Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Sunday night was weird and cool as we did the primitive Christianity experience. I got to talk for a few minutes about kingdom. In case you were interested, or you missed it, or even if you don't particularly care, here's an expanded look at what I touched on . . .

Kingdom may not be a great image for North American Culture. We've tried darn hard to avoid being a kingdom. Our government structure divides us into three branches so that nobody can have the power of a king. Do an internet search on the word Kingdom, and you'll get nothing really helpful (I got United Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, & Goat Kingdom). So, to understand kingdom, I either have to be British, love Mickey, or buy goat feed. Whether its a great image for us or not, it is the one we have to work with.

Kingdom of God/Heaven is a past, present, and future idea. For example, Isaiah's words in Isaiah 61:1-3 are for then (past), but they were repeated by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19 (present - Church age), and they sound like they are talking about the end times ("day of vengenace of our God") - Future. We misunderstand kingdom if we don't see it as past, present, and future.

In the past, in Old Testament Time, Kingdom of God was literal (monarchs, castles, armies, thrones, Israel). In the present, Jesus & the church age, Kingdom of God is a bit more symbolic (not trying to kill the Romans or in our case the Muslims) but watching it break in all around us. In the future, . . . well, we'll have to wait and see.

Jesus talked a ton about kingdom.
First, there was the Good News of the Kingdom (Matthew 4:23, Matthew 4:17, Matthew 10:5-10).
Then, there was the Manifesto of the Kingdom (Sermon on Mount, Matthew 5-7).
Also, there were His "shock stories" of the Kingdom (parables in places like Matthew 13).

For much more, read Dallas Williard's Divine Conspiracy. It changed my life.