Thursday, February 26, 2015

That to Which I Am Utterly Devoted ...

Wow, and then some ...

Tillich takes to task "orthodox Lutheranism" for two shortcomings: 1) to contrast the salvation of the individual with the transformation of historical groups and separating them; 2) to contrast the realm of salvation with the realm of creation, and separating them ... leaving the Kingdom of God as something beyond time and space and history, something which the "saved" enter upon death.

"Finally, this view interprets the symbol of the Kingdom of God in a static supernatural order into which individuals enter after the death - instead of understanding the symbol, with the biblical writers, as a dynamic power on earth for the coming of which we pray in the LORD's Prayer and which, according to biblical thought, is struggling with the demonic forces which are powerful in churches as well as empires."  ~ Vol. 3, p.356.

Much of the 20th Century Evangelical World fell into this trap, on the one hand, and on the other, in its "reconstructionist mode" in the last 40 years, envisions itself as "God's mighty army marching off to war," conquering this world for Christ, eliminating all ambiguity, and in such war (possibly literal), ushering in the Kingdom of God as a utopian end of history, with Christians in charge and "everyone bowing the knee," whether they like it or not.

If a former orthodoxy led Christians out of the world, allowing the orders of the world to lumber on without complaint or challenge, the current kind of Christianity, extremist and angry, will bring incredible disorder to the world by conquering the various orders and bending them toward a full and complete Christian hegemony, which has never worked, and never will, since the creative impulse of God's love engenders creativity and spontaneity and freedom rather than absolute control and management.

There are different kinds of Christianity, some of which are decidedly dangerous; some of which are purposeful and driven by justice and peace and a serious hope that, at least in fragmentary ways, history can be transformed and actually reflect the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

To this end, and to these purposes, I devote my life.

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