The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission and Reception of Faith,
Andrew F. Walls, T&T Clark, 2002
Chapter 2, "Christianity in the Non-Wstern World" (pp. 27-48), page 30
Finally - for us - Walls then puts finger on the church's problem:
Christians have no abiding city, no permanent sacred sites, no earthly Mecca; their new Jerusalem comes down out of heaven at the last day.
This is what causes dying in the centre; a refusual to engage - in the way that Judaism does - with the nitty-gritty of living in this world and making a difference here. As long as you have your eyes focused on the end-game and the here and now are of no real consequence, you lose touch with reality, with people and their lives. Life, after all, needs to be lived in this life for as long as it is given. We don't escape from our bodies, our countries, our finances and our families. These still all have to be coped with and accomodated; these still need to hear about G-d and how to have an active, relevant and vibrant relationship with Him. Pie in the sky when you die is of no earthly use when you and your children are starving (physically or spiritually).