“Nowhere in the New Testament do we find any expectation that in the course of the centuries mankind will become Christian, so that the opposition between the world and the Church would be overcome in historical time. But the contrary is true: the Christian community or Church will be a minority until the end, and therefore the battle between the dark powers and the powers of Christ goes on until the day of judgment. If there is any truth in the apocalyptic pictures we find in the New Testament, we have to say even more. The apocalyptic visions are unanimous in depicting the end of time, the last phase of human history before the coming of the day of Christ, as a time of uttermost tension between light and darkness, the Church and the world, Christ and the Devil. Certainly the Church of Christ is moving on, is spreading over the surface of the earth. It may be that it is growing inwardly in power and outwardly in extent and influence, but at the same time the powers of evil are growing too and are capable of using the progress made by mankind in bringing natural forces into its service…Nowhere does the New Testament promise and earthly state of peace, of social justice, or universal international relationships conforming to the idea of justice and humanity.


….Every conception of the time-process influenced by the idea of progress is unmasked as utopian, contradicted by reality just as much as by biblical doctrine….The hope we have in Jesus Christ goes beyond history. History cannot contain what God has in store for us….The perspective of the Gospel is eternity. Anything perfect cannot be brought about in the narrow frame of temporality and terrestrial life…..That is why utopias of historical progress cannot seduce those who believe in Christ. Utopias are the straws to which those cling who have no real hope; utopias are as unattractive as they are incredible for those who know what real hope is. Utopias are not a consequence of true hope but a poor substitute for it and therefore a hindrance and not a help. The hope that is in Jesus Christ is different from all utopias of universal progress.

…Wherever the Church becomes very popular the suspicion cannot be far away that such a church is catering to the public by falsifying the gospel…. The scandal of Christianity exists as a scandal only so long as we are full of ourselves…The foolishness of the gospel is divine wisdom to all those who have been healed of the perversion which consist of making man’s reason and goodness the judge of all truth, that perversion which places man instead of God in the center of the universe. The gospel is identical with the healing of this perversion, which in its depth and real significance is diabolical. It is the victory of God’s light over the powers of darkness.”

(Emil Brunner, The Scandal of Christianity, p.109-115)