In his book, The Crucified God, Jurgen Moltmann explained the implications of Jesus’ crucifixion. God died on the cross; what does that mean for the Christian life? Well, it means hope! But, more than a simplistic longing for “the end to come,” Moltmann pressed home the vertical and horizontal implications of Christ’s death on the cross. “The alternative between arousing faith in the heart and the changing of the godless circumstances of dehumanized man is a false one,” he wrote.1
Moltmann believed Christians ought to avoid two dangerous errors; (1) a vacuous theological liberalism that sought to change the world without a Christian message, and (2) a “doctrinaire” faith that deliberately locks itself away from the world that needs the Gospel. In this excerpt, he explains the dangers of a self-imposed ghettoization of the Christian faith and message:2
Where does the identity of Christian faith lie? Its outward mark is church membership. This, however, takes us no further, but merely moves the problem on. For the Christian identity of the church is itself questionable, when the form it takes is affected by so many other interests.