“We been brought by an ambiguous past to face with confidence an uncertain future”

24May05

Or otherwise entitled: “I want back in”

Last week at ec05 Phyllis Tickle talked about being Post-Reformation, Post-Denominational. She referrenced, I think, the German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg (if you were part of this seminar and have more info please illumine).

I’ve done some googling and I have been pleasantly pleased with the results. Here are some links and a quote from WP. Oh, and my subtitle, “I want back in”, in looking at this stuff I have concluded that I am out of the academic loop of study and that I miss it and want back in. However, at present I have neither the time nor money for this to happen. I’m hopeful that I can pursue careful and deep study in other ways – perhaps even in ways that will prove beneficial for the future of the Church (ie. how we learn as a Christian Community need serious attention and reimagining). And at the same time, I hope that I can get my butt back in the classroom in the not too distant future.

More on WP:

Wolfhart Pannenberg (1928-) – links to articles by and about him

Best Books and Articles on: Wolfhart Pannenberg as selected by Questia librarians

Google Print: Systematic Theology by Wolfhart Pannenberg – searchable book online (sweet)

Christianity and the West: Ambiguous Past, Uncertain Future, by Wolfhart Pannenberg [1994 First Things 48 (December 1994): 18-23.] – the quote below is from here.

Christianity and the West: Ambiguous Past, Uncertain Future:

“There was a kind of logic to this idea of ‘culture Protestantism’ so long as the public consciousness was identified with the Christian heritage. But that period came to an end with the breakdown of traditional European culture in the First World War and the destruction wrought by idolatrous nationalisms. Since then, and as a result of disillusionment with the spiritual progress of Western culture, Protestants turned with new urgency to the central importance of the Church in the Christian faith. Also, and not by chance, the ecumenical movement toward ecclesial unity came to the fore, a movement greatly strengthened by the ecumenical engagement of the Roman Catholic Church following the Second Vatican Council.

Contrary to what some Protestants had thought, a Christian culture is not a plausible alternative to the ecclesial form of Christianity. If it ever was, it is no longer. There is no alternative to the Church. The further the secularist dominance of the general culture advances, the more clearly the Church, in clear distinction from that culture, emerges as the reference point of Christian existence. The Church takes the form of particular local congregations and of the universal communion of all Christians. These forms of ecclesial allegiance are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, only as they strengthen one another can the Christian community face with confidence the challenges that are ever more strongly posed by both the secular culture and the competing claims of other religions. Thus have we been brought by an ambiguous past to face with confidence an uncertain future.”

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