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Here-and-Now

"The non-ethical practices and beliefs in historical Christianity nearly all centre on the winning of heaven and immortality. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God can be established by nothing except righteous life and action."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 15


"It will be a similar increase of health when theology takes in hand the problems of social redemption and considers how its doctrines connect with the Kingdom of God in actual realization."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 17


"The non-ethical practices and beliefs in historical Christianity nearly all centre on the winning of heaven and immortality. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God can be established by nothing except righteous life and action. There is nothing in social Christianity which is likely to breed or reinforce superstition. The more the social gospel engages and inspires theological thought, the more will religion be concentrated on ethical righteousness. The social gospel is bound to be a reformatory and Christianizing force inside of theology."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 15


"Where humans live in the consciousness of solidarity and in the actual practice of love with their fellow-men, they are not far from the Kingdom of God. The great thing in the salvation of humanity is that salvation is present. Life begets life."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 165


"They were often unable, however, to connect one struggle for reform with another; for example, white abolitionists largely ignored lynching and white feminists argued over suffrage for blacks. Those fighting for economic justice overlooked the devastating impact of “progress” on the environment. Nonetheless, these movements shaped the society in enduring ways. They testify to the legacy of struggle, still incomplete, to dwell rightly in paradise here and now. Their commitments live on in the marrow of those today who love this world and who resist all the death-dealing forces in it."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 378


"Rather than engage people more deeply in the world, the Great Awakening lifted the soul beyond earthly life, to the 'upper world.' Edwards’s earthly loves had always to point beyond themselves—to primary beauty—and, as he said, even the love of other human beings was 'secondary beauty.' To look through earth into heaven, through death into eternity, through the beloved into God was the spiritual ideal. To love in this way was always to have your heart, mind, and soul turned elsewhere, perpetually departing the present for something better. Edwards’s beauty did not draw people into ethical engagement with life in this world, but moved them beyond the spirits in trees and clouds, dirt and rain, fish and deer, and bodies and winds. He asked them to dwell with one foot always in another, better world, not here, not now."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 371


"What brought about these changes? Why did Christians turn from a vision of paradise in this life to a focus on the Crucifixion and final judgment? How did images of terror, torture, and the desolation of the earth come to permeate the religious imagination of Western Christianity?"    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 224


"Today this passage [John 3:16] is invariably interpreted to mean that God placed Jesus in the world to die on the cross, but at no point does this story mention death. It does not use the Greek verb paradidomai, the word that John’s Gospel specifically uses to describe the action of those who 'gave' or 'handed over' Jesus to be crucified. John 19:16 makes clear that Pilate, not God, 'handed him over to them to be crucified.' Jesus’s words to Nicodemus are about birth and life, not death and the afterlife."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 40


"When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  He told them: 'Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.' So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere."    - Luke ; Luke 9.1-6


"Where do we find the fulfillment of God’s dream for Israel and humanity? In the way things are now? Or only beyond death? Or in a very different world this side of death?"    - Borg, Marcus J.; Crossan, John Dominic ; The First Christmas


"The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you."    - Jesus ; Luke 17.20-21


"Genuine religion is not about speculating about God or the soul or about what happened in the past or will happen in the future; it cares only about one thing—finding out exactly what should or should not be done in this lifetime."    - Leo Tolstoy ; Path of Life


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