I don’t want to go to heaven

Ever since I first read N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope, I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with the way many Christians (especially in the Evangelical camp I usually find myself in) talk about heaven, basically, as a place we would all like to go to when we die. A final destination, perhaps in contrast to someplace… less pleasant. It locates the Christian hope in a simplistic (and fuzzy) life after death. In contrast, Wright, not unlike Moltmann before him, finds his doctrine of hope grounded in resurrection, or “life after life after death” as Wright likes to put it. Continue reading I don’t want to go to heaven

Moltmann, Open Theism, and the Kenosis of God

Roger Olson has recently shared some fascinating reflections about the personalities of various theologians he has known over the years (here and here). Among others, this has included references to some familiar names, including Olson’s teacher, Wolfhart Pannenberg, and his dear friend, the late great Stanley Grenz. But of particular interest to this blogger were Olson’s interactions with Jürgen Moltmann. Here is a unique window into a theological interaction with Molty after a few glasses of wine:

Continue reading Moltmann, Open Theism, and the Kenosis of God

Jürgen Moltmann’s Addendum to the Creeds

I’ve been hearing for some time folks (like N.T. Wright and Scot McKnight) argue that even the earliest creeds we have (e.g. the Apostle’s Creed) neglect critical components of Jesus’ life, mission and teaching – giving the impression the only really important thing to know about Jesus is that was born of a virgin, that he died, and that he rose again. They observe (correctly I think) that this skips over most of the narrative found in all four canonical gospels.

Over the weekend I read a great popular-level book by Jürgen Moltmann called Jesus Christ for Today’s World.  In the introduction Moltmann also notes the life-of-Jesus-gap in the creeds, and suggests something of an addendum for consideration (p. 3-4):

“I have always missed this presence of the earthly Jesus in the Christian creeds. Why is it reduced to a mere comma between ‘born” and ‘suffered’? Ought we not to add – at least in thought –

Baptized by John the Baptist,

Filled with the Holy Spirit

to proclaim God’s kingdom to the poor,

to heal the sick

to receive the rejected,

to awaken Israel for the salvation of the nations,

and to have mercy on all human beings”

Great suggestion. Thanks, Molty!