Mark your calendars, Moltmanniacs! Jürgen Moltmann is scheduled to speak at the Karl Barth Conference, June 21-24 2015, over at Princeton Theological Seminary. Registration is now open at an Early Bird Rate of $170 (through March 1).
I would love to hear from you if you are a fellow Moltmanniac and plan to come to this event! Drop me a comment below, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. I hope to be there for this and would love to connect.
This post is a part of my ongoing (slow and steady) blog series on The Crucified God The Crucified God by Jürgen Moltmann (CG). You can view the other posts in this series here.
We live in a world that is in many ways fractured and divided, by such things as geography, politics, nationalism, race, and culture. But the division of all divisions is religion, whether we are talking about the divide between religions, the divides within a particular religion (such as the many denominations within Christianity), or (especially in our increasingly secular society) the divide between the religious and the irreligious. Christianity, like other religions in our world, creates and sustains distinctions between people; it does not remove them.
But with the cross of Christ as a our “foundation and criticism”, these distinctions – especially religious ones – are profoundly called into question:
On November 1 and 2, in many traditions at least, Christians celebrate the twin feasts of All Saints and All Souls. Among other things, this is a time to remember those who have departed, both from our faith communities and from our families. And for many, this includes prayer for the dead.
For much of my Christian life, I assumed that prayer for the dead was basically off limits (at best pointless; at worst, pagan). Why pray for the dead? Their eternal destiny has already been determined by their response to God in this life; so… what is left to pray for now that they have passed on? But as Moltmann reminds us in the clip below from the 2009 Emergent Village Conversation, throughout the history of the church, most Christians have not thought this way. Here Tony Jones asks Moltmann some questions about the nature of prayer, leading Moltmann to make two profound observations:
The initiative in God’s blessing on us is always God’s (not ours). The hearing of God precedes our praying.
The dead died; but they are not “dead” in the modern sense of gone and annihilated. They are present because Christ is Lord of the living and the dead.