”The gospel calls forth a way of living that is the opposite of religion. For faith it is precisely the threat of the future, the possibility of the new and different that separates me from what I already have and am, that gives me my true self. This is the life given by the word of forgiveness, which tells me I may forget the past and its determination of the present and live for the future. The gospel makes of the present the moment of decision, an act of commitment of the past to the future. Things presently at hand become opportunities for decision. And so space becomes the arena of meeting such opportunities.
In the pattern of life evoked by the gospel, God, far from being our posit to defend ourself from the challenge of the future, is the challenger, the speaker of the word that detaches us from that status quo and lets us live for what is coming. The God of religion is the absolute and changeless Presence. In direct antithesis, the God of the gospel is the Coming one.
The present reality of this God, his being now for us, is therefore not a quasi-spatial nearness but rather the event of this word that opens the future being spoken. The God of the gospel does not now exist, analogously to things in space; he happens. Worship of this God is not a relation to a Presence out or up or in there; it is a relation to the future. The overcoming of the separation from God that occurs in prayer and praise is not an appeal to a distant one but to a coming one. And his present is not a presence, but an occurrence of the word of the gospel being spoken between us, the occurrence of our telling each other the story of Jesus as the story of our joint destiny, and of our acting that story out as we do so (the sacraments).”
- Jenson, Robert W., 1995: God, Space and Architecture. I: Essays in Theology of Culture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing. S. 13. (Published in Response VIII (1967): 157-162.)