the life of the church insofar as it expressed itself in love it also was then involved in power well Stephen Sikes seemed to bring this up in his presentation in New York and in st. Louis questioning moat Mons and persists on the powerlessness and suffering of God as if it was an overemphasis I think that's fair to say you don't put aspects or perfections of God together like a jigsaw puzzle but you do have to take seemingly contrary perfections or qualities of God into consideration and the powerlessness of God manifested in the cross in Jesus surrender to the powers of this world it's one side of God it's not the only side of God he created that very universe to which Jesus there surrendered God's almighty power is his power to self-determination because no one else can limit God or can determine God only himself and a self-determination means that he enters into the Covenant of creation and love and faithfulness to his promise so the power is no contradiction to his love but it is the power of his love and I think the difference is that we humans have the love of power but God has the power of love I want to ask professor mote not to comment on the question that in a very different way it is the spirit that is really the unity and ground of the Godhead and of the motion by which the history of God and his promise will finally be at one with the history of the world in its strange dialectical movement for my understanding one should not start with God and the I own revelation of God one should start with a concrete history witness to in the Bible the history of Jesus in relationship to the one whom he called about the Abaza and the spirit who led Jesus so if you want to represent the biblical narrative you'd must do it in Trinitarian terms as a biblical history is a history of the cooperation of Jesus and Abba and the spirit I do not want to go further into it so this was my reproach not from above but from below and therefore the unity of the triune God is for my understanding in the parish offices the indwelling in each other the father is in me I am in the father this is what's a joy 9 Jesus says about his relationship towards the father so it's the unity is a community a mutual indwelling of the three persons and not sisters the spirit only if you start with a circuit or gas Tinian and Hegelian understanding you end up with the understanding the unity is in the spirit so I'm sorry I am NOT on that lion the only power that Professor Moltmann can see in the Godhead is the power of the Spirit rather than the power of the Father the Son you made this critique dr. Moltmann responded that saying he wasn't over emphasizing the spirit in in that in the Trinity but that he was really saying that there's a unity of Trinity in the community of three persons he was trying to emphasize the community is this just a semantic difference I'm not sure yet because I don't altogether understand professor movement on the Trinity it's matter of fact it's hard to understand anybody on the Trinity altogether but I don't see yet how that community of the three persons or modes of being in the Trinity comes together for movement if the one aspect the one mode of being namely the power of powerlessness the power of the spirit of love alone is seen to dominate I don't see them coming together in any persuasive way yet I'll wait though because professor movement is one of the most profound and creative theologians and he may yet tell us juergen movements approach to eschatology the promise of God's future has been seen largely as applying to the social and political dimensions of this life therefore when he addressed the personal side of eschatology what happens to you and me after death it was a surprise you've been known for working what might be called the other side of Christian eschatology that is the impact of the future on the present what's moved you to explore now this more traditional personal side of eschatology personal life after death after 20 years we have perhaps left out too much of the personal side of eschatology so that more conservative groups concentrated upon these themes so I found it high time to turn over to the personal side and the Future Sight of Christian Hope in order to complete what I tried to begin with the theology of Hope not to change sides now this is not at all my idea but to make a completion of what I had done 20 years ago who you raised that question of where are the dead in your view where are the dead this was a question addressed to me after the death of an old friend of mine who was not a religious person but his wife then raises question where is he now where is he now and I couldn't answer it and therefore investigators of different concepts of life after death purgatory and the understanding of the sleep of the soul and then I came to the understanding of the New Testament that the living and the dead are in a one great community of Christ so Christ has a community with a living and he has a community the dead so he is in Christ and Christ is with him and there he is safe for Paul this communion in Christ extends not only to the living but also to the dead remember Romans 14 verse 9 if we live we lived was a lot if we die we die to us a lot so then whether we live or whether we die we are the Lord's for this end Christ died and lived again that he might be Lord both of the Dead and of the living as dying might Norma explanation is as dying Christ became brother to all the dying and as dead he became brother to all the dead as risen he encompasses the dead and the living was in his love and takes them with him on his way towards the fulfillment of the kingdom of God if I understand this correctly in all its depth then it means the dead are dead and not yet risen but they are in Christ and the Swiss Christ on the way to his future you can movements presentation at this conference was a little bit of a surprise because it focused on personal eschatology in his life after death yes how did that did how does that fit in for you into where his thought is gone is going well that that was very interesting to me that he should write a paper like that because at an earlier stage I had criticized him in an article for not believing in life after death and immensely interested and and to find Jurgen speaking in a more positive give way about about personal eschatology about personal survival of death whereas in his earlier work especially in the crucified God which is where I could criticized him in his earlier work there was some ambiguity about it the communion of the dead the community in Christ why is that so important for Christians theology of the present in my country the victims of the Holocaust have no peace and don't leave the coming generations in Germany in peace so we have to open our barriers over against this past and start to live in the presence of the victims of the Holocaust enter enter into a community which is then a community of penitence of mourning and of committing oneself Toto justice what will you do with the idea of judgment in damnation in your eschatology I think the judgment of God the wrath of God is an expression of God's love wrote once the wrath of God is an expression of God's wounded love his if he would resign completely and repent to have created the world at all it said that work at the end but as long as God is as we are under the judgment of God as long as we fear the wrath of God upon us we feel that God is concerned with us the final analysis I believe that hell will be empty

Posted by Lewis Heart

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