It’s Still the End of the World!

It was able to share an enjoyable evening last night with an engaged group of people at the McNally Robinson bookstore in Winnipeg.  One of the things I was attempting to do in my lecture was to recover the eschatological character of the Christian faith, bound up as it is with the coming of Messiah and the pouring out of the promised Spirit.  The irruption of the eschaton introduces the distinction between church and world, which is clearly elucidated by Hauerwas and Willimon in the following quote which appeared in my lecture:

World names all those who have attempted to live as if their lives are their own, as if this time is under our control, as if we can secure ourselves through the power of the state, military might, or other human means, and who refuse to believe that Christ is the end of time.  Church names that radical political alternative where Christians learn to live as a people who refuse to let the politics of death determine our lives.  Our desire as Christians is to live with the sort of nonviolent patience and courage that makes no sense to the world if God is not Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  We want more than anything to live in such a way that the world has no sociological, anthropological, gender-related, racial, economic explanation for us other than we are a people who have been given what they prayed for:  ‘Come, Holy Spirit.’” 1

I’m looking forward to revisiting these themes again on Tuesday in Steinbach, MB.

  1. Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon, The Holy Spirit (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2015, 90.

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