Offsite Review: The Kingdom of God edited by Morgan and Peterson

The Kingdom of God

In a previous life I actually left the house occasionally other than to take my nieces to school in the morning.  I used to work for a local association of churches in Chicago and part of my work with them involved working with Mission America’s City Impact Roundtables and the Chicago Prayer Summit.

I thought quite a bit about the concept of the Kingdom of God in relation to the way that local churches of a variety of denominations relate to one another.  But even that is a very small sliver of the way that the concept of the Kingdom of God is used in scripture, in history and eschatology.  The Kingdom of God is reviewed by James at his blog (Thoughts, Prayers and Songs: My Journey from Self-Absorption to Doxology).  And it is intentionally written by a group of scholars as part of the Theology in Community series from Crossway.

The proclamation of Jesus was that ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand.” However a lot of ink has been spilled trying to explain what the ‘Kingdom of God’ actually is. The classical liberal position was that the Kingdom denoted God himself in his power. Others (like Walter Rauschenbush) implied that the Kingdom was embodied by righteous life and action. Liberation theologians and others  claim the Kingdom is a challenge to current social structures while theonomists and reconstructionists argue that the kingdom is a restoration of Israel’s law (21-23). The great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, understood the Kingdom of God as an idealist ethic which we ought to live out.  Emergent Christian definitions of the kingdom often denote a present reality without much of a future orientation. Certainly there are aspects of truth to all of these models but none dooes justice to the richness of the Biblical material and theological tradition.

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