I’m retiring

What do I do now?

I never considered myself the retiring type. But here is: I’ve retired.

After 49 years of training, pastoring churches, working in Christian radio, developing software, and teaching, I’m not looking back. I’m looking forward to pursuing my passion with the time I have left.

It took me decades to discover the question to ask. Finally, just nine years ago, I nailed it down. New Testament scholars often note that Jesus made the kingdom of God the centre of everything he did and said. My question: What difference does it make if we do too?

Talk about transformative! Everything — the narrative of Scripture, the topics for theology, the church as the embodiment of the king in his world — everything finds its place when King Jesus is the centre.

The gospel is the restoration of everything under Jesus as our God-appointed global leader:

Colossians 1:13–18 (NIV)
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Did you notice the connectedness? Kingdom culture dissolves our individualism and isolation, because a kingdom is a community under a king.

That’s my biggest problem with retirement: I’ll miss bouncing ideas off my workmates, exploring how to practice together Christ’s regal transformation of the world.

Yet, this message is so much bigger than me. Holy Spirit is restoring this gospel, so I’ll stay in touch with those who practice it locally and frame it globally.

For example, Joshua Jipp is building a New Testament theology around the theme of Jesus as God’s anointed king (Christ/Messiah). He explains:

The central argument of this book is that the messianic identity of Jesus of Nazareth is not only the presupposition for, but is also the primary (though certainly not exclusive) content of, New Testament theology. I invite the reader to explore with me the question: How much of the NT’s Christology can be understood as messianic discourse? Certainly not all of it, and yet, I want to propose that Jesus’s messianic kingship is something of a root metaphor, a primary designation and driving image for making sense of NT Christology. That is to say, not only do the major NT compositions presuppose Jesus as the Davidic messianic king but they are also creative expansions upon the earliest Christian confession that Jesus is the Messiah of God. And, as we will see, this has significant implications for the NT’s construal of the role and activity of the Father and the Holy Spirit. If Jesus’s messianic kingship is one center point for NTT, then theological reflection upon how his messianic kingship informs our dogmatic and practical theology is worthy of consideration for each generation.
— Joshua W. Jipp, The Messianic Theology of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2020), 3–4.

Many other New Testament scholars (Michael Bird, John Barclay, Matthew Bates, …) are also helping us to shape our understanding of the gospel in line with what Jesus called the gospel of the kingdom. That in turn reframes how we ask people to respond to the gospel. As Jipp says:

Paul’s explicit definitions of what the gospel is come in the little proto-creeds of Romans 1:3–4 and 1 Corinthians 15:3–5, as well as Pauline christological hymns and narratives such as Phil 2:5–11 and Rom 10:1–13. Given that the Pauline gospel climaxes in God’s enthronement of the messianic king, the right response to this king is one of allegiance and fidelity.
— ibid, 13–14.

So, yes: I’m retired. But I can think of nothing greater to live for than complete transformation of the world in the One who sits on the throne and declares, Behold, I am making all things new! (Revelation 21:5).


Update 2020-12-02: Scot McKnight just recognized Joshua Jipp’s book (quoted above) as one top books of New Testament studies released in 2020.

Author: Allen Browne

Seeking to understand Jesus in the terms he chose to describe himself: son of man (his identity), and kingdom of God (his mission). Riverview College Dean

17 thoughts on “I’m retiring”

  1. Huge congrats on this new life stage, Allen! But knowing you, and your passion for this kingdom project, in practice not a lot will change. You’ll just have more time to invest in your teaching and others. Blessings, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Retirement Allen, although I do seriously doubt that retirement will slow down your mission. Quite probably this is just a great opportunity to read & write more, which I’m sure you’re looking forward to. Re your comment – ‘That’s my biggest problem with retirement: I’ll miss bouncing ideas off my workmates, exploring how to practice together Christ’s regal transformation of the world.’ My suggestion is bounce those ideas off friends you catch up with regularly. I’m volunteering!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wishing you a happy retirement. It is worth the wait

    Sent from my iPhone…. Regards Eddy Holman

    >

    Like

  4. Enjoy your reassignment in retirement. I’m sure you will find kingdom purpose in whatever you do in the next season of life. Many blessings to you. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Allen I have valued your teaching especially the Advance in Faith we have been privileged to attend in the past 2 years since calling Riverview home
    Penny & Bill Van Ast

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on your retirement Allen. Now you’ll have lots of time to concentrate your efforts on the things you really have a passion for. Look forward to hearing more from you on the blog front.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations Allen, I have followed you since the days of Microsoft Access’ 97, and more importantly, you have blessed my life with your ministry.
    Be vigilant in your retirement, the world needs your truth…
    Steve McAuley

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How wonderful that you’ll get time to follow you assignment and passion and I’m sure you’ll still be able to have online discussions with colleagues around the world! I certainly am grateful having had you as a teacher and now am blessed to call you a friend! Thank you for you infectious passion on who Jesus is to this world! I look forward to reading more of your blogs 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  9. How marvelous and wonderful are the ways of our Lord, Allen! Just this morning, visiting your website as a long-saved reference on “all things Access,” I found this. God bless you sir, in this “season” of your life, as you work, even in retirement, to advance His kingdom here on earth, in whatever time we have remaining to us to do so.

    I will check the boxes below, so I can follow your future work.

    The timing is not coincidental, as I (nor do I imagine you …) do not believe in it. He ordains all that happens, whether we wish to acknowledge that or not. I am also recently retired here in the western part of America. And our family is reeling under “the weight” of the recent results our 2020 elections (with the many indicators of what may be behind the results …), along with a renewed discussion amongst those close to us about being (after far too many of those claiming to be His children failing to be …) the “salt and light” we see referenced by our Lord …

    Back to Access, I know of you from Crystal Long, another Microsoft MVP, who I have personally worked with in the past. You may or may know know her (her email address used to start with “strive4peace” …), but thought that might be of interest to you in how our Lord works out all things …

    On to now seeing if I can find some answers to my Access questions. Related to trying to “dust off” skills I once utilized much more fully than I have the opportunity to do in the latter stages of my career before retiring …

    P.S. In this time of growing concern about censorship, privacy, and the like, after stating I would never have an online presence (e.g. I never have and almost certainly never will be on either Twitter or Facebook, especially with their current role being played on all that is happening politically in America …), I have been writing some myself on a platform tied to these (fascinating?) “virtual worlds” being created on top of blockchain technology. If of even the slightest interest to you, in learning more, please email me and we’ll “talk” …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Roger. So good to hear from you, and to know we have mutual friends. Many years ago, Crystal contributed the set of video tutorials on this page:
      http://allenbrowne.com/casu-22.html
      Our confidence is that the world is cared for in the authority of the king who is above all kings and presidents, the leader whose authority endures forever.
      God bless, Allen.

      Like

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