Moltmann’s Crucified God in light of the recent death of my wife

Jürgen Moltmann, a German theologian about whom I’ve written a couple of posts looks at God not from on high, but from the perspective of a God broken on the cross.  God is a God who suffers for us and with us. 

I think this is the best way to think about God, but I’m not sure how much comfort it provides.  I write this post within several weeks of the death of my wife after a long and painful illness.  I’m sure it makes a difference in my attitude toward Moltmann.

The Crucified God, the work Moltmann claimed as his favorite, wrestles with Christ’s cry of abandonment, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani).  It is with these words, and the image of a dying Christ on the cross, with which all serious thought about God must begin.

Continue reading Moltmann’s Crucified God in light of the recent death of my wife

Jürgen Moltmann: heaven on earth and my heresy

Jürgen Moltmann: heaven on earth and my heresy

Jürgen Moltmann is 92 years old.  He is of the same generation as the well-known theologians I have posted about recently, such as Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr.  Like them, he was born in Germany and came of age in Nazified Germany.  Unlike them he stayed, served in the Wehrmacht (Nazi army, not the SS), and seems to have experienced profound guilt and remorse when he learned about the concentration camps after the war.  That’s his story, and I have no reason to doubt it.

In some ways he is the most interesting of the five German theologians I have posted about (Barth, Niebuhr, Bultmann, Bonhoeffer, and Tillich).  I wish I understood why the most influential Christian theologians in the United States grew up in Nazified Germany, but I don’t.*  Moltmann is interesting not because he is right, but because he is different. Moltmann is different not only because he believes in heaven, but in heaven on earth. 

Continue reading Jürgen Moltmann: heaven on earth and my heresy

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