Tuesday, August 03, 2004

L.U.T. Lutheran Underground Theology

Apparently my last post was confusing (looking back at it that is rather apparent). So here is the low down about Liberation Theology.
Liberation Theology is cooked up in Latin America in response to accusations that the Roman Catholic church was only on the side of the rich oppressors. This brand of theology takes a lot of Marxist theory and funnels it into Christianity. Liberation Theologians look for instances in the Bible where acts of liberation of the poor and the oppressed take place. They figure the role of the church is to protect and elevate the poor and the oppressed. One of their justifications of this policy is that because of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection the kingdom of God is already here. This concept of kingdom of God already present is also called realized eschatology. This is the part of Liberation theology which I find heretical.
I maintain that instead of a realized eschatology Christians need to live in a pre-figurative eschatology, that is living as if the Kingdom of God is already here, but at the same time is not yet here. That means we can acknowledge that God's message of salvation, given to us through the living word, that is Jesus, is true and real, and here, but we can also acknowledge that humanity was and is still so cruel that we crucify our God. To reiterate, we realize the hope that is in Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the very Son of God, and we still recognize the present reality of the nihilistic chaos of Sin, Death, and the Devil. With this pre-figurative eschatology, we should live in the hope of the already not yet come Kingdom of God.
In this way the Lutheran concept of Already-not-yet can redeem the heterodox base of Liberation Theology. My thought though is that maybe Lutheran Theologians need to create a new socially conscious theology, born not of Catholic shame toward their sins in Latin America, but instead some sort of North American prophetic movement where we may, like John the Baptist before us cry out
“In the Wilderness, make straight the path of the LORD.”
In becoming a pre-figurative movement we could, to quote ol' Marx for a second,
“Ease the Birthing Pains”
of the end times.
I hope that was more clear.
Anyways, I'd like to hear some comments about this thought.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Carrot/Corn 2004

Good Ol' PETA. They are running a tough campaign, but I don't see them winning against Bush, Kerry, or Nader.
In other news I wrote a thank you letter to a retired Pastor who gave me the complete works of Martin Luther! Good stuff. I'm reading Leslie Stevenson's book, "Seven Theories of Human Nature" which critiques Christianity, Freud, Lorenz, Marx, Sartre, Skinner, and Plato. I think Leslie doesn't get Freud quite right. The book was pretty fair to Christianity, though these are some many Christianities out there than the critiques were REALLY broad. Did introduce me to something new, Christian Atheism. God as foundational reality. Eh.
I'm surprised no one has wrote a response to my thoughts about Liberation Theology and Lutheranism. Here is some more thoughts. Liberation Lutherans should co-opt Marx's justification for the need of a party, that is to "ease the birth pains" (though I think Marx was actually influenced by Christianity in this respect) to justify their need to act in a social justice minded way. If we throw away the Catholicish idea of Realized Escotology and replace it with a Prefigurative Escotology then the goal of the church is not to live in the kingdom now, but instead to be a midwife to rapture (as opposed to Marx's "midwife to history"). Why shouldn't the church agree with Marx that "it is always wrong to treat any human being as only a means to an economic end." At any rate the key to unlocking the power of the Christian Church's involvement in Liberation Theology can only come clear when the Hetrodox belief of Realized Escotology is replaced with a Lutheran Pre-figurative Escotology, which makes the Church catholic into the midwife of rapture.
Eh, I'm not being very clear yet. As my good friend Robert has learned to say "I'm still in process."
More later, off to call Philly and see if they would let me tour their Seminary.