In the end there's hope...

Who would have known that a German prisoner of war in a British camp during World War II, would eventually re-orient contemporary understanding of hope and eschatology into something that focuses on the hope that the resurrection brings.

This was the highlight of the theology of Jurgen Moltmann whose theology was formed out of his experience as a prisoner of war. It was also in the camps that Moltmann met Christian chaplains, was given the New Testament and Psalms to read, and had his first introduction to Christian theology. He gradually felt more and more identification with and reliance on the Christian faith. Moltmann later claimed, "I didn't find Christ, he found me."

Moltmann explains that through faith we are bound to Christ, and as such have the hope of the resurrected Christ, and knowledge of his return. For Moltmann, the hope of the Christian faith is hope in the resurrection of Christ crucified. Hope and faith depend on each other to remain true and substantial; and only with both may one find "not only a consolation in suffering, but also the protest of the divine promise against suffering."1

In his influential work the Theology of Hope, published in English in 1967. Moltmann proposes that Christian hope should be the central motivating factor in the life and thought of the church and of each Christian. For Moltmann, the whole creation longs for the renewal by the "God of Hope." Empowered by hope, the Christian's response should therefore involve: mission of the church to all nations, the hunger for righteousness in the world, and love for the true life of the imperiled and impaired creation.

In this video New Testament scholar, Richard Bauckham gives us an introduction to Jurgen Moltmann and his theology, which I believe is something that would be beneficial for evangelicals who like myself are weary of the doom and gloom theology that comes from the likes of Hal Lindsey and all thouse other Darby influenced dispensationalists that in my opinion seem to care only for their personal vindication in what they believe as the Rapture, which they say will usher in the Great Tribulation that will climax with Christ's glorious appearing.

1. Moltmann, Theology of Hope, pg.21

No comments: