Moltmann and the Hope of the Christian

Hooray for Moltmondays (Thanks Ryan for the great name-change)!

“Faith does not overstep these realities (death, guilt, suffering) into a reality of a different kind…It is only in following the Christ who was raised from suffering, from a god-forsaken death and from the grave that it retains an open prospect in which there is nothing more to oppress us, a view of the realm of freedom and joy. There the bounds that mark the end of all human hopes are broken through in the raising of the crucified one, there faith can and must expand into hope…There its hope becomes a ‘passion for what is possible’ (Kierkegaard), because it can be a passion for what has been made possible…Hope is therefore the ‘inseparable companion’ of faith.” (Theology of Hope).

“What do we really and truly hope for? We hope for the kingdom of God. That is first and foremost a hope for God, the hope that God will arrive at his rights in his creation, at his peace in his sabbath, and at his eternal joy in his image, human beings. The fundamental question of biblical eschatology is: when will God show himself in his divinity to heaven and earth? And the answer is to be found in the promise of the coming God: ‘the whole earth is full of his glory’ (Isa. 6.3). This glorifying of God in the world embraces the salvation and eternal life of human beings, the deliverance of all created things, and the peace of the new creation.” (Moltmann, The Coming of God)

This, of course, raises the question of universal salvation – can/should Christians hope for the salvation of all humans? If so, why is this something that congregations and denominations seem to avoid praying and hoping for? Why is it that talk of universal salvation through/because of Jesus is something that raises the hackles of Christians? Don’t get me wrong – I am not advocating a doctrine of universalism – I’m asking why is it that universal salvation is something that Christians and churches don’t seem to pray and hope for (at least not explicitly)?

“Hope presumes nothing but is rooted in a deeper confidence: the love and mercy of an openhearted and relentlessly kind God”. Bradley Jersak – Her Hates Will Never Be Shut

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