Friday, March 23, 2007

Hans Kung and the church.

When I did my Bachelors degree in Theology, we had to study Hans Kung's monumental work "The Church". Looking at the book, it seems very intimidating, but it is one of those books that I enjoyed thoroughly and will not part with.

I read through some sections again this morning and was reminded of the distinction he draws between the church and the Kingdom of God. He speaks so strongly about this difference that I am sure that he would have been excommunicated for this alone. If you don't know Kung's history, go check it out.

He says that there are two temptations in the Christian faith. The first is to equate the church to the Kingdom of God. If this path is chosen, it will lead to disillusionment, anger and resentment, for the church is not complete and should rather be seen as a mode of spiritual travel than a divine institution.

The second is to dissociate the church from the Kingdom of God completely. This path leads to relativism and a total disregard for mystery and revelation. The church is tied to the Kingdom by being a herald.

I keep this in mind as I listen to those whom the church has put in positions of leadership, who sometimes express themselves in ways that make people believe that they are the sole voice of God.

ps. Dion, I'll post a photo of Bertie soon!

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