Thursday, September 28, 2006

Reading Tillich 17: Christ

The paradox of the Christian message is in one personal life essential manhood has appeared under the conditions of existence without being conquered by them.
Systematic Theology II, 94.
The profundity of this quote is probably not apparent unless one has read the rest of the system, but here we have the heart of Tillich's theological project. He once said that his dream was that people one day could talk about religion without embarrassment. To reach this end he went about creating a new religious language, without the negative baggage of history.

Anyway, one could say that the above sentence is the goal of this project, because here Tillich in one sentence formulates the Christian message. The whole preceding discussion, where he analyses the existence and the essence of being human serves to create the possibility to profess this claim, that in Christ, sin, suffering, meaninglessness and evil is overcome, and this in a life that is lived out in exactly the conditions we live in.

2 comments:

Andrew said...

This particular Tillich quote reminds me of the little bit of Jurgen Moltmann I've read--at least in The Crucified God. Both theologians (I think?) have a strong Christology, and both see Christ's humanity as central to the Christian story. And it is a positive Christianity that they both speak of--not the evangelical American positive message that links personal happiness and wealth--but a much more important and much more meaningful positive Christianity.

Patrik - I've really enjoyed reading your posts on Tillich. I don't have a great deal of experience with Tillich, but I'm starting with his "Dynamics of Faith".

Patrik said...

I'm glad you enjoy it! Be sure to tell us what you think of Dynamics.