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2 (2005) 147-161] DOl: 10-1177/0966736905053242


Jiirgen Moltmann

ABSTRACT From the perspective of the author's own theology of hope, this article offers an affirmation and a constructive critical engagement of the 'Full Gospel' theology of Korean pastor, David Yonggi Cho. After acknowledgement of certain commonalities in the originating contexts of hoth Cho's and the author's respective theological perspectives, particular points of agreement and suggestions for fiarther expansion and development are presented and elaborated with a view toward a 'Full Gospel ofthe Advent of Christ'.

It was with very great pleasure that I accepted the invitation to the 2004 Young San International Theological Symposium. This year has a special importance, not just for Revd Dr Yonggi Cho and the Yoido Full Gospel Church, but for me as well: 40 years ago my Theology of Hope was first published and evoked a world-wide echo. What fills me with gratitude is not the book's success but the fact that so many congregations and

* Jurgen Moltmann (DTh, University of Gottingen), world-renowned theologian from the University of Tubingen, returns as our dialogue partner in this issue (cf. JPT A and 9) with a paper originally delivered in Seoul, Korea at the Young San Intemational Theological Symposium held 3-4 June, 2004 on the campus of Yooida Full Gospel Church, pastored by David Yonggi Cho. The paper has been translated from the original German by Margaret Kohl. Moltmann here offers a fresh, fHendly, and fruitflil interface between his celebrated systematic theology of hope and the hope-filled practical theology of Pastor Yonggi Cho. One of the respondents at the symposium, Korean theologian Ki Seong Lee of Hansei University, has contributed the response that follows.
SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi), 2005.


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theologians have set out with me on the same pathway, to go to meet the coming Christ. We come from different traditions and live in different cultures, but we are going to meet the one, same parousia ofGod's kingdom, which binds us all together. Our origins are very different, but our future in God is one. I first met Dr Cho in September 1995.1 visited him together with my pupil Dr Park, Jong-Wha, and over breakfast we had a long talk that lasted from 7 until 10 tbat morning. In tbis theological dialogue I came to know Dr Cho as a learned and profound theologian and an independent thinker. So in this lecture I shall take him seriously as a Christian theologian and shall enter into his 'Full Gospel Theology', not, as so many Western theologians have done, viewing his message and its influence in the church and among the Korean people merely from outside, as belonging to the sociology of religion, and, like Harvey Cox, talking about a 'Christian shamanism'. No, Pastor Cho deserves to be taken seriously all over the world as an excellent Christian theologian, and this church as a Christian churcb, which is subject to the biblical gospel and which wishes to be tested against that. But first allow me a personal word. In ourfirstconversation in 1995, we discovered amazing similarities in our biographies and in our experiences of faith. Yonggi Cho came from a non-Christian, Buddhist family. I came from a post-Christian, secular family. When he was 17 years old, Yonggi Cho fell ill. He developed tuberculosis, and this illness brought him to the threshold of death. During this experience, he read the Bible and found Jesus Christ as his personal saviour. I am ten years older than he. When I was 17 years old, in July 1943,1 lay under the bail of bombs dropped by the British Air Force, an attack that destroyed my hometown of Hamburg in a firestorm. In those nights 40,000 men, women and children died. For some incomprehensible reason, tbe bomb tbat blew to pieces the friend who was standing beside me left me unscathed. In tbat night, with mass death all around me, I stood at tbe threshold of hell and for tbe first time cried out for God. I became a seeker after God. However, it was another two years before I found him. At the end ofthe war I was taken prisoner and found myself in a dark, cold and hopeless prisoner-of-war camp. Yet there I was given a Bible and read first the psalms of lament in the Old Testament. They gave expression to my own despair and intensified my search for God. I then read Mark's Gospel, and when I came to Jesus' death cry'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'I knew that in my God-forsakenness Jesus bad found me. I became a Christian and a


