Monday, December 15, 2008

Christians & the Age to Come

This might be obvious, but while "in" this age, Christians nonetheless "enact" the Age to Come, don't we? There is no hunger in the Age to Come, so we feed the hungry in this age. There are no naked in the Age to Come, so we clothe the naked in this age. There is none in prison in the Age to Come, so we fellowship with those in prison in this age as though the prison walls did not exist, etc.

There's a weird sort of mutatis mutandis aspect to it all, but it still seems correct. "Righteousness" isn't so much "righteousness" -- as if making up some moral quality that doesn't already exist in us -- as it is acting in accord with our new nature, derived from our union with Jesus, the new Adam of the new Creation.

And, thus, the Christian's good works are not so much "good works" as they are an eschatological witness to both us and to the world of the Age to Come. Mutatis mutandis, the Christian acts as if already in the Age to Come. That's why the world doesn't understand us -- why it thinks that we are fools -- and even why it hates us, as sort of alien beings in this world.


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