Monday, September 13, 2010

Wolfhart Pannenberg on Christian Hope

From Systematic Theology, vol 3. I love the last sentence (emphasis mine).

Faith lifts us above our entanglement in the vicious circle of sin and death by uniting us to Jesus and giving us a share in his Spirit. Hence believers in Christ, to whom they are united in the ecstatic 'outside the self' of faith, acquire a hope beyond death. In the process, too, a basis is established for overcoming the egotistical structure of human hopes. Christians do not hope just for themselves, which would mean only too often that the hope of one would be at the cost of the hopes of others. In Christ they share in a universal hope for humanity. Individual wants may certainly be taken up and met, but this takes place within the larger context of the saving reality of God's kingdom that transcends individual particularism. By faith Christians are snatched out of bondage to their egotistical striving for happiness and find the fulfillment of their personal life precisely in the fellowship of the body of Christ and in the work for the future of humanity in the kingdom of God.

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