Thursday, May 20, 2010

I can't be the first to have thought this...

Have you ever wondered if the church IS the "second coming"?
The Body of Christ, sent out into the world to help usher in the kingdom of God?
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the very breath of God that animates all things?
So Pentecost is the beginning of this "coming again"...and we're still busy looking into the sky like on Ascension Day rather than seeing Christ all around us?

No way am I the first person to have this thought. I might be the first to say it out loud and not get burned at the stake (so far), but...

It's kind of interesting to think about, don't you think?

(that's all the thoughts I have about it right now, because I don't have time or energy to actually pursue the line of thought to any deeper place until life in our community slows down just a tad...)


  1. Actually Schleiermacher beat you to it by about 180 years, but it's still a fine thought.

  2. Thanks Richard! I knew you'd come through for me. Can you tell me where he wrote about it? I'm hoping to read more... (and since it's someone I've read before, that probably means I didn't even think it up for myself. LOL.)

  3. You see hints of it in CF ~160 where he talks about the return of Christ being synonymous with the consummation/perfection of the church. Sch. is very squirrely in these passages (trying not to get burned at the stake, as you suggest), but it's really the clear implication of his whole theology. I think you find similiar ideas in Bultmann and Tillich, but don't hold me to that.

  4. Strike that bit about Bultmann and Tillich; I don't see it there. So it's just you and Schleiermacher (and Floyd, of course). I'm sure it shows up in other places, but I'm not sure where.

  5. OMG, google tells me that book is 788 pages long. Is that for real?


    Why yes, I did just order it on Amazon. Might as well read some real stuff in addition to the princess books this summer, right?

  6. 788 pages of turgidity. I do recommend some secondary resources along the way. Gerrish's A Prince of the Church is a good place to start.

  7. hmmn... i like the idea of the church as the second coming. just in case this is true, it seems that we (the church) might need to be more consistant about letting the spirit, not institutional beaurocracy, guide.

  8. I've thought about this before too, though I think it is important to distinguish the church as it is now from the church as it will be when we finally "get it right". In other words, the church as the Body of Christ is not the "second coming" until we actually live out Christ's vision of the kingdom of God. That begs the question: is such a thing ever possible?

  9. John--yes, definitely. Unless, of course, the kingdom is actually most present when we are striving for it. (could it be possible that the kingdom of God is not static and so is not something that can ever be fully acheived? I don't know--I'd have to think more about that.)

    Whether it's possible or not...I'm not sure, and I'm also not convinced it matters. I don't think the answer to the question should/would change our striving toward that vision. (sort of the same idea that supposedly makes predestination "good news.")