Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Break-in of an End-time Reality

For each of the days of the Octave of Easter, I am going to offer a quote or two on the meaning of resurrection – Jesus’ and ours. (I did something like this for the 12 Days of Christmas)

The following are from The Apostles' Creed in light of Today’s Questions by Wolfhart Pannenberg:

If we ask about the origins of Christianity, not merely in the sense of enquiring what the first Christians believed , but in the sense of a present-day evaluation of what was really at the bottom of the story which started Christianity off, then we have to face up to the problem of the Easter events. P. 113

Can the historian reckon with the break-in of an end-time reality which does not take the same form as other historical events and which rests on a radical transformation of the present world? Can he consider it possible for such and end-time event to make itself felt beforehand, and already to become fully active in the present world? P. 108

The assertion that Jesus is risen from the dead remains a matter of dispute in a special degree because it cuts so deeply into fundamental questions of the understanding of reality. P. 114

The salvation of the individual, the wholeness of his existence which had remained a fragment because of misfortune, error, and death, is linked together with the destiny of mankind in the idea of a common resurrection of the dead at the end of the history of this present world. This also finds expression in the association of the general resurrection of the dead with the Last Judgment and the full revelation of the kingdom of God, which will complete man’s social destiny. P. 175

The kingdom of God embraces the earlier generations of mankind as well as the coming ones, and hope for the coming of the rule of God does not only expect salvation for the last generation; it is directed towards the transfiguration of all epochs of human history through the fire of divine judgment, which is one with the light of the glory of God. P. 178

Next: Raymond Brown on the Bodily Resurrection

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