Since theology is a public discipline, the idea of God ought to shed lightnot only on human existence but also the world as a whole, providing unity of all reality.
Nonetheless, his project is not merely a return to the traditional notion that truth is foundin the unchanging essences behind the ebb and flow of history. Rather, truth is seen asessentially historical and ultimately eschatological. Until the eschaton, our truth claimsare contestable in the actual history of rival religious claims. Therefore, our theologicalstatements today are provisional like all other kinds of human knowledge. The futurealone will vindicate the ultimate truth. In the meantime, theologies are hypotheses to betested for coherence with other domains of knowledge. Only at the end of history wouldthe reality of God be indisputably evident to all. He warned that the ‘excitement of systematically exploring the truth of God must not be mistaken for having that truth itself at our disposal”.
Even so, God’s self-revelation in the historical resurrection event has a
element in that it anticipates in the present the final vindication of Christ andthe renewal of all creation.
As Grenz explains, “Through his resurrection Jesusexperienced in the midst of history that eschatological transformation to which humanityis destined.”
What will be disclosed fully at the end of history has become visible and present in Jesus in the midst of history.
For Pannenberg, knowledge of God is impossiblewithout his revelation in history.
Jesus: God and Man,
(London: SCM Press, 1968), page 96 – 105. He concludedthus, “The Easter appearances are not to be explained from the Easter faith of the disciples; rather,conversely, the Easter faith of the disciples is to be explained from the appearances.”
Reason For Hope: The Systematic Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg,
(Grand Rapids:William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005), page 7
An Introduction to Systematic Theology
, page 19
Systematic Theology Volume II
, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing,1994), page 344 -345
Reason For Hope,
Systematic Theology Volume III
, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing,1998), page 550 – 551