George E. Ladd: History Begets Existential Import

Posted: May 19, 2011 in books, history, misc, philosophy, quotes

It is clear that the presence of the Kingdom in Jesus’ mission has inescapable existential, that is, personal consequences.  The Kingdom of God is concerned with my existence, my personal response and responsibility, my freedom from bondage to the past, to sin, to pride, to the world.  It demands openness to God’s future.  But all of this is true because first of all something happened in history.  Jesus was a historical person.  His words were historical events.  His deeds involved other people; but they were far larger than the boundaries of personal existence.  His deeds included interpersonal fellowship, healing of bodies as well as minds.  His mission created a new fellowship of men; and this fellowship after the resurrection became the Christian church, which has become one of the most influential institutions in Western culture.  All of this happened in history; and it is only because certain events first happened in history that other results were experienced in the existential dimension.  Existential import results only from historical event.

– George E. Ladd, as quoted in Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? by C. John Collins, p. 40-41

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