In light of recent inklings of revolution in the Middle East, and in light of a conversation I had just yesterday with a friend about Robert Jenson’s notion of time, I was struck by these words from Richard Bauckham in his characteristically-helpful essay on Jürgen Moltmann’s understanding of time:
‘The modern time myth can be seen as an ideology of the powerful, for whom a future continuous with the present represents the continuation and extension of their position of dominance and privilege. (Here the critique can be applied to the time myth only in its liberal progressivist, not its Marxist revolutionary form.) A model of time which requires the future to be extrapolated from the past and the present, which denies alternative possibilities, radical changes, real novelty, unpredictable irruptions in the historical process, is a model in the interests of those who must suppress alternative possibilities if they are to maintain their own power in the future. It is the ideology which justifies their own power to determine the future … Thus the one-sided secular millenarianism of the modern world is a myth of power which provokes among the powerless and the dominated the hope of an apocalyptic end to the present order and an alternative future …’. – Richard Bauckham, ‘Time and Eternity’, in God Will Be All in All: The Eschatology of Jürgen Moltmann (ed. Richard Bauckham; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001), 170.