What is the Church and how does it save? The point is not that we have to negotiate between two realities – there is only one cultural reality and this is that established in the body of Christ.
As NT Wright has put this, “No first century Jew could imagine that the worship of their God and the organization of human society were matters related only at a tangent.” That is that who God is—think of the Old Testament means coming out of the nations, forming an alternative economy—what is the economy of the Jews? It’s the strangest economy of the world, it’s built on Jubilee and Sabbath. Every 50 years everything reverts back [debt is erased]. Now, whether the Jews practiced that is in question, but Jesus came preaching, “The year of Jubilee has arrived.” Here is a kingdom, a culture that is going to put into practice the ideas built into Israel. It’s a social rebellion—a departure from the most powerful Empire in the world. This should resonate here. We live in the most powerful Empire in the world. And the tendency is to continue to make bricks.