eschatology and the orientation of the church – Hamilton

Keith sent me an email updating his topic…  So i’ve dropped the email into a post and connected it to the agenda for ya’ll!


Hi Peter

I want to change the title.  The previous one is something of concern to me in my PhD studies, but there is something else that is related.

Another issue of interest is around eschatology and the orientation of the church.

The Basis of Union is an eschatological document with images of being on a journey with Christ, of God through word and sacraments nourishing the church that it might not lose the way.  However, that orientation seems not to be evident at present.  There seems not to be an appreciation of being an eschatologically enthusiastic community, of the church being an expression or sign or sacrament of the kingdom or reign of God on earth.  So language abounds of being a voluntary association, of a social club or family rather than a community.  This then leads to looking for what is wrong, and smart ideas to fix things such as new structures, or programs, education, mission shaped church, get the right minister and we can fix things, a winsome looking to glory days of the past rather than being a sacrament of the presence of God breaking into this age.  This engages with the four scenarios of Keith Suter in that while he starts a  conversation about the future of the UCA, aspects of many of those four scenarios are possible in a UCA that reappropriates being an eschatologically enthusiastic community.  In many ways it is a theme that Chris Mostert sought to engage the UCA without success.  I would be interested to introduce this topic with some brief comments for discussion.  I may have something more by Wednesday.