Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hope or Not

In the past two centuries the Christian faith has increasingly become a Faith in God without hope for the future of the world. At the same time, because of of the need for hope, a secular type of hope for the future of the world - but without Faith in God. This is the result Christianity's failure to meet an inevitable need of man. Thus, Christianity has a God without a future, and atheism has a future without God.

The messianic hopes "emigrated from the church" and became invested in progress, evolution, and revolutions. The church was left with only a half-truth.

The question is, should there be a parting of the ways in history, with Faith aligning itself with the past and unfaith with the future? He (Jurgen Moltmann) answered "I think that we can overcome this present dilemma only if Christians begin to remember the 'God of Hope' as He is witnessed to in the promissory history of the Old and New Testaments, and thus begin to assume responsibility for the personal, social, and political problems of the present"

The above quote is from 'A Basic Guide to Eschatology' by Millard J. Erickson (1977;1998). It's from a chapter looking at the 'Theology of Hope' of which a main founder is Jurgen Moltmann.

Bringing it in to more threechordwonder language, Moltmann is saying that if Christianity is to avoid being consigned to the past and forgotten, it needs to engage with the real, everyday issues people face including life issues and world issues such as the environment. The church getting stuck in!

This theology was developed in the 60's and, just over 40 years on, how has the church done in engaging with the issues Moltmann raises?

Well, not very well.

We still have so many cossetted churches and structures that refuse to face the real world. Even movements like 'emerging church' face problems, but maybe from the other end of the scale. The movement needs to find a balance between engaging with the world and engaging with God as He is in the bible. Too many expressions of 'emerging church' have fallen in to their 'new' traditions of one word names/candles/projectors/chilled tunes/stations, which for me is not what the 'global conversation' used to be...maybe that's just me though...

Jesus is our example, He spoke to all people, groups and divisions. He spoke truth in to all of them and challenged them when they were wrong.

When was the last time you or I challenged our political system with any vigor. Are we engaged with it as Christians? The country doesn't seem to be engaged as a whole. How can we be a part of re-engaging people?

Now obviously there are plenty of Christians working in politics, social justice etc etc but my point is, how much does Christianity itself do to help put people in those situations? how much hope does it place in God's world? and how much does it allow us to become 'pew fodder'?

Are we just over reliant on God's grace on this one?


  1. heh, turns out you've had this farty layout for a while. And no, I still haven't read this post.

  2. Ah, I see what put me off reading it now. Google reader doesn't differentiate between text in or outside of a frame.
    I started reading the first paragraph and the style didn't seem like you so I switched off. Says alot really.

    Good post by the way, I'm internalise my response.

  3. That's not very encouraging, how about an external response

  4. My thought on this is the Christian community is not one of nations, rather one of followers. We all follow the one true God. Can we make changes in our community and across the globe? Absolutely. Does this happen overnight – no? In fact, it has slipped over the years. Why – I don’t know. The second thought that I had with regard to your post regarded the Church of Ephesus. In particular I read Revelations 2:1-9 where the church of Ephesus use to do some wonderful things. They challenged everything. They moved markets… they were out there, but something along the way caused them to pull into themselves…they forgot about the world. Similar connection?