"What ultimately emerged were congregations that believed that in their own experience of transformed human relations lay the beginnings of the redemption of the world. Their leaders addressed them with such seriousness on these points because so very much was at stake. Christ came, died, and rose again. The world at large remains in the grip of dark forces, of principalities and powers, and evidences evil at every turn; and yet in Christian churches new seedlings of eschatological community can be found--and must be protected. Here rich and poor, young and old, male and female, Jew and Greek, slave and free, celebrated God's transforming love in Jesus Christ. And before this love all stood equally in need, equally blessed, and equally overwhelmed with gratitude. Until Christ returned, these communities would seek to live in love toward one another and to all. Instructed to avoid all forms of malice and ill-will to anyone, Christians would instead seek and contribute only good to their neighbors--beginning with their near neighbors in Christian community but extending far beyond 'the household of faith.' They would do so until Christ returned, the hope of which was often invoked as ground and motive for their way of life." (113)
Excerpted from The Sacredness of Human Life: Why an Ancient Biblical Vision Is Key to the World's Future.
This may be one of the most lovely one paragraph summations of the New Testament theological vision I have ever encountered.