Spring 1969

Page 80



greater human experience. Thus ,the one simple yes God spoke in Cluist is identically addressed to us today, but it comes to a technological society with different overtones than those which echoed in the first century. Only the living, communicating faith of Christians who bring their New Testament belief into combination with twentieth century experience, under the afflatus of the Spirit, can make God today what he was for Augustine--beauty ever ancient, ever new: Christian spirituality today will therefore present the same essential visage as that of past ages, because all authentic spirituality reflects Christ, from whose face shines the one saving light. Basic charity, hope, and faith make Christians people who take life seriously, but with joyous expectation. Today we live in a unifying world, which growingly approaches one single shared culture. In this way, technology is really accomplishing a universalization of the gospel which myriad missionaries never could. Certainly the strands of western culture which accompany industrialization carry a questionable amount and quality of Christianity, but Rahner seems optimistic that this could well work on God's previous presence to non-Christian peoples in unknown grace, helping them towards a growing acceptance of life in Christian terms. This global, hopeful view is perhaps the most distinctive emphasis he places in treating of faith for today. We live in a world where God more obviously transcends all particular representations of him-where he appears only as the silent absolute who cannot be identified with the world. We therefore must believe that he who is greater than all who know or can imagine does indeed guide the world towards himself in love. We will exercise this belief by taking the history of our time seriously, viewing all men as brothers in a common human destiny, ann setting our Christian faith forth as the religion of the absolute future, which confesses Love to be the guarantor of man's time-its fulfilling horizon and final consummation.


After this brief survey of the main themes of Karl Rahner's