Thursday, February 14, 2008

Moltmann on escapism

“To believe means to cross in hope and anticipation the bounds that have been penetrated by the raising of the crucified. If we bear that in mind, then this faith can have nothing to do with fleeing the world, with resignation and with escapism. In this hope the soul does not soar above our vale of tears to some imagined heavenly bliss, nor does it sever itself from the earth. … It sees in the resurrection of Christ not the eternity of heaven, but the future of the very earth on which his cross stands.”

- Jürgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope (SCM, 2002 [1967]), 6.

Too often, Christians use bad theology to justify bad politics. Salvation is not a get out of gaol free card that enables the bearer to ignore the concrete situation in which she finds herself. What we do with our lives, our bodies, our communities and our ecosystems matters.


Mark Stevens said...

I picked this book off of my shelf today and thought to myself, "I must make time to read it!". I haven't read much Moltmann. I have a friend who has "crossed over" from Barth to Moltmann and speaks very highly of his writings. He telephoned him one day in Germany and had a 15 minute conversation with him. Moltmann then agreed to look at his manuscript. Thanks for the introduction.

byron smith said...

If nothing else, read his introduction. It is gold. The rest of the book is a mixture of good, great, insightful and odd, but the introduction is pure gold. I remember with great clarity where I was the day I first read it and it transformed how I think about hope, resurrection and eschatology. In some ways, this blog is a gradual record of the effects of reading that introduction.