Our temptation is to presume that the work of the Cross in history is finished, that having completed that work, God has now left us to get on with fixing a broken world. But the Cross is not only the means of our salvation, once-and-for-all, it is the means and manner of our salvation at every moment, for all time. As noble as we might imagine coercive power to be, “if only used wisely and rightly in a good cause,” it is not the means of our preservation and salvation.

Fr. Stephen Freeman, “The Mystery of Providence

I’m working my way through David Bentley Hart’s The Story of Christianity, and again and again, it seems, the church, with a view to expanding the Kingdom of God, uses coercive power to achieve that end. How much sorrow and suffering, how much shame to our witness, could we avoid if only we embraced the cross-life as the only way to live congruent with the salvation we have received?