Eschatology was critical to Stringfellow’s thinking, and particularly the imperative of living today in the light of the resurrection. I’m challenged by his thinking here on the link between eschatology and ethics.
I’m familiar with the approach to faith that presents it as legalism – here are the laws, now just get on and do them. These laws, whilst perhaps saying something true about people and the world, are stripped of their power for change when they are extracted from an eschatological framework of understanding. But we are called to live here and now in the light of the glorious resurrection of Jesus which pushes in all around us impacting on all aspects of our lives, not just that of our faith lives.
Or maybe even that last sentence requires a change. All of our life is our faith life.
The Gospel version of the event of Jesus Christ verifies the significance of the incongruous tension between the Word of God and the common existence of the world (read 2 Cor 11, 12). The assurance of faith, in biblical terms, is that we live in that awesome incongruity until it is reconciled as the Kingdom of God. In other words, eschatology impinges incessantly upon ethics. A biblical person is one who lives within the dialectic of eschatology and ethics, realising that God’s judgment has as much to do with the humor of the Word as it does with wrath.
Simplicity of Faith, 1982