Monday, December 16, 2013

Tillich, 1948, Chapter 8 "On the Transitoriness of Life"

Chapter 8 “On the Transitoriness of Life” pp. 64-75

Psalm 90

We look at the thoughts in Psalm 90 and find they fit every age. There is a great pessimism about life and death. There is no easy comfort in this life. Yet the Bible does not allow for despair. It looks first to God and then allows us to see our limits.

Our short time is juxtaposed to God’s eternity. This perception of our temporality can turn us to superficial nostalgia. Yet this Psalm points us to the danger of that by reminding us of God’s majesty and wrath against our sin. We are dust and will die. The Psalmist further points us not to our guilt for particular acts of sin, but for our sinful nature. God looks at our inmost being.

Once man’s sin is established, the Psalmist asks God to look upon sinful man to give gladness and joy. God is not only the God of the past, but also the God of the future. The Christian message says boldly that God has communicated with man by taking on our impermanence in Christ. This gives us the hope of God which will not disappoint.

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