"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
September 17, 2007

Pausing For Effect

On a Christian Forum I read, a regular posted a question on the nature of the Kingdom of God. The topic received one reply and sunk quickly. It was surprising and maybe revealing. The following is the response I gave, What someone has to say about the Kingdom of God will probably reveal everything important […]

On a Christian Forum I read, a regular posted a question on the nature of the Kingdom of God. The topic received one reply and sunk quickly. It was surprising and maybe revealing. The following is the response I gave,

What someone has to say about the Kingdom of God will probably reveal everything important they have to say about salvation and about living the Christian life today, including what we understand the nature and function of the church to be.

For me, The Kingdom of God is “the Trinity in Creation.” That takes us from the creation, through God’s plan of Salvation, the incarnation of Christ, the advent of the Spirit and the role of the church as the community of the Spirit. It also takes us forward to Christ’s return and the final eternity.

The Kingdom of God has a character that is revealed to the extent that we yield lordship over our own lives. This is a way of looking at the world that we commonly describe in terms of “faith,” which really means orientation (allegiance) towards God and acting with grace.

This can seem rather obvious until we remember how often our eyes are averted from the Kingdom and how narrow and partisan our attention can become. The Kingdom of God is a doctrine that compels us to lift our heads and look around, to re-survey our terrain and to reconsider our allegiances.

Too often those of us within the Christian church become so political, so worldy, so short-sighted that we take a sub-Kingdom of God approach and become partisan in ways that speak to other priorities – which often have their root in pride, envy or other sins. I’m as guilty as anyone on this front.

There is something wonderfully elusive in the definition of the Kingdom, something evident in the many ways that first Jesus and then Paul spoke about that resists easy categorisation. No one church embodies the whole Kingdom, though many cults claim to. No one theologian summarises it fully though many ranters claim to. No one movement fully manifests it, though many schismatics claim to.

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Responses
Toni 15 years ago

It probably sank from a combination of unfortunate timing and requiring a more detailed answer than ‘PC or Mac?’.

Paul 15 years ago

and cos it’s the very wild untamed version… 🙂

Isaiah 15 years ago

I think one of the reasons people are worried about discussing the Kingdom is because they are afraid that admiting a present kingdom is denying a future Kingdom. Both the old and new testaments show that the Messiah will eventually establish the Kingdom of God on earth and every knee shall bow. The Kingdom Jesus talks about is not this Kingdom directly. He speaks in parables and analogies described a Kingdom that is grows to a massive size from almost nothing and something that is with in you. Jesus’ Kingdom is one where people do not wory about worldly things but with all attention seek ‘his Kingdom and his Righteousness’. There is so much to talk about in the kingdom. So much. There’s issues about Justice, Life, Love, Future and Community.

Fernando Gros 15 years ago

Toni – not sure. My guess is it sank because “the Kingdom” is not a living theological idea in the churches that regulars on that forum attend. In fact, a great deal of what I have heard espoused as having a “Kingdom mindset” might readily be dismissed as liberalism, socialism or any other convenient “put God in a box” ism.

Fernando Gros 15 years ago

Paul – Wild and untamed theology? I like it.

Fernando Gros 15 years ago

Isaiah – you’ve stopped me in my tracks. I have never considered that some people may worry “…admiting a present kingdom is denying a future Kingdom. ” That’s a powerful insight and one that I will look for in future discussions. Thank You.

Beyond that, I agree fully that the Kingdom has so many practical and present implications.

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