Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dieses Leben ist der Ernstfall!

‚Die neutestamentlichen Aussagen über die Hölle wollen keine Neugier und Phantasie befriedigende Information über ein Jenseits liefern. Sie wollen gerade für das Diesseits den unbedingten Ernst des Anspruchs Gottes und die Dringlichkeit der Umkehr des Menschen hier und jetzt vor Augen stellen: Dieses Leben ist der Ernstfall!’
- Hans Küng, Ewiges Leben?, p. 182

A false either/or?


At 4/05/2006 5:54 PM, Anonymous tigger said...

His statement certainly allows a more 'earthy' (or should that be earthly...) perspective wrt 'Der Ernstfall' which is 'at hand'; namely the decisions that I may (or may not) make in favour of the Kingdom in my life 'now'.

Surely we only 'get' to the 'eternal aspects' through our daily (and earthly) application of the same principles?


At 4/06/2006 5:43 AM, Anonymous Ben Myers said...

An excellent quote. And I think this is especially true of Jesus' sayings about hell.

At 4/06/2006 2:17 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Tigger and Ben, perhaps Wright is on to something when he speaks of Jesus' declarations of judgment as relating to the historical (i.e. not postmortem) destruction of the Temple. Dunno what I think of that yet.

At 4/06/2006 2:52 PM, Anonymous tigger said...


I know what you mean.

I don't want to pile too much eschatology onto AD70, especially since we see the immediate 'post-apostolic' church using similar language against the pagan Roman-system (c.f. Martyrdom of Polycarp).

If the 'reference point' was only Jerusalem then why aren't the late 1st century/early 2nd century Fathers writing, 'Look, Look told it would happen...!'?

I'm trying to think my way through a 'transitional eschatology' which takes it's primary reference from the Jewish 'apocalyptic' polemic (e.g. from Daniel et al), and which is aimed against apostate-Israel, but then which 'broadens' to take in a more 'global' dimension as the power base of imperial Rome is engaged. Such a transitional eschatology would still be applicable today as we find both old and new ways of speaking against repressive and violent systems, ideologies and 'powers'.

In this vein, I'm still fairly happy to hold to a transitioned 'apocalyptic' language where 'consignment to the firey pit' still stands for 'God is going to judge your system and overthrow your constructs and ideologies', but - and this is where we need to be careful with 'metaphor' - the 'reality' may end up being more 'literal' than we might have wanted!

It always helps me to think what the 'resonances' are around the phrase, 'An earth shattering event' when thinking about the recent Tsunami.....


At 4/06/2006 4:55 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Tigger,
Thanks for that. I like your way of putting things - thought-provoking and helpful.


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