Genesis 2 introduces such an intimate picture of the one who structured heaven and earth according to his command. We receive our identity from him. He sculpts the human from clay, and breathes his own life into him (2:7). In the grounds of his palace he cultivates a garden. From his own person flows the abundance that sustains life—the tree, and the river, and the riches (2:9-14).
The sovereign calls the human to participate in his reign. His task is to work and guard the palace grounds (2:15). The kingdom of God is a partnership: Continue reading “What does it mean to be human? (Genesis 2:15-25)”
Genesis 1 revealed who God is and who we are. Genesis 2 reveals how we were intended to live in his presence.
There was a place known as Eden. From the perspective of the people telling the story (Israel), it was to the east. The sovereign planted a garden there, “in Eden” (Gen 2:8). Does that suggest that Eden was something more than the garden?
Continue reading “Was Eden God’s palace? (Genesis 2:1-14)”
We saw that Genesis 1 reveals our sovereign establishing two realms: heaven and earth. The first half of this narrative (Days 1-3) culminated with the sovereign placing lights in the sky as signs that earth is under heaven’s rule. The second half (Days 4-6) also culminates with the sovereign installing images of his reign.
Continue reading “Who are we? (Genesis 1:20-31)”
The Bible is, first and foremost, the revelation of God. With this post, we’re starting at the beginning to hear its message about the kingdom of God. It begins with the God of the kingdom.
God is ruler of two realms that derive their existence from him: the heavens (his world) and the earth (our world). Our world lacked shape and significance until
Continue reading “Who is God? (Genesis 1:1-19)”
If you’re in Perth, Western Australia, you’re invited to a course I’m teaching as part of Riverview’s Foundations 2 series: Continue reading “Free course in Perth”
I’d really love to dive straight into some New Testament examples of how to read the Bible from a kingdom perspective, but we can’t start there. We acquire the perspective from the Jewish Scriptures, and then apply it to the Gospel stories. Continue reading “Reading with a kingdom perspective”
If there is an aspect of the kingdom that divides opinion, it is the question of when. Some (e.g. dispensationalists) have a strong commitment to a future kingdom (e.g. the millennium). Others perceive the kingdom as already here in the present—realized (or at least partly realized). The “when?” question Continue reading “A present or future kingdom?”
From time to time, I’ll post about special offers from Logos Bible Software since that’s what I use for my research.
Each month they offer a free book, and a heavily discounted one. For May 2016, these are both by Alister McGrath: Continue reading “Free book (Logos)”
It gradually dawned on me. I’d waded slowly and carefully through the Second Temple literature (Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Josephus) so as to see with their eyes, to gain their worldview. And there it was! The reason Jesus never defined the kingdom of God for his hearers was Continue reading “The “Aha” moment”
Jesus taught his followers to seek first the kingdom. And what he taught, he did. (There’s a book opportunity right there: if Jesus operated with integrity, how does his life explain his teaching, and how does his teaching explain his life?) Continue reading “Why didn’t Jesus define the kingdom?”
Here’s a quick quiz. No trick questions: just consider the words you would use to describe some of the central tenets of the Christian faith. Please take a moment to record your responses before reading on.
- Who was Jesus (his identity)?
- What did Jesus come to do (his mission)?
- What was the good news according to Jesus (his gospel), in one sentence?
There is no one right answer Continue reading “Questions”
“Seek first the kingdom of God …” (Matt 6:33)
The way Jesus told it, the most important thing in life is to seek the kingdom of God. He said it is more important than healthy eating or wearing the right labels or gaining popularity (Matt 6:25-29). But what did he mean by “Seek the kingdom!”? What is Continue reading “Why this blog?”