Thesis: 2013 Max Points: 180 Write

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[. . .] It is within this premise that Escobar meets with Pannenberg and Moltmann on a similar level, subsequently, a different one. While Moltmann wants theology to relate to experiences of life, Pannenberg does not thrive on the same issue, or rather, he does not seem to mark it as that relevant. In his understanding, the Scriptures serve to anticipate a giving moment in time when the ultimate truth will be revealed to human beings, but so far man can only ponder on limited knowledge.

Moltmann's theology, according to David P. Scaer (1970), "is greatly dependent on legitimate Biblical imagery" (p. 71), while having "considerable weight of Biblical history on his side." To him, the Gospels are not stories, but historical events that need to be interpreted as such. This is very much similar if not identical to Pannenberg's vision of Biblical historicity. Grenz, in an attempt to summarize Pannenberg's theology, refers to the latter's concept of faith which "is not a way of knowing in addition to reason, but is grounded in public, historical knowledge." (Grenz, 1988) Thus, both of the theologians offer their interpretations of the Bible not by considering it a legend, but by claiming its historicity, thus its accurateness.

The role of the gospel is also stressed out by Escobar who, just like the other two theologians, approach the issue by considering the Scripture in itself, the world, and subsequently, how the Scripture applies to our world. Theology might not necessarily be dependent of the Bible, in the broader understanding of what theology implies, an attempt to know and understand God. However, evangelism and missionaries would be inconceivable without the Bible. Samuel Escobar (2000) argues that "Evangelicals must acknowledge: they themselves have a long way to go in terms of deepening their understanding of the biblical basis of mission, in order to establish its validity not on isolated sayings but on the general thrust of biblical teaching." (p. 114) Escobar further states that "theology, history, and the social sciences are useful as tools for a better understanding of God's word and of contemporary missionary action, but only the Word is inspired and always fertile to renew the church in mission." (Escobar, 2000, p. 102) What can be depicted is that Escobar relates theology to history, furthermore he correlates these to sciences which, in the given era, are substantially valid for providing rational arguments in regards to the existence or the non-existence of God. However, because many scientists disregard the Biblical truth as actual fact and indeed are more inclined to read the Scripture as fantasy as opposed to historical events, evangelicals, when "without an adequate historical awareness or biblical training," are subjected to committing "mistakes of the past." (Escobar, 2000, p. 102). In this respect, Escobar further emphasizes that criticism must stand as the instrument of correction. However much basic convictions must remain a solid ground for evangelists, they must nevertheless embrace and sustain what is critical nature.

When we are confronted with a setting that encompasses different cultures and we need to relate the Biblical truth in a way that is comprehensible and accurate for everyone, we need to draw a line between what we think is valid and what individuals part of different cultures regard as such. For, what may stand solid for a certain group of individuals, may not necessarily come across as relevant to another group. It is within this understanding that contextual theology is able to relate to "who I am" and that who I am relates to the Bible being multi-cultural, because "Bible is above culture, since it stands to judge any culture." (Sutherland, 1998) In this sense, working within a multi-cultural environment requires one to gain thorough knowledge of specific cultures, while being open to suggesting ideas and having an ability to relate those ideas to Biblical truths.

Reference list

Escobar, S. (2000). Evangelical missiology: peering into the future at the turn of the century. In W.D. Taylor (Ed.), Global Missiology for the 21st Century: The Iguassu Dialogue (101-122). Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.

Grenz, S.J. (1988). Wolfhart Pannenberg's quest for ultimate truth. Religion Online. Retrieved June 10, 2013, from http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=59

Scaer, D.P. (1970). Jurgen Moltmann and his theology of hope. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 13(2), 69-79.

Sutherland, J. (1998). Introduction to cross cultural… [END OF PREVIEW]

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