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Christian theologian. I understood that I would not have been searching for God if God had not already found me. I survived the three years as a prisoner of war in the strength ofthe hope to which I had been bom again through Christ, and I did not die of despondency, like so many of my comrades.' Pastor Cho began his mission in the HAN ofthe Korean people after the Korean War; I began my life in Christ in the HAN ofthe Second World War and in the ruins of post-war Germany. Moreover, the theology of hope and the Pentecostal movement have a common spiritual root as well. This is to be found in the German revival movement that is linked with the name ofthe Blumhardts, father and son. This revival movement began with a healing and an exorcism which the father, Johann Christopher Blumhardt, experienced in a little village in the Black Forest. The movement continued in the prophetic and healing activity of his son, Christopher Blumhardt, in Bad Boll, near Tubingen.^ For Blumhardt, 'healing and hoping' belonged together in just the same way as 'praying and watching''watching' for the coming of Christ, and 'hastening to meet' Christ in his coming. Karl Barth called Blumhardt a first 'theologian of hope' and as a young man was deeply influenced by him.-' Christopher Blumhardt became the spiritual father both ofthe dialectical theology of Karl Barth and Eduard Thurneysen, and of the religious-social movement of Leonhard Ragaz and Hermann Kutter in Switzerland. Today, among American Pentecostal theologians we find more and more followers of the forward-looking and proactive hope of Christopher Blumhardt.'* It is the experience of an active hope that transforms life and in anticipation reaches out into the future of Christ. Because I take Dr Cho seriously as a theologian, in this lecture I shall follow his texts, as these were sent to me: 1. 2. The Seven Theological Foundations ofthe Full Gospel The Threefold Blessing

1. See J. Moltmann, 'Wrestling with God' in The Source of Life: The Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life (trans. M. Kohl; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997), pp. 1-9, (also in Korean). 2. L. Ragaz, Der Kampfum das Reich Gottes in Blumhardt, Vater undSohnund weiter! (Zurich: Rotaptfel Verlag, 1922). 3. See K. Barth, Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century (ET; London: SCM Press, 1972; Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1973). 4. P. Althouse, Spirit ofthe Last Days: Pentecostal Eschatology in Conversation with Jurgen Moltmann, with a Foreword by Jurgen Moltmann (London and New York: T&T Clark, 2003).

150 3. 4.

Journal of Pentecostal Theology 13.2 (2005) The Fivefold Gospel The Gospel of the Advent 5

I shall take up his ideas affirmatively and, where I can, supplement them and develop them further. I shall make some suggestions as to how the Full Gospel of Life can be comprehensively presentedthe gospel which Pastor Cho serves in his mission, at home, and throughout the world, and which we experience in faith and in the community of Christ. I am speaking out of my own experiences of the theology of hope and should like to make my own modest contribution to an understanding of the Full Gospel. The fullness of the gospel is greater than our limited understanding. I have four points that I will develop: 1. Belief in 'the Cross of Calvary' and belief in 'the Fullness of the Holy Spirit' are both grounded in the resurrection of the crucified Christ into the coming kingdom of God. If we are to comprehend the Full Gospel of Life we must stress the central significance of the risen Christ. The first effect of Christ's resurrection in men and women is the rebirth to a living hope (1 Peter 1.3). In this hope we come alive and see before us the coming glory of Ciod. And we experience too not only that God is our hope, but that we are God's hope as well in this world: God hopes for us, he waits for us, and he expects something from us. The living energies of the Holy Spirit (charismata) are sent by the risen, living and present Christ into the community of his people and into the world. They are the living energies 'of the future world' (Heb. 6.5). What does this future look like? And what 'world' awaits us? So as better to understand Christ's presence in history and in order to open ourselves more fully for the charismatic experiences of the Holy Spirit, we need an Advent eschatology and should get away from dispensationalist eschatology. 'Jesus is coming', and that changes us and this world. That is 'the Gospel of the Advent'.




5. David Yonggi Cho, Fivefold Gospel and Threefold Blessing (Seoul: Youngsan Publishing, 1983); idem. The Story of the Fivefold Gospelfor Modern People (Seoul: Malssuma, 1998).


