Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Reign of God 2: Starting Small

Continuing with the excerpt, which ended in Part 1 with the question of how God could change society at its roots, leaving us still free.

Part 1
It can only be that God "starts out small," beginning at a single place in the world. There must be a place--visible, comprehensible, subject to examination--where liberation and healing begin, that is, where the world can become what it is mean to be according to God's plan. Starting from this place, then, the new thing can spread abroad. But it most certainly cannot happen through indoctrination or violence. Human beings must have the opportunity to view the new thing and test it. Then if they want to they can allow themselves to be drawn into the history of salvation and the story of peace that God is bringing into being. Only in this way can the freedom of the individual and of the nations be preserved. What drives one toward the new thing cannot be compulsion, not even moral pressure, but only the fascination of a world transformed.

So God has to start small, with a small nation. More precisely, God cannot even begin with a nation. God must start with an individual, because only the individual is the point where God can build on change undertaken freely.
Jesus of Nazareth by Gerhard Lohfink
Next Part 3: Something New

No comments:

Post a Comment