I’m currently working on chapter four of my dissertation, in which I will use Jürgen Moltmann’s ecclesiology in support and critique of the burgeoning and relatively underdeveloped theology in the emerging church movement. Moltmann has actually written quite a bit about the church, but it’s an underappreciated aspect of his work, and not much has been written about it. Moltmann experts say this is because his ecclesiological writings are too pragmatic, for one thing. Unlike many of his German theological peers, Moltmann makes very specific proposal for the church. For instance, he says that we should not practice infant baptism.
For another — and related to that — Moltmann is a severe critic of the church he knows best, the European state church, in which a particular version of Christianity is propped up by being linked to the national government. This, he writes repeatedly, is nothing like the vision of the church in the Pauline writings.
Well, I’m about done with my reading for this chapter, so as I write it next week, I’ll be posting on the early Moltmann and late Moltmann. His ecclesiology has evolved, but it’s still the same theme: Moltmann is a congregationalist. He doesn’t like bureaucratic hierarchies and he’s not too fond of clericalism.
More to come…