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1. The Resurrection of Christthe Foundation and Power of Christian Hope God's raising of the crucified Christ from the dead is the foundation of the Christian hope.*" Without the resurrection, we should know nothing about Jesus, and should have no hope for God's future. 'If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain', writes the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 15.14). Why is Christ's resurrection so central for Christian faith? It is because in the resurrection, faith in God and the acknowledgment of Christ coincide. 'If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved' (Rom. 10.9). Through the resurrection of Jesus, God makes him the Lord and Saviour of the world and manifests himself as 'the Father of Jesus Christ'. We believe in God for Jesus' sake, and we trust Jesus for God's sake. Anyone who separates faith in God from faith in Christ understands neither God nor Christ. And God the Father raised his dead Son into etemal life through the divine power of the Holy Spirit. In the community of Christ, believers experience God's Spirit as 'the power of the resurrection', as a lifecreating and healing power, and as the beginning of etemal life. There can be no good Pentecostal theology that is not grounded in Easter resurrection theology. For this reason I would suggest including in the Seven Theological Foundations of the Full Gospel an article about Christ's resurrection, as the divine and inexhaustible origin of the 'Full Gospel'. Let us cast a glance at this origin of the Christian faith. Luke relates the history of Christ consecutively, as a series of events, with symbolic time intervals: Good Fridaythen, after 3 days, Easter^after 40 days, the Ascensionafter 50 days, Pentecost. But this is a single mystery of salvation: Christ comes into this world, dies the death of the cross, is raised and installed to be the Lord of the divine rule, and sends the living energies of the Holy Spirit into the world. We can make this clear to ourselves if we look more closely at the resurrection faith of the women and Jesus' disciples. Jesus was crucified publicly by the Romans, but the risen Jesus appeared only to the women at his tomb in Jerusalem, and to the disciples who had fled to Galilee. Yet these appearances transformed them totally: they retumed to Jerusalem, even
6. J. Moltmann, The Way of Jesus Christ: Christology in Messianic Dimensions (trans. M. Kohl; San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990), (also in Korean).


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though there they were bound to expect the same persecution and the same death as that of their Master. In the appearances ofthe risen Jesus they had evidently found a faith that overcomes the world, and they were no longer afraid of anything at all. Jesus' empty tomb is not a proof of his resurrection, for it could, after all, have been empty for a different reason; but this return of the disciples and their proclamation in Jerusalem of Christ's resurrection is proof of the empty tomb, for they could not have said a word about his resurrection if people had been able to point them to Jesus' body, still in the tomb. The women and the disciples to whom the risen Christ 'appeared' in the radiance of God's glory were seized by the Spirit of the resurrection. 'Receive the Holy Spirit', says the risen Christ to the disciples, according to John 20.22. For them, Easter and Pentecost coincided in the moment (kairos) when they encountered Christ. To recognize the risen Christ and to be bom again to eternal life from the Spirit ofthe resurrection are one. That is still the case today. Even if we no longer see the risen Christ but now draw our faith from the Word ofthe gospel, the recognition of Christ and experience ofthe Spirit still belong indissolubly together. To perceive the miracle of Christ's resurrection does not mean taking note of a historical fact about something that happened 2000 years ago and saying, 'Is that so?' or 'OK!' It means being seized by the power ofthe resurrection and entering into a life with Christ. So it is not correct to call Christ's resurrection just 'a historical fact', if that means viewing history as something past and gone. It is a historical event that has a confronting impact on the present, opening up the eschatological history of eternal life in the midst of this world of death and inviting every human being to this divine future. Nor must we understand Christ's resurrection as merely an individual event, affecting Christ alone. Christ was raised from the dead in order to be the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep and the leader of eternal life (1 Cor. 15.20). His resurrection from the dead has from the very beginning a universal and cosmic relevance. The Easter liturgy ofthe Orthodox Church puts it very well:
Everything now is filled with light. Heaven and earth and the realm ofthe dead. The whole creation exults in Christ's resurrection

The Orthodox Easter icon shows this in picture form: the Christ who has risen from his tomb pulls Adam and Eve with both hands out ofthe world


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of death into the transfigured world of eternal life, andtogether with Adam and Eveall humanity and the whole groaning creation. In the light of Christ's raising, we perceive the saving significance of his suffering and death on the cross. Dr Cho, splendidly, sees here a double meaning: (1) Christ shed his blood and died for our sins, in order to bring us the eternal salvation of fellowship with God; (2) Christ 'carried our sicknesses' {Foundations., No. 5) in order not only to redeem our souls, but so as to heal our bodies toofi-omthe curse of sickness and to bless us. That is true. According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus' first glance fell on the sick among his people, and he healed them. He healed them not through his superior power but through his suffering: 'And through his wounds we are healed'(Isa. 53.5; cf.Mt. 8.17). I should like to contribute two further aspects here: (1) The crucified Christ also became the divine brother of all the men and women who have to exist in the shadow of the cross, that is to say in the night of God-forsakenness.^ By entering into death on the cross, Christ brings fellowship with God into this darkness and saves those who were lost. According to Matthew 25, that means 'the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the homeless and the imprisoned'in Korean, the Minjung. Christ not only died his own death; he also died the absolute and universal deatheternal death. That is what the doctrine about Christ's descent into hell is saying. In his resurrection he overcomes this eternal death and throws open the gates of hell. Quoting the first Christian Easter hymn, Paul exults: 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?... But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 15.55, 57). We already find this threefold redemption in Ps. 103.3-4:
Who forgives all your iniquity, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction.


