The Church in the Power of the Spirit: A Contribution to Messianic Ecclesiology

The Church in the Power of the Spirit: A Contribution to Messianic Ecclesiology

The Church in the Power of the Spirit: A Contribution to Messianic Ecclesiology

The Church in the Power of the Spirit: A Contribution to Messianic Ecclesiology

Synopsis

"This book, which in my opinion is Moltmann's best, can be recommended on the basis that it contains challenging and creative insights that can be used by the discriminating reader in the service of church renewal]Moltmann represents the theology of liberation at its best, and those who wish to know more about this theology would do well to study this creative and searching theologian." --Donald G. Bloesch Christianity Today

"Moltmann is perhaps unsurpassed among his contemporaries in keenness of insight and rhetorical power." --Daniel L. Migliore, Theology Today

"Moltmann presents a stirring vision which every Christian community could well ponder]With a missionary emphasis, he seeks to help the reader face the question of the church's identity in the light of the contemporary political, economic, and social scene." --Religious Education

Excerpt

The Church in the Power of the Spirit was first published in 1975, and it complemented the two books that had preceded it—The Crucified God (1972) and Theology of Hope (1965). In these three volumes I had tried to interpret the theological traditions in a way that would make theology a driving force for the renewal of the church, for men and women, society and our common life in the world. Because Christian traditions are kept on the move by their hope for the coming glory of God and the coming new creation of all things, this actualization of theology is continually necessary and is necessary in continually new ways. In each of these three books I had tried to draw together the whole of theology into a single focus. In 1965 my focus was the hope that is born from the resurrection of Christ; in 1972 it was the suffering in which the fellowship of the crucified One is experienced; and in 1975 the experience of the divine Spirit, the giver of life. These three books, then, belong together as a kind of trilogy, although they were not originally planned as such.

While I was writing The Church in the Power of the Spirit, my intention was to argue for church reform, and today this concerns me more than ever. By reform I mean the transformation of the church from a religious institution that looks after people into a congregational or community church in the midst of the people, through the people and with the people. This means moving away from an impenetrable, large-scale organization to an accessible small-scale community. It is a path that can be followed only if we are prepared to break away from passive church membership and to make a new beginning by entering into active participation in the life of the congregation. In our society, affiliations that are imposed are losing their power to shape people's lives and lend them significance. Forms of community that are accepted personally and entered into voluntarily are becoming more important.

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