I am wondering about the viability of an alternative eschatology, a humbler, morte localized hope. I am wondering about the possibility that God entertains a hope that, even yet, the exaltation of the Crucified Lord will attract more and more people toward Jesus and his community of disciples, the church. But that hope goes hand in hand with a church that actually does practice the sort of eschatological life Paul describes in Philippians 2:1-11
.... There is no evidence that God is interested in coercing Christians into such a life together; why should we expect that at some point God will resort to coercion, a kind of divine violence, in order to usher in a world of righteous love?
The process of mutual giving-and-receiving in Philippians 2:1-11
--offered by Paul as the model for corporate existence together as the Christian community--does inded suggest a very different reading of divine power, and by extension a very different interpretation of Christian eschatology. The church is that gathered community, the eschatological community, which together makes this confession of humble Love Divine. Perhaps other religious traditions, most notably Islam, can justifiably await a dramatically divine denoument to the world as we know it. The church, on the other hand, apparently is called to embody, in the midst of the world as we know it, a radically different reality. Perhaps the church is called to BE the age to come.