Like a football team with some self-respect, but not a ton of it, Christianity in North America has every expectation of playing a decent game, but no expectation of winning it. This is why — on all the sexual glue issues — we fight battles in various states, and sometimes we win them. By this I mean homosexual marriage, polygamy, etc. But that indefinable sense of inevitability, the mojo, lies with our opponents and not with us.
The reason for this is that expectation about “winning” or “losing” is getting dangerously close to eschatology, and Christians want to keep eschatology as one of those optional things,” about which Christians can agree to disagree. Sure, we can agree to disagree about eschatology and still go to Heaven together when we die. We can have different eschatolgies and stay out of malicious blog wars about it (the millennium being a thousand years of peace that Christian like to fight about). But we cannot disagree about eschatology and frame a coherent game plan. We cannot disagree about eschatology and have any agreed upon idea about what to do with our wide receivers. Hint. We should try to score points with them.
Islam, Marxism, and Progressivism all have optimistic, historical eschatologies, and no sound basis for it, and Christians actually do possess a kingdom that will one day cover the earth, and we cannot be prevailed upon to act like it. For the Muslims, Allah will do it, and for the other two, the inexorability of evolution or dialectical processes will do it. But Allah has the disadvantage of not being there, evolution has the disadvantage of never having happened, and dialectic processes died when the dirt hit Hegel’s coffin. But Jesus did die, and He did come back from the grave, and God has made us kings and priests on the earth.
We are two minutes into the second quarter, and half of our coaches (trained in Dallas, but not by the Cowboys) want all our plays to be “taking a knee.” “But the wide receivers . . .” I say, and then trail off. We go into the huddle and I suggest that we air one out. Send the receivers downtown. Our opponents will totally not be expecting that, since we have taken a knee for the last eighteen plays. One of the other players looks across the huddle at me, and says that we really need to guard against a spirit of triumphalism. And I say to myself, but only to myself, “I can’t believe Isaiah said we were going to win this game. I can’t wait . . . the fourth quarter is really going to be something . . .”