Sunday, January 17, 2010

Is there any hope for theology?

I am currently preparing a short talk on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 which discusses the Christian hope of the return of Jesus and the resurrection from the dead. Hence, I am thinking about hope. It is interesting that in Evangelical Theology: An Introduction, Karl Barth has a chapter on the necessity of hope for the theologian. He discusses how all theology is under the judgement of God leading to distress:
There can be no theology without much distress, but also none without courage in distress......
The danger and distress of theology contain hope.....
....when theology confesses its own solidarity with all flesh and with the whole world under God's judgement, it receives hope in the grace of God which is the mystery of this judgement. This hope is a present reality in which theology may also participate and do its own work.
Although the enterprise of the theologian is frustrated by the judgement of God, there is still hope for it because, and only because, of the mercy of God.

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