Few “mainline” theologians hold as much interest for evangelicals as German theologian Jürgen Moltmann. A professor of theology at the University of Tübingen for over two decades, Moltmann sees Scripture as authoritative and the Resurrection as real in ways that set him apart from radical theologians.

Called by many the father of the “theology of hope,” Moltmann has had a profound effect on contemporary theology. Evangelicals will disagree with some of Moltmann’s conclusions, but he here offers some provocative perspectives on personal faith, culture, and the hope that stands at the center of his theology.

In a recent interview, you said you were “pleased that I came out of the abyss of war and prison camps as a Christian … that in the face of such things I moved from despair and anxiety to faith.” Could you describe that journey?

When I was 16 my school class was drafted to serve in the antiaircraft batteries in Hamburg. This was an adventure for us young boys. But in July 1943, we suffered one week of air attacks on Hamburg, and the whole city was in a firestorm. Our battery was in the center. A friend standing next to me was torn into pieces by the bombs; I was saved. I do not know why. Since that time, I have had two questions: Where is God? and, Why am I alive and not dead? I have been wrestling with answering these questions ever since.

At the time of the bombing, I was not a Christian. I was brought up in an “enlightened” family in Hamburg. My grandfather was a grand master of the Freemasons. And my attention was focused on studying mathematics and physics. I was fascinated by Einstein and quantum physics. Then I experienced the firestorm in Hamburg. ...

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