How can we talk about the kingdom of God when everything has gone wrong?
God reigns? What does that mean? Does it mean I’m a conqueror who can defeat any enemy and no evil can touch me?
This morning I woke to news that cut deep into my being. Someone I’d met briefly, a servant of King Jesus from our own city here in Perth, had died. Geoff Freind from Morley Salvation Army had gone to Malawi to proclaim “Good News!” He was attacked on the streets, and died in hospital. His wife and four sons are trying to come to terms with the tragedy. Continue reading “How can you say God reigns?”
Before we resume our series in Genesis, would you like a taste of how a familiar text jumps to life when read from a kingdom perspective?
John 3:16–17 (ESV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
This text expresses God’s love for his world, i.e. the gift of his Son who changes everything. Jesus is indeed the central character of the entire biblical narrative, so let’s situate this familiar text within the story of God’s kingdom. Continue reading “John 3:16 — a kingdom perspective”
What is the relationship between the kingdom of God and the church?
If you’re interested in kingdom topics, you will know this one generates considerable debate. We’re in Genesis where there is no direct reference to the church. Nevertheless, if you miss the significance of the early chapters of Genesis, it can undermine how you read the rest of Scripture. Continue reading “Kingdom conspiracy? (Scot McKnight)”
Would you like a summary of all we’ve discovered?
Let’s pause our Genesis series here. Before we begin the Abraham story, it would be good to review why we are using a kingdom perspective, and how the story sounds so far. We will then provide a taste of how this perspective reshapes the way we hear familiar texts like John 3:16.
Why are we reading Scripture from a kingdom perspective? Continue reading “The kingdom story in Genesis 1–11”
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?”
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?)
If the kingdom of God was the core of Jesus’ life and message, why do we have so much confusion
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?”