The Apocalyptic Obedience of the Church

The Strange Triumph of the Lamb

kasemann“Christ’s dethroning of the principalities and powers is primarily a heavenly event which has not yet become known everywhere on earth, not yet been everywhere verified, still awaits completion and, for this reason, obligates the earthly community to mission…This community must therefore answer the question as to what earthly reality corresponds to their message of redemption; indeed the more strongly it brings forward a present eschatology, the more urgent the question becomes…

We have to give a twofold answer.  In the first place, Paul distinguishes sharply between the Church as the redeemed and the world as the unredeemed creation and thus modifies the apocalyptic scheme of the two aeons.  For the Church is for him…an entity similar to the world: it is the world in obedience to God.  In the Church the powers, except death—note the eschatological reservation which is made even here—have lost the lordship to Christ, whereas they…

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