“The earlier Christian tradition was based on an understanding of God’s work as manifested in the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The word that summed this up for them was patientia (hypomonē in Greek) [patience]. In their patience-shaped perspective, history is safe in God’s generous hands. So people who worship God and follow Jesus do not need to control things; they do not rely on the power of the state to vindicate their point of view; they do not fret their brows or hurry; and they never impose their view by coercion and force. And somehow, spontaneously, carriers of the gospel show up—slave women, business people, people of no account—and the church grows, spottily, unsystematically, and by ferment” (The Patient Ferment of the Early Church: The Improbable Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire, pp. 294–295).
What Alan Greider has summarized here is so strange to our Christian faith. We are so unprepared to live this way; so unlike our habits as modern, especially American, Christians.