Wednesday, January 28, 2015

KC (3) Geopolitical Kingdom

In chapter 12, Scot McKnight summaries the themes of Kingdom Conspiracy in fifteen theses. In the next few posts, I will list them, and comment on them.

Thesis 1

The word “kingdom” in Judaism (the Old Testament, Josephus, etc.) has a natural synonym in the words “nation” and “Israel,” not the words “redemption” or “salvation.” Thus, kingdom is front and center about a people and cannot be limited either to a social ethic or a redemptive moment.
I agree with this. A Kingdom is a geopolitical reality. It is an area of land and a group of people that is under the authority of a king. Making the Kingdom of God to a spiritual reality, limits it seriously.

Thesis 2

Kingdom is— almost always, with varying degrees of emphasis— a complex of king, rule, people, land, and law. Church is also a complex: a king (Christ), a rule (Christ rules over the body of Christ), a people (the church), a land (expanding Israel into the diaspora), and a law (the law of Christ, life in the Spirit).
I agree with Scot that a kingdom has a king and a law and involves a land and a people. His application of this to the church is a bit limited. Jesus is the King and the people is the Church, no argument about that. He suggests that the new law is summarised in the Sermon on the Mount.
What about the Torah? King Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount as the Kingdom Torah for kingdom citizens(Chapter 6).
I think this is a weak. In his teachings about economic life, Jesus pointed back to the Torah and showed how it applies in the modern world. I have explained this in Principles for Economic Life.

Scot suggests that the land is the church.

We should see local churches as the land promise… (Chapter 6).
This does not really wash. The fulfilment of the land promise requires location-based churches that establish God’s authority over a neighbourhood or village or area of land. I explain how Churches can operate in a location-based way in the Being Church Where We Live, without imposing authority over other people.

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