(We had a wonderful visit with L.L. Barkat last evening. I will post on it tomorrow. And I'm fighting a healthy cold, which I was able to mask pretty well with strong, drowsy medications for our visit. So my head is still a little in the clouds this morning.)
The theological idea that God acts from the future into the present is one that I think indeed has merit. Of course God acts from the past as well, specifically from the work of Jesus accomplished for us and for the world in his life (of which his ministry is an important, strategic part), his death and his resurrection. This work done in the present is through Jesus' ascension as Lord, having all authority in heaven and on earth. And by the continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The future is God's will realized in Jesus. All God has done and continues to do has as its goal and working, moving us towards that future. This future is when God brings all things into conformity to his Son in his resurrection in which all creation is renewed in the new creation in Jesus.
It's good to know because I often live with the past haunting me, and the present often not encouraging me. But when I realize that God in Jesus is at work in my life to prepare me for the future, this is helpful. Actually it is not just helpful, but important, because we're to be ever changing toward God's goal for us in Jesus. And in that changing we're to do what God is doing, or better put, what God wants to do- and it's his work, through us! This is the work of bringing something of the new creation into this world even now. All we do in the Lord here and now, is not in vain! It may be an uphill battle, with many pitfalls and dangers along the way, but it's not just about us. God is working his future in us in the present, so that we can work this future by the Spirit into the present around us. In the lives of others by prayer, listening, love, acting and speaking. And with reference to all of creation, so that all we do as stewards of the earth and in fulfilment of God's will for us is, in Jesus new creation stuff (this includes potentially all we do, not just "spiritual" works), that somehow in God's mysterious and wonderful working, will have an impact now and in the life to come, when heaven and earth are joined as one, in Jesus.
(This comes from thinking in regard to N.T. Wright's latest book, Surprised by Hope, which no surprise, I'm not quite finished with yet!)
Just some thoughts to think about with reference to Scripture and life. What might you add to them?