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Sep 18, 2009


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Travis Greene

Even before Jesus it wasn't just looking backward. The prophetic idea of the "day of the Lord" and the coming Messiah was the bookend opposite Moses for hundreds of years. The real shift, I think, with the coming of Jesus was the two-stage, already but not yet nature of the kingdom, where what Jesus accomplished decisively is worked out through the world.

None of which detracts from your main point, of course. I like Paul Tillich's "The Decline and Validity of the Idea of Progress" for this topic.

Michael W. Kruse

I'll have to think about that one some more.

The distinction I was going for was that in the O.T. they were forward looking in the sense of looking for that bookend. But relative to Christian thinking it was more passive. They were looking to the past and its restoration. Some tried to force God's hand ... speed him up ... with covenantal obedience or violent zealotry. They were moving forward while looking backward ... looking to restore what had been lost.

Seems to my Christianity anticipates progress toward something new and unique and our focus becomes the proleptic arrival of this new thing rather than the recovery of something lost.

Dana Ames

Thomas Cahill's "The Gifts of the Jews" made the linearity of time one of the biggies for human civilation as a whole.


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