“Why do we not speak with that same simplicity, that same urgency and that same absoluteness [about eternity]? Perhaps we do not believe it as absolutely as Paul did, nor do we live as if we believe it. We are simply not that occupied with the things that are eternal, and therefore we are unable to persuade men. We need to press mankind to come to terms with eternity, even though they will accuse us of being dogmatic, narrow-minded and intolerant, and yet that will be enough to intimidate many of us to silence. There is nothing more embarrassing and intimidating to the modern Christian than to be considered narrow and dogmatic. It did not, however, intimidate Paul. Eternity is not a narrow concept, and the world needs to be disturbed by people who cannot contain themselves, who are beyond the issue of taste, politeness and good manners, who burn with the reality of eternity, and who take every opportunity to express the things that are Divine.”
-Art Katz, Apostolic Foundations
I think that if we really believed that eternity was breaking in upon us, we would (and should) speak with such conviction that it would seem like narrow-mindedness that we’re so definitive, especially to those with a life so rooted in the here and now. The problem with a toned-down, “everything will pan out” eschatology is that you really don’t have to do anything about it. It’s simply a doctrine you believe–you only agree with it in your head. This sounds very Western Christianity to me, and it’s exactly the mindset I’m trying to break out of. If Jesus is coming soon, things must drastically change.