In response to a question by Danielle Shroyer, Jürgen Moltmann says that the Lord's Prayer should use the form "Abba, Dear Father" as the opening line, rather than the traditional form, "Our Father, Who Art In Heaven" as found in Matthew's Gospel. The traditional form may be misunderstood as an affirmation of Patriarchalism and as saying God is far away from us and not near and dear to us. Listen to the following audio clip to hear Moltmann explain why.
DANIELLE SHROYER: “I really appreciate the way you restructured or helped us to reorient our understanding of the unity of the trinity. Because it seems in Western Theology, when we talk about the Trinity, the numbers sort of mess with us and we try to figure out to be three in one well you were very clearly stating Jesus, ‘I and the father are one’ and not, ‘I and the father are one in the same’. And as a pastor, that’s helpful for me because we’re not a doctrine based church, so when people come and say ‘what do you believe about x’ or ‘what is your statement on this.’ We often say ‘there are lot of different beliefs in our church’ and then they say ‘what holds you together.’ And we say, this unity comes not through our doctrine but the face that we feel that Christ provides a unity far about that, right? So can you talk a little bit more that because for many of us in the room who are pastors who have congregations who disagree on a number of different doctrines, this gift of the unity of the trinity, that doesn’t have to be ‘sameness’ is a really important thing for us.
JÜRGEN MOLTMANN: “Let me first say. Jesus addressed, his God as Abba dear Father. The apostle Paul heard the Abba Prayer in Galatia and in Rome, but after the first century the Abba Prayer disappeared from the Christian congregations and was replaced by “Our Father Who Is In Heaven” with a far distance and with the possible misunderstanding of Patriarchalism where the Father in Heaven and the father in the family, etcetera, and the father of the fatherland, etcetera and etcetera. If we were to reintroduce into our congregations and our personal lives, the abba prayer, we would feel the nearness of Jesus in the moment. So I tried to convince the congregations in Tübingen to reintroduce the Abba prayer and replace the “Our Father In Heaven, Hollowed Be Thy Name”, with “Abba, Dear Father, Hollowed Be Thy Name”, because then you are already in the Trinity, while the Father of the Fatherland and the Father of the Universe is another concept of Fatherhood. And what keeps us together… well, the Trinitarian persons, in their mutual indwelling in their perichoresis are not only three persons, but also three rooms. they give room for indwelling of the other persons in them. So God the Father gives room to Jesus to dwell in him, and he dwells in Jesus. To give room to each other means what we are doing and if we accept other people, open our life and our houses, in love and friendship to them, we give them a life space in which they can breathe freely and reveal themselves, go out of themselves, etcetera, if we give no living space to other people, to exclude them, or to shut them out, or become aggressive, the other people will retire into themselves and become defensive. We all do this, and therefore this room giving to each other, is the best way to respond to the triune god. And perhaps this is what you are doing in your church.
Daniel Shroyer and Jürgen Moltmann, Emergent Village Theological Conversations 2009 Conference, End of Part1,
(original source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2013/12/02/jurgen-moltmann-audio/)
Related: Abba Dear Father, Abba Prayer, Daniel Shroyer, Emergent Village, Jürgen Moltmann, Lord's Prayer, Our Father