Monday, January 9, 2017

Study notes

The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God ~ by Jürgen Moltmann, 1981
This book provides the long-needed grounding for both liberation and process theologies and a view of both God and the church that emphasizes community based on freedom rather than authority.  People arrive at their own truth in their free and loving inclination towards one another, so Moltmann is inviting us to a "social" understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity.
We used this book in Walt Lowe's class at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in the spring of 1986.  I have notes in the margins and underlined passages through about half the book, which means I never finished reading the whole thing.  Obviously, I don't remember specifics from a class I took 31 years ago, but I learned enough about Moltmann's thinking that I later chose him as the theologian to emulate in my preaching class.  Here are some of the things I underlined:
"The world of growing interdependencies can no longer be understood in terms of 'my private world'." (p. 19).

"In this chapter we are trying to develop a doctrine of theopathy" (p. 25).  Theopathy = religious emotion excited by the contemplation of God.

"The living God is the loving God" (p. 38).

"Awareness means knowing-with, feeling-with and suffering-with.  It is only through pain that living things arrive at awareness of one another and of themselves" (p. 39).

"Misery is the lot of anyone who sins against God.  This misery is already inhyerent in the sin itself.  That is why the sinner is not really a wrongdoer who has to be punished in addition.  He is someone pitiable, and we must have compassion on him" (p. 50).

"True freedom is not 'the torment of choice,' with its doubts and threats; it is simple, undivided joy in the good" (p. 55).

"The triune God reveals himself as love in the fellowship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  His freedom therefore lies in the friendship which he offers men and women, and through which he makes them his friends.  His freedom is his vulnerable love, his openness..." (p. 56).

"If God is love he is at once the lover, the beloved and the love itself" (p. 57).

"His [Jesus's] kingdom is the kingdom of 'compassion'" (p. 70).

"God is silent.  This is the experience of hell and judgment" (p. 77).

"Finally, it is important to notice that it is only here on the cross that, for the first and only time in his life, the Son addresses God, not as Father but as God (Hebrew Eloheni, Aramaic Eloi)" (p. 80).
Just thinking myself back into Moltmann's way of thinking.

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