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The Kingdom of God is irreversible, new and counter-history

There are three words I encountered in Moltmann’s discourse on the logic of hope in the Kingdom of God: ‘irreversible,’ ‘new,’ and ‘counter-history.’ These are so powerful and promising. First, ‘irreversible’ or the irreversibility of time proposes that the vision of the reign of God is not a ‘return to the Garden of Eden’ or any historical moment evident in the scriptures. It means that God calls us to move forward and not to go back in time. The problem is the Church is always talking about tradition and Biblical times, dissuading those who imagine and propose beyond what is already known. Which brings me to the second word, ‘new.’ Many churches talk about God being unchanging and constant, imagining God to be unmovable and unrelenting. Over centuries, we have seen many ‘new’ things which have made the world a better place – women’s education, rights and even ordination, ecumenism and inter-religious cooperation. These have been made possible in my context and it may be new to others, but it is the newness that God’s promises in the Kingdom of God. Finally, ‘counter-history,’ a very radical word, is exactly what God promises in God’s kingdom. When I encountered this, I thought, we often pray that there were no more poor people and pray that the rich share. Actually, to be counter-history is not just to eradicate poverty but also to make unlawful wealth and greed. To be rich in the midst of poverty is something that is not of the Kingdom of God. To be counter-history is also to remove all forms of inequality. Moltmann’s logic of hope enlightened me on the depth of God ’s promise. It is so good that it goes far beyond our expectations and imagination.

(I didn’t know pine cones bloom. I picked these two yesterday and when I saw them this morning I was surprised. They looked different. They ‘blossomed.’)

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1 thought on “The Kingdom of God is irreversible, new and counter-history”

  1. NO, we cannot go back to Edenic times where human beings, as Tilllich says, are in a state of “dreaming innocence.” The followers of Jesus who dare move towards God’s kingdom, are bruised, bloody and broken because of the struggles along the way, and they know how it is to go through the hell of human greed and injjustice. They the ones who know love is superior to hate, truth to falsehood, and justice to injustice. They have become wise as serpents, though still gentle as doves. It is new because the Gospel always stands in radical opposition to injustice, falsehood, and greed which unfortunately because of human fallenness always hold the power centers of the earth; and thus it is also counter-history for the forces of history are directed by evil, corrupt and venal human beings intent of being god themselves.

    The question for me is, given these truths Moltmann identifies, how can the faithful of the church come together both as a spiritual and moral force to subvert, undermine and even conquer the principalities and powers that rule our world. How for instance can a foreign policy for a great power like the USA be formulated so that Trump’s triumphalism and North Korea’s stupid posturing as the military check to American imperialism, be transformed into a creative interaction that would lead to justice and peace. Herein is the newness of the Gospel as well as its being counter history. How does Bertrand Russell’s slogan of the 60’s “better red than dead” appeal to Moltamnn’s theology. We do not want to make a repetition of history, but what does what Jesus said and did on the cross say anything to our problem?

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