… as a community of expectation, the church must resist the temptation to view itself and its work as part of a progression, or process, rather than in terms of partial fulfilment and anticipation. In late modernity, this is more of a risk than ever, particularly as we grow further removed from the devastation of the Great Wars and their shattering effect on the early modern myths of progress. Recessions apart, we live in a context in the late modern West in which we are surrounded by symbols of progress, carried along in the technological slipstream of Moore’s Law. All of this, along with the growth of the middle classes and the acquisition of power by those outwith the elites, can lure the church into seeing itself through the lens of a new myth of progress, seduced by notions of power and effectiveness. Such notions may inevitably affect our understanding of how the church functions in relation to the political or social spheres and they can pull us away from the daily acts of martyrdom that must mark us as people of the Lamb. For our hope to be true, it must begin and end with God.
Grant Macaskill in : Living Witness. Explorations in missional ethics edited by Draycott and Rowe.