Saturday, February 05, 2005

I'm at the point in my teaching curriculum with seniors this year where we are studying post-Reformation theologies such as Calvinism, Arminianism and the new comer to the block, the open view of God. I always like talking with teenagers over these topics because they only care in so much as it matters to them and don't carry the pride of knowledge as in pastor circles. This whole conversation became healthy reminder to me that the large majority of evangelical church has bought, hook, line and sinker a reduced gospel. One that is only about atonement, forgiveness and where we go when we die. It doesn't matter that the discipleship language of the New Testament is dominantly in the Greek present tense of continuous action. We are called to be followers of Christ and become the people of God, not just get saved. Our reduced theologies have no responsibility for personal or communal spiritual formation. We've so systematized it that we've lost the wonder of the Story that we are a part of.

The Gospel of the Kingdom is that it is accessible now. I love this quote from Willard's Divine Conspiracy by Muggeridge:
"Jesus' good news then, was that the Kingdom of God had come, and that he, Jesus, was its herald and expounder to men. More than that, in some special, mysterious way, he was the Kingdom." -Malcom Muggeridge Jesus; The Man Who Lives.

I don't want to only bring critique to a church at large that has stripped the Gospel of its power for now, I also want to first look inward. I can articulate Kingdom now, teach it, write it, believe it . . . but do I live in its reality? It has direct implications to who I am and who I'm becoming. I want to walk in the power of the Resurrection now and display that power to the needs of people to the glory of God. Kingdom now is the most practical theology for real life and I want to live it and proclaim it so that others can taste of its goodness.

Stop and notice the Kingdom around you today,

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