Religion has always suffered from the tendency to become an end in itself, to seclude the holy, to become parochial, self-indulgent, self-seeking; as if the task were not to ennoble human nature but to enhance the power and beauty of its institutions or enlarge the body of doctrine.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Nothing worth doing in completed in our lifetime, therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we much be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are savced by love.
It is by immersing ourselves in the complex realities of planetary and human conditions that we begin to understand the true nature of incarnational and redemptive faith. The God of the Bible desires the active living of divine purpose over merely celebrating the idea of correct belief in the One True God.
What Jesus preached was ‘the kingdom’; what he got was the church!
There is so much evidence today to support ‘the kingdom of God’ emphasis in the teaching of Jesus that it is difficult to understand let alone justify the exclusions, divisions, and differences that accompanied the growth of the church. Today, with the church in decline and mired in outdated beliefs and practices, it would seem that we need to learn how to think the kingdom way of thinking, and to live the kingdom way of living. Every attempt to do so is an indication that the kingdom way is not a reduced view of faith but a fulfillment of the dream of Jesus for life in the kingdom now.