Moltmann 4.1: Marks of the Church

Moltmann 4.1: Marks of the Church November 9, 2004

Woe to us, American churchgoers, for this is what the Great Moltmann decrees:

“The church participates in the glorifying of God in creation’s liberation. Wherever this takes place through the workings of the Spirit, there is the church. The true church is the song of thanksgiving of those who have been liberated.

“The church participates in the uniting of men [and women] with one another, in the uniting of society with nature and in the uniting of creation with God. Wherever unions like this take place, however fragmentary and fragile they may be, there is the church. The true church is the fellowship of love.

“Love participates in the history of God’s suffering. Wherever men [and women] take up their cross and in their self-giving are made like the one who was crucified, wherever the sightings of the Spirit are heard in the cry for freedom, there is the church. The true church is the ‘church under the cross’.

“But in suffering and under the cross the church also participates in the history of the divine joy. It rejoices over every conversion and liberation, because it is itself the fellowship of the converted and the liberated. Wherever the joy of God can be heard, there is the church. The true church is joy in the Spirit.

“Thus the whole being of the church is marked by participation in the history of God’s dealings with the world. The Apostles’ Creed expresses this truth by integrating credo ecclesiam [I believe in the church] in the credo in deum triunum [I believe in the triune God]. And no ecclesiology can sink below this level”(The Church in the Power of the Spirit, 65).

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  • Chad

    Whenever you post quotes from Moltmann I feel like I am standing in front of the the gypsy carnival machine from the movie BIG with Tom Hanks. I’m just waiting for the little card to be spit out at me. Oh great Voltar… I mean Moltmann.

  • jonny

    beautiful!i also loved your rant b.t.w.

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