Yes, it’s been a long time. I was hoping to be more regular here but life, as it tends to, keeps getting in the way. Since my last post on Peter Enns and some random quotes I have been busy: preparing and then “preaching” my very first sermon, working at my new job, helping Mrs. Moogly prepare and then recover from surgery, and trying to get caught up on some much neglected reading. Writing on my blog (and playing my bass) has had to take a back seat for a while. My goal is to post at least once a month (and no, I won’t be posting a review of Enns’ book since it’s been so long and I would have to practically re-read it). So, here goes….
Even though the focus of my sermon, “What is the Meaning of Life?”, was not specifically on the Kingdom of God, the idea of the Kingdom was not far from my mind. And of course this should be the case because as the meaning of life revolves around Jesus, so does the Kingdom. In the next few posts I will be considering the Kingdom of God: what it is, where it is, and what it looks like. I don’t know if you’ve ever considered this before, but I believe our understanding of the Kingdom is a major factor in how we think and act as Christians in this world. To the extent that our understanding of the Kingdom is flawed our testimony of the Gospel will be flawed.
Have you considered, for example, how your conception of the Kingdom of God affects how you think about and deal with the issue of homosexuality—both as this issue pertains specifically to the church and also to society in general? How about the issues of poverty, homelessness and social justice? Politics, greed, and marriage/divorce? In other words, how does our understanding of the Kingdom affect how we think about and deal with life in this world?
Sadly, I do not think the church today appreciates the crucial connection between the Kingdom and our lives in this world; or if we do understand there is a connection, we tend to see it in terms of Israel’s life under the Old Covenant rather than our life in the New Covenant. Obviously I will not be able to engage in a full and in-depth treatment of these things, but I hope that through the next few posts we will allow the Spirit space to shape our thoughts and understandings such that, if necessary, we will re-evaluate how we are living our lives in this world even as we are citizens of another—the Kingdom of God.
In the meantime, chew on these for a while:
“Membership in a local church is nothing more, but also nothing less, than the practical expression, the living out of the truth of the individual believer’s participation in the life of the Triune God—unto the Father, in the Son and by, through and with the Spirit.”
“Whether it is life in the church or life as individuals, our relationship with God—all of the Christian life—is simply the living out practically the truth of who we are.”
“The Scripture does not think about the notion of individual believers, of being a Christian, except as viewed as a community, so that Peter can say: Christ is the Living Stone; and having come to Him you, individually as living stones, are built into a spiritual house so that you will offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God.”
“Hey, how you doing? I’m Kansas and this is my little man, Toto.”
“So many American evangelicals are just infatuated with Jerusalem and rebuilding the Temple and what a marvelous thing that is. God says, “I am building My Temple in My Church!” The Church is the dwelling of the Living God!”
“Frankly, we’re a little mimed out.”
“Despite their orthodox confession of the Trinity, Christians are, in their practical life, almost mere ‘mono theists’. We must be willing to admit that, should the doctrine of the Trinity have to be dropped as false, the major part of religious literature could well remain virtually unchanged.”
“As election is a decision in which God determines His own being, so too is human being enacted in obedient response to this decision. Through His life of obedience for humanity, Jesus Christ objectively establishes the being and identity of humanity. Analogously, subjective participation in Christ occurs in the event of obedience, in which human beings embrace and enact their being as Jesus Christ has objectively defined it for them. God shares Himself with human beings by becoming their gracious Lord. Human beings participate in God by becoming His grateful disciples. Thus, participation in Christ takes both an objective and a subjective form, the former being teleologically directed to the latter and thereby guaranteeing its genuine occurrence. Jesus Christ’s life history, grounded in election, constitutes the covenant of grace, and therefore participation in Christ is participation in the covenant.”
“So when you say psychosomatic, you mean like he could start a fire with his thoughts?”