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The overall emphasis of this is both good and inspiring. I do look for a little more nuanced approach to the commencement of the Kingdom as ushered in by Jesus. To say, for instance, that "Jesus' message is the opposite" (of the desire to be taken away) may or may not be true at the moment, whereas I do get the idea in reading, e.g., Matthew, that he was saying just that kind of thing *for his contemporaries.* In other words, "he set this in motion" is spot-on, but "it is still in play today" is a logical leap. What we have in the gospels, then, records many aspects of a new thing God was starting to do -- the angel, and John the Immerser, and Jesus announced it, and Jesus started it all off. What we don't have is a narrative that says, "This is how it started, and it keeps re-starting that very same way in every generation." In taking some exception here, I am not intending to quarrel with the overall import of what you've written. I believe, too, for example, that the Kingdom is present in the here and now in the hearts of those who are His. The "invasion" language is a little strong for me, setting up military ideas and almost suggesting physicality in God's work rather than a spiritual work in this currently physical realm. I love how you framed the church's role in Kingdom in the last paragraph. I have little interest in such trumped-up notions as the rapture, and I do not wrap my comments in any particular millennial ideas. I do think, though, that such notions as "kingdom of heaven" and "eschatological event" should not be lost based on the belief that God is active as King right now. After all, if no eschatology at all is valid, we have to throw out a lot of Jesus' and the apostles' teaching. (I realize eschatology is complex and confusing arena in itself.) I'm sure you're not wanting to negate the future in God, whatever position you take, but I am wanting to express that it's not an either-or thing. I can look in hope to a future manifestation *while* I believe He is living and reigning in His people's hearts and actions now. Not that I am exemplary with this, but it is possible to believe -- and live out -- with all our hearts that Kingdom is now AND also to be expressed newly in the future. Brian Casey (who is not "D," has not entered "D" anywhere, and has found it exceptionally difficult to get approved by TypePad to comment here)
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Apr 14, 2016