The author put a lot of stock in his understanding of Luke 17:21 “The kingdom of God is in you.” Theologians have discussed the meaning of this passage at length. The debate is over whether Jesus is saying “inside of you” or “in the midst of you” (both appropriate rendering of the Greek word entos according to the context). Since Jesus is responding to a question posed by Pharisees (by implication unbelievers) it is my understanding that he would be stating “the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
5 Questions about the Kingdom?
This only seems to be a big deal when you start listening to the way people are beginning to use “kingdom of God” speak. The term “kingdom of God” has come to mean so many things to so many people that it is almost mind numbing. I am sure that someone has done the world a great service of defining the different usages of the word “kingdom” and how different camps are using it. I have yet to stumble across it.
To be sure, I doubt the author meant anything more than the rule and reign of Christ. I just question the hermeneutic. However doubtless to say, there are others who carry the same hermeneutic who have begun to talk about the kingdom in purely philanthropic ways.
The question the book raised in my mind are many.
- Is the kingdom now, or yet to come, or both?
- Does God love the poor more than the wealthy? (do the poor need the gospel more?)
- Is the unity of the kingdom centered on the work of the kingdom or the king?
- Is the Kingdom about what the king wants or the what the citizens need or is it the same thing?
- What distinguishes the “work of the kingdom” from others who under take purely philanthropic endeavors like Bill Gates and Oprah? In a nut shell, “What makes mission Christian?” Apparently a current issue of debate (See IJFM Issue 25.2)
As always I would love to hear your comments and get my hands on some resources as I work towards understanding a solid definition of the kingdom.