The potency of Gutierrez’s theological vision surely derives from the Pauline triad on which he takes his stand: faith, whose biblical opposite is fear; hope, which gives to all false “realism”; and love, which alone can overcome sin and allow God to reign “on earth as in heaven.” Genuine faith is nothing more (or less) than a courageous trust in “thing unseen”: Christian faith means placing one’s life in the care of the unseen God of Jesus Christ. Hope, which Gutierrez carefully distinguishes from optimism, is rooted not in human powers but in God’s promise and fidelity to that promise. Finally, deeds of love—and not words alone—give flesh to faith and hope. It should not surprise anyone at the close of the twentieth century that such faith, hope and love meet resistance in many quarters.I’m reading in between (busy) times the book edited by James Nickoloff entitle Gustavo Gutierrez Essential Writings. The book is a compilation of important passages from Gutierrez’s books and Nickoloff enriches the books with his scholarly insights. I’ll be posting quotes and comments here as I make progress reading the book.
Those who know the life and thought of Gustavo Gutierrez best recognize the courage he shares with people he has chosen to stand alongside, namely the despised and unimportant of the world who struggle to recover the life given them unconditionally by the creator but stolen from them by others. Courage shapes Gutierrez’s practice and his theory; indeed, courage is required to link the two dialectically, as Gutierrez suggest they must be. While fear silences tongues and paralyzes hands, faith and hope, cultivated with courage, loosen tongues to protest the outrages of history and animate hands to reshape that history.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank Ben for his generosity in giving and sending me the book through the post here, in the farthest end of Thailand where theology books like this are virtually non-existent. You have been a blessing, bro!