Openness Towards the Future


This post is a part of my ongoing (slow and steady) blog series on The Crucified God by Jürgen Moltmann (CG). You can view the other posts in this series here.

As Moltmann understands it, Jesus answers John the Baptist’s question about his Messianic identity by pointing to the way that the future of the kingdom is inaugurated in and around him. The next issue Moltmann wrestles with (here in chapter 3 of CG) has to do with the disciple’s response to the question of Jesus’ identity: “Who do you say that I am?” To this Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matt 16:16). This confession of faith (which all Christians share in common) puts us, with Jesus, in a position of openness towards the future that is coming from God and brings hope wherever it is welcome:

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Do You Understand What You Are Reading?

I’ve been working bit-by-bit on putting together a fairly extensive Jürgen Moltmann resources section to this website (books, audio/video, articles, etc)…. more or less to help myself keep track of what’s out there, but it’s possible that some of you might find it useful also. I’m aware of a couple similar pages that already exist, but I generally find that they are a bit outdated and have bad links. Also when it comes to online media (articles, lectures, etc) I’m pretty much only interested in the material that is out there for free that I can share with my friends, so I’m not including material that only exists on the other side of a pay wall. From time to time (like in a post like this) I’ll share about a specific Moltmann book our lecture, but any primary sources I reference can also be easily accessed from these pages:

Of these, I wanted to highlight a great lecture by Moltmann that focuses in on a question I’ve heard him put forth a number of times, based on the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8: “Do you understand what you are reading?”

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The Future of the Kingdom Is Inaugurated In and Around Jesus

Are you the one who was to come? This is, of course, the question put to Jesus by John the Baptist. Jesus replies: “Go and tell John what you see and hear: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me” (Matt 11:2ff) In other words: The answer to that question is found in Jesus’ ministry and teaching. Here is how Moltmann unpacks this exchange, in chapter 3 of The Crucified God:

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Moltmann on Christology “From Above” vs “From Below”

I haven’t forgotten about my plan to blog through the Crucified God (CG). I’m re-reading the book with a small group of friends and have found it to be a bit heavy for casual coffee shop conversation. We are still plugging through but it has been slow going! (Apparently we missed Kevin Brown’s warning that this “succulent dark meat of Moltmann” is not for the faint of heart!) Continue reading Moltmann on Christology “From Above” vs “From Below”