I’ve been thoroughly enjoying N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. I didn’t read much of anything on my recent road trip (no time, though I listened to the audio book of John Grisham’s The Appeal), but when I got home, I found Ori Brafman’s Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior waiting for me, and I devoured it. Picking up my unfinished Surprised by Hope again, I plan to finish it and do something of a review very shortly. In the meantime, a thought-provoker on the Kingdom of God:
[T]he method of the kingdom will match the message of the kingdom. The kingdom will come as the church, energized by the Spirit, goes out into the world vulnerable, suffering, praising, praying, misunderstood, misjudged, vindicated, celebrating: always—as Paul puts it in one of his letters—bearing the body of the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed.
Okay, one more, hitting a little harder…
Note… something… of great significance of about the whole Christian theology of resurrection, ascension, second coming, and hope. This theology was born out of confrontation with the political authorities, out of the conviction that Jesus was already the true Lord of the world who would one day be manifested as such. The [fundamentalist] rapture theology avoids this confrontation because it suggests that Christians will miraculously be removed from this wicked world. Perhaps that is why such theology is often Gnostic in its tendency toward a private dualistic spirituality and toward a political laissez-faire quietism. And perhaps that is partly why such theology with its dreams of Armageddon, has quietly supported the political status quo in a way that Paul would never have done.