Thursday, August 24, 2006

'My Theology': I believe, therefore I hope

I believe, therefore I hope. Faith necessarily becomes hope. For faith knows itself grounded in a history that carries the future in itself. The believer is certain that the final future which determines world history in its totality and each individual life-history within it, is a future already decided in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The believer has a foundation for hope, hope in his or her own resurrection from the dead and an eternal life in communion with God.

For faith, then, it is not a matter of some vague hope to which one clings because without it a miserable life would be only just endurable or perhaps could no longer be borne at all. Hope is hope in God and in his coming kingdom and as such grounded in the certainty of faith. The revelation of God which has already taken place (though in the form of a particular kind of hiddenness) promises and guarantees the surpassing of hope through the one who, now in glory, comes again to the world and reveals himself directly to the world and to all people. This is why the believer hopes for the Day of the Lord, which will no longer be limited by darkness and will bring everything to light. For in this day the saviour of the world will bring everything into his light and thus into the proper light. It will be a saving light, precisely because it will be the judgment which discloses what has been. I believe, therefore I hope that world history will not be the judge of the world, such that murderers would always triumph over their victims. Rather I hope that Jesus Christ will come to judge the living and the dead, in order to reveal himself again in this judgment as the one who calls sin by name and thus as the saviour who liberates the sinner from sin.

—Eberhard Jüngel, Theological Essays II, 15