Thursday, October 07, 2004

Moltmann 2.1

I can't resist one more extended quote on the church from Theology and Joy:

"Being-there-for-others is an important matter. Dietrich Bonhoeffer used this formula to illuminate the mystery of Christ's vicarious living and dying for us. Being-there-for-others is also the secret of love with those who follow the man from Nazareth. Being-there-for-others is the fundamental structure of Christ's church which vicariously spoeaks up for men and particularly represents thos who have no one to speak for them...

"Still, being-there-for-others is not the final answer, nor is it an end and not even freedom in itself. It is a way, although the only way, which leads to being-there-with-others. Christ's death for us has its end and future in that he is with us and that we shall be living, laughing and ruling with him. Being-there-for-others in vicarious love has its end to be with others in liberty. Giving bread to the hungry has as its end to break our bread with all mankind. If this is not the end, our care for others merely becomes a new kind of domination. Church for others may easily lead us back into the old paternalism, unless its ultimate end is that kingdom where no one needs to speak up for the other anymore but where each person rejoices with his neighbor and all men enjoy themselves together. Being-there-for-others is the way to the redemption of this life. Being-there-with-others is the form which the redeemed and liberated life itself has taken. The church must therefore not regard itself as just a means to an end, but it must demonstrate already in its present existence this free and redeemed being-with-others which it seeks to serve. In this sense -- and only in this sense -- the church is already an end in itself, not as church complete with hierarchy and bureaucracy but as the congregation of the liberated. In that sense the church's function reaches beyond rendering assistance to a troubled world; it does already possess its own demonstrative value of being. In the remembered and hoped-for liberty of Christ the church serves the liberation of men by demonstrating human freedom in its own life and by manifesting its rejoicing in that freedom." (86-87)


Blogger Jon said...

that is some great stuff on the Church being. being-there-for-others is such a rich way of describing us as we should be. i wish we were this way more often. its great to read your thoughts, or at least the thoughts of others that you think are good. you've challenge me to work on mine again.

by the way, i'm doing the full-time job and seminary bit. not workin out so well, but i'm stickin with it. still not sure if i want the almight m.div or go with the m.a.t.s. (theology). peace.

11:50 AM  
Blogger St.Phransus said...

Great quotes. I am in the midst of full time youth ministry and graduate work in the area of theology. We are reading quite a bit of Moltman this semester. As I get into the readings, I look forward to further conversations. Blessings and Shalom.

12:23 PM  

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