D.A. Carson notes the exilic mentality of the early church, which was not attempting to preserve a particular heritage in a particular land. Elsewhere in the post, Carson notes the tension between being a voice for justice in a democratic society while at the same time preserving a distinct Christian identity that is detached from patriotic nationalism.
Now contrast that with the first Christians taking the gospel in the Roman Empire. They were nobodies. They didn’t have anybody taking away their heritage. They were out to take over the heritage. They looked around and saw an extremely pluralistic empire, and they said with Caleb, in effect, “Give us this mountain.” And they kept witnessing and kept getting martyred, and so on, and there was a revolution, finally—a spiritual revolution.
© 2012, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.