In the light of his resurrection, we also perceive why Christ died and became alive once more. According to Rom. 14.9, his purpose is to be

7. J. Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (trans. R. A. Wilson and J. Bowden; New York: Harper & Row, 1974), (also in Korean).


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'Lord both ofthe dead and ofthe living'.^ The community with Christ in faith is therefore not merely a community ofthe living; it is also a community ofthe dead. In Christ, the wall dividing the living and the dead has been broken down. In Christ the dead are not 'dead' in the modem. Western sense; they are 'present', as they are in ancient Asian thinking. Christ's resurrection opens up hope for the future not only for the living but also for the dead. It is the only hope we know that has a relation to those who are past and promises them a future. The prospect ofthe resurrection ofthe dead is the new Christian light that falls on the age-old reverence for ancestors, which in Asia is still so much alive. Christ 'descended into the realm ofthe dead' (as the modem German version ofthe Apostles' Creed puts it) in order to fill that realm too with the light of his resurrection into eternal life. With that, the night of death becomes the stillness heralding the dawn of the resurrection. Those who in Christ remember their ancestors, do not look to their past, which cannot be brought back, but to their future, which is to be expected. The reason is that from the Christian viewpoint, ancestors are no longer viewed in the light of a mythical origin, to which they are closer than their descendents because of their age; now, ancestors and descendents are seen in the light of the resurrection of the dead in which they share, and are embraced together by a hope for 'the life ofthe fliture world'. Our community with our ancestors is a wonderflil, consoling community of hope. In the hope of resurrection, a shared, eternal presence ofthe living and the dead already comes into being here and now, beyond time and beyond death. 2. Born Again to a Living Hope Pentecostal theology has rightly put 'rebirth' at the centre ofthe Christian faith, for it is in the personal rebirth to eternal life that we experience the first effect of Christ's resurrection from the dead.' It is a birth of hope in us, a hope which makes us wholly and entirely living. 1 Peter 1.3 brings out the connection very clearly: 'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through his great mercy we have been bom anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.' Since
8. J. Moltmann,'Ahnenverehrung und Auferstehunghoffnung', Orientierung 12, 67th year, Zurich (30 June, 2003), pp. 141-44, (also in Korean). 9. J. Moltmann, The Spirit of Life: A Universal Affirmation (trans. M. Kohl; London: SCM Press, 1992), (also in Korean).


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the resurrection of Christ, God's creative Spirit is also the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of Christ is 'the power ofthe resurrection' and of eternal life. What believers experience in their souls and bodies, personally and in community with others, is not restricted only to themselves. The resurrection hope is universal and embraces the whole sighing and groaning creation. With this hope 'the spring ofthe whole creation' begins, as Hildegard of Bingen put it.'" If we are seized by the power ofthe resurrection, we begin to blossom and to be fruitful in love, like the flowers and trees after a long, cold winter. We awake out of despondency and indifference. An undreamed-of love for life lays hold of us. Sins that bind us to the past are forgiven. Sicknesses that oppress and destroy life are healed. We are 'like new-bom children' and encounter life with intense expectation, because we know that God has expectation for us; for the hope which awakens in us is a little response to the great hope which God has for us. God is our hope, and we become God's hope for this earth. We shall be what we are meant to be: God's image and appearance in the earth's community of creation (Gen. 1.26-28), God's children, his sons and daughters, in fellowship with Christ, and God's friends in the community ofthe Holy Spirit. Wherever this life-giving hope awakens in us, the conflicts begin as well: what Paul calls the struggle between 'spirit' and 'flesh', what the Gospel of John describes as the struggle between 'life' and 'death', the struggle between 'light' and 'darkness'that is, the conflict between this transitory world-time of sin, sickness and death, and the time of the coming world, which will be a time of righteousness and justice, salvation and eternal life." Dr Cho has described this struggle in the third of his propositions in The Blessing of Spiritual Well-being. I assume that his heading, 'The Way to Destroy the Body', has been wrongly translated into English. According to the language of the Bible, what is meant is not 'body' (soma) but'flesh'(^arx).'^ So we should not equate 'spirit' (pneuma) with soul (nous) either. Paul was an apocalyptist, and when he thought of world history, he thought in terms of those two different world-times. In personal life they take concrete form as 'flesh' and 'spirit', or 'life according to the flesh' and 'life according to the spirit'. 'Life according to the

