Ever start something that you can’t finish? I got into a conversation with deacon extraordinaire Matthew G. McCracken before he read Wolfhart Pannenberg’s ‘Theology and The Kingdom of God’.
After he read the final chapter, he had some questions – questions that I would love to engage but … I fly out early in the morning and will be without my computer. SO I am turning him over the Pannenberg-man and the heir-apparent: Tripp Fuller and Austin Roberts.
In that final chapter of ‘Theology and the Kingdom of God’ Pannenberg really did turn up the density dial. What the flip!?
The surprise was in the move from three fairly accessible chapters to a fourth that, relative to the others, skirted impenetrability.
Of course, I’m being a little hyperbolic – but it made me work; and I’m still chewing on the “for what?”.
I like that he prioritized appearance/contingency. I guess I’m not sure about the essentialism; whether it’s the Greek form that disparages appearance or his futural version which manifests itself in the plurality of appearances. A related issue here was how confident he was about the facticity of the kingdom to come. That, to me, closes things down; and I’m sceptical enough of “revelation” to really not bite. There really had to be a future to reign in the contingency. I want to be able to say, at the very least, “God really might not have this under control. Anything could happen.”
Pannenberg doesn’t seem to want to say that.
I am about to turn off my computer for more than a week – so Tripp and Austin and anyone else who wants to will have to respond 🙂
Feel free to jump in if you have a thought!