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Kingdom Talk

3 July, 2003 3:18 PM

On Tuesday I read the four gospels.

I did so asking the question — 'What is the Kingdom of God?'

Jesus spent a lot of time preaching about it, telling stories that described it and encouraging his followers to do likewise. It is central in his language and focus (especially in Matthew) — so what is it and how should it be informing the way we live both as individuals and church?

A lot has been written on the topic, but I'm yet to find a description of it that really satisfies me. Having said this I do like how Pete Ward talks about how 'the kingdom offers an ideal of the reign of God in the world...The kingdom is the dynamic, kingly rule of God. It is also the arena which this reign is experienced.'

Tuesday at Living Room I described it as being 'life according to God'. By that I mean it's living at its ultimate — as God designs and desires it to be — in its fullest sense.

It's a dynamic and moving thing. It's about change and growth. It's where God values are lived out. It's a surprising place — upside down when compared to religious and world standards. It is invisible yet a powerful reality. It is rich and life giving. It is higly valuable yet the poor have prominance in it. It is among us yet not fully yet. Its organic, its lavish and it permeates everything. Its worth giving up every thing for.



Have you read anything by N. T. Wright? I've read his book "The Challenge of Jesus," it goes into Kingdom stuff a lot...very insightful, I thought. He has some more in-depth books on the subject too, I believe. Check it out.

Jonathan » 4 July, 2003 12:40 AM

Kingdom of Heaven is fairly unique to the gospel of Matthew. He uses Kingdom of God like 4 times. Vine's will tell you (pg. 345) that "Wtih regard to the expressions 'the Kingdom of God' and the 'Kingdom of Heaven', while they are often used interchangably, it does not follow that in every case they mean exactly the same and are quite identical."

To my understanding, when Matthew uses the phrase "kingdom of heaven", he means the earthly realm of God's influence.

Very good stuff. I really like the way you described it.

Missy » 4 July, 2003 1:23 AM

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