First post in a long while…
This past winter I gave four talks on the Kingdom of God. The forum for these was Gutenberg College’s Community Classes on Tuesday nights.
The Kingdom of God had became a focal point in my thinking as I concluded my studies at Regent College last year for several reasons. One of the (many) books that was particularly influential in provoking my thinking on the kingdom was N.T. Wright’s, Jesus and the Victory of God (click here).
Wright’s book is controversial at many points, but one of his main contentions is unassailable: the historical Jesus of Nazareth believed, taught, and acted as though the the long-awaited Kingdom of God mattered more than anything else AND was being inaugurated with his arrival and ministry. Many down through the centuries have debated just what Jesus’ claims concerning the kingdom meant, how literal they were, and to what extent the kingdom’s fullness was actualized (or not) during the first advent and subsequent resurrection/ascension.
What everyone can agree on is that the Jewish hopes of the long awaited kingdom– when God would put everything right for Israel–looked nothing like it was supposed to in the person and ministry of a Messiah who invited sinners and prostitutes to participate in the kingdom and went and got himself killed by the Romans.
Adding my own voice to the debate, the questions I wrestle with during the talks were as follows:
- What is the content/substance of the Kingdom?
- What is the timing of the Kingdom?
- What is the geography of the Kingdom?
- To what extent is the Kingdom a current reality versus a future hope?
- Who gets to participate in the Kingdom?
The four talks are outlined as follows:
- Talk 1: Defining the issue: the geography, substance, and timing of the kingdom (three views/perspectives: Futurist, Amillennial, and Preterist)
- Talk 2: Jesus’ ministry inaugurating the kingdom (the Amillennial view)
- Talk 3: The Preterist view of the Kingdom: 70 A.D., the Baptist and Jesus’ calling judgment upon Israel, and the Coming of the Son of Man
- Talk 4: Attempting the impossible: holding in tension all three perspectives
Each talk is approximately an hour and thirty minutes including Q&A. You can access each of them off the Gutenberg College website here.