Monday, March 4, 2013

Reflection for the Week - March 4

In some churches, people currently receive teaching about kingdom life, kingdom theology, kingdom prosperity, and so on. They learn that the Kingdom of God has already arrived in its fullness and everything is here for the taking. Other churches teach their congregations that the Kingdom of God is important, but not for this present life. These people are taught that the Kingdom of God has not yet arrived, but will at some point in the future. Still other churches completely ignore the Kingdom of God, attaching little or no importance to it whatsoever. All three of these orientations are unhelpful. Better to think of the Kingdom of God as a dynamic action and rule that includes God as Creator, God as love, God as judge, God as the covenant-making King of the universe and Israel. This reigning activity was manifested in the Messiah, the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, the church, redemption now, and ultimately final blessing and judgment on the coming day of Christ. The Kingdom of God, therefore, is to be understood as both already present and not yet complete. Churches that polarize, by teaching that the Kingdom of God is either already fully present, not yet present at all, or to be paid no attention to, fail to adequately represent this tensional perspective. An already/not yet tension is closer to biblical narrative, than a either/or resolution.


carter said...

Jesus said that you can't go looking here or there for the kingdom of God, because the kingdom is 'among you.' I wondered for a while if he was referring to himself. I think he was speaking predominantly of the body of those who work so that the 'kingdom come, God's will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.'

Greg said...

Thanks. Jesus is the major expression of the KOG - God taking charge - and as such the "in your midst" as a response to the Pharisees would seem to be a self-reference.