Systematic Christian theology contains debates over when Jesus will return and if and when he will establish his Kingdom on earth to reign as the perfect ruler in a perfect kingdom. This is called “eschatology” and I have some cool diagrams here showing the various types schemes Christians have creatively generated. Also I posted here how various groups have used end-time thinking to deal with their lots in life.
Besides these systematic end-times speculations, Christians also debate on whether to be of-this-world (Christian activists, liberation theology …) or out-of-this world (Amish and others) [see here for some verses]. Of course most believers fall between these extremes if they even think about it at all since most believer are cultural, cafeteria Christians. BTW, does anyone know of the systematic theological term for this issue?
Tom Rees reviews an interesting article that shows that Italian Catholics want the benefits of heaven now, while Dutch Calvinists would rather wait for a greater gain. The study uses Atheists as a control. So my wonderings are: Did theology seeped into nominal Christians, or did the mood of the land seeped into their theology? Or, is it true that theology sneaks into culture over time and affects even nominal Christians? For certainly all these Italians and Dutch folks aren’t conscious of their theology.
Question for readers: If you had to choose, would you be a Dutch Calvinist or a Catholic Italian? 🙂