Posted on April 21, 2016
Paul’s communities are the audiovisual aids he can point to, giving credibility to his statements about new life. To people who ask, “Why should we believe there’s a new life?” Paul can say, “Look at these people. They’re different. They’ve been changed.” As Jesus said, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”(John 13:35).
For Jesus, such teachings as forgiveness, healing, and justice are the clear evidence of a shared life. When we do not see this happening, religion is “all in the head.” Peacemaking, forgiveness, and reconciliation are not some kind of ticket to heaven later. They are the price of peoplehood–the signature of heaven–now.