27.1.12

Discovering Jurgen Moltmann




I guess there must be some way of putting an umlaut into my blog for the sake of Moltmann, if anyone can help on that front, wing me a line.

I am beginning to rediscover Moltmann. Six or seven years ago I took Moltmann to the beach, okay, not the most sensible of ideas looking back on it. Moltmann is not really the kind of chick lit writing you pick up and put down as you assist two pre-schoolers with the completion of their monolith of sand.

I despaired. Moltmann made little sense to me. I felt the need for some kind of technological device that would help me to assess some opinion on the man or at least a small portable wireless dictionary. I had neither - oh what leaps we have made in the last few years. The access we now have to all things helpful and academic makes for very happy amateur theologians.

Moltmann is now beginning to make sense to me and perhaps Barth will have to play second-fiddle to my new flame. I am reading more of Moltmann at second hand, I must admit, but with eyes scanning down to footnotes prompting my Amazon account to be forever before me as I begin to compile some kind of reading-list so that I can satisfy the thirst. For the moment Moltmann is speaking to me through a brillliant book that I can not say enough about - "buy it" will suffice.

It is called "The Holy Spirit in the World Today" Jane Williams (Editor) and was the book that I took to India Indaba as I unpicked the approach and the theology there. It was an immensely helpful book which I am reading and re-reading, when I have the time, like a bit now on my day off before I go off to a reunion with some other '6 month old curates' in the West Midlands.

This morning I read Graham Tomlin's essay "Life in the Spirit, Identity, vocation and the Cross."

I am working on a theological idea at the moment about the dying and the rising - in the life of Jesus, in my own life and even in other faiths if we look intently and really listen. The essay in my head is not written yet but I am beginning to  piece together a string of ideas based on the macro and the micro, the Jesus for the cosmos and the Jesus of personal salvation - the both/and.

...at some point this thinking about the dying and the rising, the macro and the micro and how this applies to other faiths will get written but for now I read ... when I can.

This was particularly helpful from Tomlin this morning:

"'Come Holy Spirit,' invites the Spirit to create a new awareness of the love of God, and also a new awareness of the pain of the world and the sufferings of Christ for that world. When that prayer is prayed we should expect powerful manifestations of that love in episodes of healing, words of prophesy and other tangible signs of God's abiding compassion. We should also expect to be caught up in the suffering love that reaches out to draw the rest of the world into that healing and maturing love, even when that reaching out is rejected and bruised as Christ was. True life in the Spirit expects both, glories in both. If one is lacking, something authentic about the Spirit's work is missing. When both are present, the holy Spirit begins to change us and the world around us to reflect the image of Christ, the beloved Son of the father, which is the goal of all creation."

2 comments:

David Ould said...

True life in the Spirit expects both, glories in both. If one is lacking, something authentic about the Spirit's work is missing.

I'm not sure I buy this claim at all. The latter, without a doubt - the Spirit draws us to Christ and empowers us to suffer as He suffered (and, indeed, called us to suffer). But the former? Healing and prophecy are things we may very well see occasionally but they are simply not promised in the Scriptures in the way that that internal transformative work of the Spirit is.

oh, and für den umlaut you just need to switch your keyboard setting to international. Type the umlaut first (use the double quote) and then the vowel it modifies.

Rach said...

I think if you read it in the context of the whole essay, it will not seem so overstated.

I wonder if we need a wider definition of the church's prophetic and healing action than a charismatic might first apply on instinct. Just some thinking I am doing, not as developed yet as I would like.

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