10. Hildegard von Bingen, Scivias: Wisse die Wege (Salzburg: Otto Miiller Verlag, 1954), p. 384. 11. See Moltmann, The Source of Life. Chapter 7: 'Life's New Spirituality', pp. 70-88. 12. K.A. Bauer, Leiblichkeitdas Ende aller Werke Gottes (Gutersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1971).


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flesh' is life that has miscarried, life in sin and godlessness; it is what Kierkegaard called the 'sickness unto death'. 'Life according to the spirit' is a life in grace, a life which is completely ensouled by God's Spirit, life in the fellowship of Christ. In every case, 'flesh' and 'spirit' mean the whole of life, soul and body, as well as person and community. In no case does the soul enjoy a higher position than the body, nor is the person more important than the community. The origin of sin is not to be found in the allegedly lower drives of the body, but rather in the disorientation of the whole person: greed, covetousness, envy and hate determine human beings and whole human societies, because they are ruled by 'life according to the flesh'. The origin of true life, on the other hand, is not to be found in the soul, or in the human will, but in the new bearings given to the whole of life. Life according to the spirit is 'life in love'. With the coming of Christ into this world, true life already begins here and now, in the midst of the life that is false. This is the conflict between the light of the rising sun, and the departing shadows of the night: 'The night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness andputon the armour of light...' (Rom. 13.12). The struggle is carried on in personal life, as Dr Cho has expounded. But it is fought out in public life too, for greed, hate and fear are powers that also dominate economics and politics: greed in capitalism, hate in terrorism, and fear in security politics. Yet what we personally contend with in the inner struggle between 'spirit' and 'flesh', fear and hope, hate and love, has a universal and an End-time importance, because it furthers the coming of Christ and allows God's great day to shine out in the midst of the night of this world. There is a wisdom to help us in this struggle in personal life: when the sun rises, one should stop fighting the shadows of the night, but should turn to the light which drives the shadows away. 'Darkness cannot resist the invasion of light, but can only seize the place of light when light gives way', said Jan Amos Comenius.'-' 3. The Powers of the Future World The Pentecostal movement deserves acclaim for having rediscovered the charismatic congregation on the biblical pattem. Every Christian congregation is a charismatic congregation, but not all of them realize it. Every

13. Inscription on the Comenius-medal, given to me in 1992 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, quoted from Via Lucis.


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believing Christian is a charismatic, but not many find their own personal task in the kingdom of God. Charismata are energies ofthe Holy Spirit: 'There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit' (1 Cor. 12.4). Charismata are gifts of God's grace and are always bound up with tasks for the spread of the gospel and the building up of the community of Christ's people. Paul therefore also calls the charismata 'services' {diakoniai). This means that the charismatic congregation is always the diaconal congregation too. Charismata, finally, are special blessings from God, and this is the way Dr Cho describes them in The Threefold Blessing. Charismatic and diaconal congregations are blessed congregations. Yet ever since Abraham, people have always been blessed so that they can become a blessing for others. 'I will bless you, so that you will be a blessing' (Gen. 12.2). Streams of blessing flow out from blessed congregations into the world around, and to the people of one's own time. I shall restrict myself here to a single question: How are we to understand these powers and tasks theologically? There are two possibilities. These powers are either 'fire from heaven' and 'supematural gifts', or they are 'the powers ofthe future world' (Heb. 6.5). I would suggest the eschatological interpretation.''* If we understand the charismata as 'supematural gifts', as Acts 2.2-4 seems to indicate, then we look only at the unusual, miraculous phenomena, such as speaking with tongues, prophecy and healings; and we think that what cannot be explained naturally has to be 'supematural'. But this is very one-sided, since for Paul the natural acts prompted by love are charismata too (cf. 1 Corinthians 12 and 13): to everyone as God has called him or her (1 Cor. 7.17). If we understand the charismata as 'powers ofthe future world', then they are not just 'fire from heaven'; they are also the first daybreak colours heralding the dawn of God's coming day. In them the future of Christ becomes powerful in our own present time, and we shall open ourselves for the influence ofthe coming Christ. In powers ofthe future like this we already anticipate here and now what Christ will complete on his day. Here charismata are energies ofthe new creation ofthe world in righteousness and justice and peace. Even if our powers are small, compared with the

