• A W Steenkamp Akademie, Windhoek
Keywords: Eschatology, radicality of Jesus, ministry of Jesus, eschatological radicality, non-violent resistance, Christology


The radicality of Jesus as well as the general message of the New Testament should be seen again a background of eschatology, and not be confused with revolutionism. People’s acceptance of the authority of Scripture is no guarantee that they have correctly understood the message of the Bible regarding this. A critical view of the authority of Scripture as well as a thorough and constant examination concerning the relationship between the personal and social circumstances of man and his interpretation of Scripture are needed. Consequently a relevant relationship between theology and revolution can alone be established by means of a relevant Biblical hermeneutics.The ministry of Jesus, his disciples and John the Baptist should be seen and evaluated again the background of the socio-political tensions and violence of their time. Jesus’ attitude on all spheres of life can be characterised as eschatological radicality, meaning, on the one hand , a critique on everything and everyone who has not considered God’s will of justice, and on the other hand the denial of all resistance movements because their worldly purposes and usage of violence obscured the view on God’s coming kingdom and his requirements of love and justice.Still, Jesus’ idea of non-violent resistance forms a clear-cut political standpoint in which he transcends the law of necessity in war and violence – neither related to the false duality between oppressive and revolutionary violence, nor being completely uninvolved.In the end, the New Testament as a whole offers no elaborate prescriptions for the state, but indirectly guidelines can be deduced for political life. The crux of the matter is how the following of Christ and obedience towards authorities should sensibly be related. An abstract Christology – in which Christ is only a theoretical idea! – isolated from the political realities, canlead to a dualism in which religion (Christianity) can offer no guidelines for politics, and consequently escapes reality in a false, pietistic verticalism.