Moltmanns messiaanse en charismatische ecclesiologie
Berg, Pieter Gerrit Izaak
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This thesis is about the messianic and charismatic character of Moltmann’s ecclesiology. It starts with an overview of Moltmann’s life and theological works. Then the development of his ecclesiology in the sixties and seventies has been placed in the theological and societal context of that time. Secularization theology, the charismatic and ecumenical movement, political and liberation theology, and the Dutch apostolate theology have been identified and described as relevant context. It continues with Moltmann’s critic on traditional churches by four issues: the pastoral church for the people, clericalism, natural generation of the church and the bond of church and state. This chapter ends with a comparison of Moltmann’s critic with that of the anabaptist tradition. The conclusion has been drawn that Moltmann’s critic can be regarded as an anabaptist position. Against this background Moltmann’s proposal for a messianic and charismatic ecclesiology has been analysed. The interest of Moltmann’s proposal for a messianic and charismatic ecclesiology is the development of the church into a mature and responsible community. The messianic and charismatic character of his ecclesiology cling together like the mission of the Son and the mission of the Spirit in the world. The framework of the mission of the Son and the Spirit is the trinitarian history of God with the world. The church participates in the mission of the Son and the mission of the Spirit corresponding with the messianic and charismatic character of the church. The analysis of Moltmann’s ecclesiology is done by the investigation of the different aspects of the messianic and the charismatic character of it. The main source for this analysis was his Kirche in der Kraft des Geistes (1975). For the analysis of the charismatic character Der Geist des Lebens (1991) was a second important source. In the view of Moltmann the church is sent in the world in the name of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit to realize the kingdom of God on earth. In the name of Christ means participating in the features of the mission and the life of Jesus. In the power of the Spirit means charismatically fulfilled and powered to the building up of the christian community and serving the realization of the kingdom of God in the world. The church presents Christ in history and operates in the power of the Spirit. Regarding the messianic character seven aspects are investigated and considered: 1. the church as anticipation of the kingdom of God in the eschatological future; 2. as missionary community in the world participating in the mission of the Son and the Spirit; 3. as liberating community for setting free from sin and suppression; 4. as community where the festival of freedom is celebrated; 5. as suffering community participating in the suffering of Christ; 6. as open and egalitary community conform the Trinity and 7. as community which represents the eschatological Christ in preaching, the sacraments and the apostolate. The analysis ends with Moltmann’s view on the sacraments as signs of the kingdom. He pleads for a baptism as a conscious act of taking christian responsibility and for an open Supper of the Lord in line with the church as an open and inviting community as Jesus was for everyone and especially for the poor. The charismatic character is analysed by four aspects: 1. the participation of the church in the mission of the Spirit; 2. the Spirit as ‘sacrament’ of the kingdom; 3. the church as charismatic community and 4. Moltmanns broad sense of the charismata. Every member of the church is charismatically gifted. For Moltmann not only the kerygmatic (preaching), cybernetic (leading) and diaconal (pastoral) powers belong to the charismata, but also being a man, a woman, a jew, a slave, et cetera. Every aspect of natural life can be a charism when it is used in Christ by the Spirit. The four aspects of the charismatic character of Moltmann’s ecclesiology are accomplished by a comparison with the pentecostal view on the charismata and the relevance of the broadening of Moltmann’s pneumatology in his later work Der Geist des Lebens. Moltmann’s definition of charismata is broader and less individualistic than which is commonly held in the pentecostal tradition. Besides that the accent is more on the eschatological dimension than the possession and the confirmation of the Ghost baptized believer. The broadening of Moltmann’s pneumatologically does not essentially change the content of his ecclesiology. It only leads to a further relativation of the messianic role of the church in society, because more actors are relevant for the realization of the kingdom of God like (christian inspired) action groups outside the church. The accent moved from the presence of the church to the presence of christians in society and from the liberating power of the church in society towards the universal restoring work of the Spirit in the cosmos.