14. Moltmann, Spirit of Life, Chapter 9: 'The Charismatic Powers of Life', pp. 180-97.


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forces exercised by the powerful in this world, we are nevertheless on the side ofthe future and act in the name of God's coming kingdom. If charismata are powers ofthe fliture 'world', then they already have their effect on all this world's different sectors: personally and socially, economically and politically, culturally and ecologically. This world-wide horizon is therefore important for everything that we receive from God and do in his name. A final aspect: If the charismata we experience here and nowthe gifts of grace and the forces of lifeare already 'the powers of the future world', what does this future world look like? In this case the future world is a charismatic world through and through: a world full ofthe divine Spirit, a world of an overflowing fullness of life, a world in which there is enough for everyone, a paradise of life, a city of righteousness and justice. All this and more we already experience here and now in the blessings ofthe Spirit, and that fills us with an Advent-like expectation of God's coming. 4. The Gospel of Advent and Advent Eschatology God's raising of Christ from the dead is the origin of every Christian eschatology. I would therefore suggest that the apostle Paul's great resurrection chapter should be made the foundation for the proclamation ofthe Full Gospel of Advent, and for eschatological thinking. To be raised is for Paul a single, interconnected transformation process: 'Christ first; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every mle, authority, and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death... When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be all in all' (1 Cor. 15.23-28). This transformation process brings everything into etemal life, for 'in Christ they shall all be made alive' (15.22). Here I should like to make three comments. (1) The dynamic of this eschatological process which transforms and transfigures everything (Phil. 3.21) proceeds from Christ, not from the ongoing times of world history. (2) It is common practice to talk about Christ's 'Second Coming'. However, this is not a good way of looking at things. Why should Christ 'come again' when, after all, he has not gone away, when we sense his presence everywhere? The Greek wordparousia is used in the New Testament only for the coming of Christ. The Latin word for this is Advent,


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which is a dynamic word for 'future', not a static one, just as we speak of a 'coming' event. I would, therefore, suggest talking about 'Christ's future', not his 'Second Coming'. From the Church Fathers down to Karl Barth, people have often talked about the threefold coming of Christ: 'He came in the fleshhe comes in the Spirithe will come in glory'. Christoph Blumhardt wrote in this connection: 'The Saviour is coming. He is not sitting quietly somewhere in eternity, waiting for some particular point in time when he will arrive, as if all of a sudden. He is in the process of coming. So Christ's future is something we can continually have in front of our eyes and can daily expect. ... So we must be aligned towards the future of Jesus Christ, a future which is not just future but a present too, in the sense that in our hearts he is awaited."^ If Jesus is in the process of coming, then every day he emerges out of his future into our present. In everything we encounter, we expect him. (3) In considering the theological understanding of time, Ifindit important to distinguish between 'future' and 'advent'. We use the term 'future' for what will be, for what is going to emerge from the present. By 'advent' we mean what is coming to meet us. Everything that becomes, passes away. The future becomes the present, and the present turns into the past. The future is a temporal form of chronos, which is the Greek word for time. Chronos is the time of transience, and it is a sister of death. Consequently we cannot express the Christian hope for God's eternal kingdom with the temporal concept of chronos, but only with the temporal concept of advent. The presence of eternity also transforms time: chronos becomes aeon, and aeon means abiding present. When Christ comes, time stands still, as it werethat is to say, time is transformed into eternity. The Christ who has risen from the dead is not subject to time; he is the Lord of time. It is not useful, either, to speak of' now already' and' not yet', because in time what is not yet will one day no longer be. A 'futurist eschatology' is the end of every eschatology.'^ Having said this, let us cast a glance at the eschatology of dispensationalism. As Peter Althouse has shown, this was not originally part of Pentecostal theology, but was later adopted by certain Pentecostals. Dispensationalism means that orders of world history are eschatologically orientated. The best-known pattem is the scheme of the seven dispensations. It goes back
15. Ragaz, Der Kampfum das Reich Gottes in Blumhardt, p. 148. 16. t have developed Advent eschatology in detail in J. Moltmann, The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology (trans. M. Kohl; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), (also in Korean).


