Thursday, November 18, 2004

Moltmann 5: Oh, Jurgen, I just love it when you do that

You may be wondering why I'm so fond of Moltmann. Well, check out these comments from the preface to his The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God:

"Always using the same methods leads to rigidity on the part of the author and weariness in the reader."

"I know and accept the limits of my own existence and my own context. I do not claim to say everything, as earlier dogmatic and systematic theologians once did, in their summas and systems. What I should like to do, however, is to participate in the great theological dialogue with theologians past and present."

"These contributions are not offered in the form of a dogma or a system; they are suggestions. They are not intended to conclude discussions; they are meant to open new conversations."

And I could go one from there. For about ten pages, Moltmann goes on about a new way to do theology, one that is humble, open, and provocative.

Now, notice that last adjective: provocative. One can be humble yet provocative. Indeed, one can be humble and angry. So, don't let anyone marginalize you as an "angry emerger" if your anger is 1) provoking Christ's church to be better than it currently is, and 2) from a spirit of humility -- that is, with an understanding that we all stand in judgment under the cross.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know, I have been wondering why you're so fond of Moltmann. I'm still not sure I get it.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go try to figure out what is going on in Geist des Lebens, talk to George Hunsinger about it, and then tell us if you're still enamored with Moltmann.

4:37 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

i'm still a moltmann virgin, but every time you post his stuff i just start getting that feeling, you know. seriously though, what a great way to approach theology and all things related. what a great way to approach life.

1:18 PM  
Blogger cj said...


I like the idea of theology as conversation versus definitve word. But how is that different than say Barth's view. I would even argue that you can see something like this approach in the preface to Calvin's Romans Commentary. Thoughts?


12:22 PM  
Blogger coitus said...

Check out Niebuhr, Tillich & Gilkey...

or Vat. II (that's shorthand for Vatican II)

or Gustavo Gutierrez

and, I think, one will find echos of the foundation that emergant is striving for. Emergant certainly does have its context (i.e. north america during the time of now) - but it seems as though their newness lies entirely in who they are and where they are coming from (i.e. american protestants from american protestant churches during the time of now)

the pilgrams were excited about their new "discovery" of america - which was, of course, to the natives nothing new at all. But indeed it was "new" in a very real and true way to the pilgrims - and their imagination in that newness made america, their "discovery," to become truly the new world.

of course emergent is nothing new on the universal absoulte level, but it is certainly new in a very relative and particular way. It may not be new to those who've asked these same questions in their own context, but it is true that it is something new to those folks embeded in their particular context that is now being forced to ask such questions in light of their observations that appear to them demonic...god bless the conversation

11:19 PM  

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