Saturday, November 05, 2011

kingdom power

Scot McKnight nails it. The work Kingdom has become a flabby term in our current usage ... read his article. I can only add that this is one of my frustrations with the perceived social gospel - it simply isn't the Gospel at all.
. . Too many today have abstracted the ethical ideals from Jesus’ kingdom vision, all but cut Jesus out of the picture, and then called anything that is just, peace, good and loving the “kingdom.” The result is this equation: kingdom means goodness, goodness means kingdom. Regardless of who does it. My contention would be that kingdom goodness is done by kingdom people who live under King Jesus. I applaud goodness at large. This is not a question of either or but whether or not all goodness is kingdom goodness. Some say Yes, I say No.
He continues ...
Get out your Bible and find the references to kingdom and you will discover that it refers to a society in which God’s will is done, with Jesus as the King, where the Story of Israel finds its completion in the Story of Jesus and where that same Story of Jesus shapes everyone. Kingdom refers to that Davidic hope for the earthly world where God sets up his rule in the Messiah and where people live under that Messiah as God’s redeemed and liberated and healed and loving and peaceful and just people.

Yes, feeding the poor is good and it is God’s will for this world, whoever does it. But “kingdom” refers to that special society that does good under Jesus, that society that is buried in his death and raised in his resurrection and lives that Story out in our world today. It makes no sense to me to take this word of Jesus that he used to refer to what God was doing in and through him at that crucial new juncture in time and history and use it for something else.
Very good ... and I'll add that it contains a power beyond human means. For example, Jesus didn't have fund raiser to feed the masses. He didn't recommend occupying Rome to get some government funding to feed them. He didn't send the disciples Costco with a pile of coupons. He just did a God thing ...

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