Journal of Pentecostal Theology 13.2 (2005)

to a rabbinic transference of the seven days of creation to the seven ages of world history, so it is not originally Christian. The numbering in premillenial dispensationalism is as follows: 1) The time of innocence; this ends with the Fall. 2) The time of conscience; this ends with the Flood. 3) The time of human government; this ends with the building of the Tower of Babel. 4) The time of promise; this ends in the Egyptian captivity. 5) The time of the Law; this ends with the rejection of Christ by the Jews. 6) The time of grace; this will end with the coming of Christ. 7) The kingdom of Christ.'^ Because many of the prophecies of the Old Testament have not yet been flilfilled, the people of Israel will experience their fulfilments in the future. Another scheme derives from Joachim of Fiore and reckons with three periods of world history. The early Pentecostal movement was apparently much influenced by the tripartite dispensationalism of the Wesleyan theologian John Fletcher. According to this scheme, the age (or dispensation) of the Father leads to the age of the Son, and the age of the Son leads to the age of the Spirit. In the consummation, there is then the etemal kingdom of the triune God. In this scheme, christology, pneumatology and eschatology are better related inwardly to each other than they are in the scheme of the seven ages of the world. Here the dynamic proceeds from God and not from the progression of the times. However, this pattern can easily lead to a separation of the Son from the Father, and of the Holy Spirit from the Son, and hence to the dissolution of the divine Trinity into historical progress. Finally, the gospel of Advent must turn the expectation of the Last Judgment into a message of joy, and must no longer allow it to stand as a threat. We must look forward to the Last Judgment and have no longer any need to be afraid of it. The more distinctly we have before our eyes Jesus, the Son of man, as the Judge, the better we can entrust ourselves, all human beings, and this whole world to his judgment, for he comes to bring victory over the powers of darknessvictory for the saving righteousness and justice of God, which he himself proclaimed. The Last Judgment is not the last thing of all; it is penultimatethe last but one. What comes last of all is the new creation of all things (Rev. 21.45). Because the new creation can endure eternally only on the foundation of God's righteousness and justice, that righteousness and justice must first of all be made to prevail everywhere. That is the meaning of the Last 17. See Althouse, Spirit of the Last Days, pp. 23-24. Cf. also Moltmann, The Coming of God, III, 1.3: 'Eschatological Orders of Time in History', pp. 141-46.


The Blessing of Hope


Judgment. Judgment and new creation are the two sides ofthe eschatologieal transformation process that we expect. So Christoph Blumhardt wrote:
Judgment does not have merely a negative meaning. It has above all a positive one. That is to say, its aim in not merely to destroy but above all to save; it will not merely dissolve but will above all flilfil. It is the annihilating Nothingness for all the powers that are contrary to God, and the dissolution ofthe world of evil; but it is the saving and fulfilling Yes of creation: 'Behold, I make all things '^

For every individual, Christ's Judgment is a judgment according to works, as Paul says in 1 Cor. 3.13-15, in order that the person 'will he saved': 'If any man's work is humed up, he will suffer loss, hut he himself will he saved, hut only as through fire'. The sins will he condemned; the sinner will he saved. Paul's ideas ofjudgment are in line with his teaching ahout justification. So we look forward to Christ's Judgment, and we proclaim it as the goal ofthe Full Gospel ofthe Advent. Will all human heings he redeemed in the end? We do not know, hut we can hope that they will and pray that they will. For myself, I should like to close with Christoph Blumhard's 'confession of hope':
There can be no question of God's giving up anything or anyone in the whole world, either today or in eternity... The end has to be: Behold, everything is God's. Jesus comes as the one who has borne the sins ofthe world. Jesus can judge but not condemn. My desire is to have preached this as far as the lowest circles of hell, and I will never be confounded." For me, that is the 'Full Gospel o f t h e Advent of Christ'.

18. Quoted in Ragaz, Der Kampfum das Reich Gottes in Blumhardt, p. 153. 19. Quoted in J. Harder, Christoph Blumhardt: Ansprachen. Predigten. Reden. Briefe 7555-/P/7 (Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag, 1978), II, p. 131.

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