Tuesday, September 04, 2007

[THO] Kingdom of God - Preamble

Yup, as promised this is that new series on the Kingdom of God. It will likely be sporadic and in the next few weeks I'll be revisiting my original series outline. I'll definitely let you know if I plan on a wild deviation.

If you have been around the Freedom Log for a while you will hear me talk of the Kingdom of God a lot. I did a search and was surprised at how often it comes up. That has a lot to do with my denominational home, the Vineyard. Our movement takes the key insight of George Eldon Ladd (which I feel is actually an advance of Dodds even though Ladd takes pain to distance his idea from Dodds) that the Kingdom of God is an eschatological tension. It is the tension of this age and the next age, where this age is pregnant with the possibilities of the next age breaking in at any moment.

This is an important theology for us as it distinguishes us from similar movements like Pentecostalism or the Charismatic movement. It is how we understand the nitty gritty of Christian life, both the struggles and the triumphs. Even though it is so important I find that it is also something that gets lost as the movement grows beyond its Fuller roots. Fortunately the Vineyard in Canada has been working hard trying to ensure that these roots are nourished. Perhaps, in some way, this is my part in helping all of that.

I want to start with the language of the Kingdom. I am of two minds in this regard. On one hand I'm highly sensitive about how language can hinder the sharing of ideas. But at the same time I am convinced that distinct language has incredible value for the groups that adopt it. So here is also a tension. So I anticipate that I will take pains to clarify the language, identify the issues and then continue to go right on using the language of Kingdom. It is comfortable langauge for me, not that this is a reason for using a language, but it does evoke in me that sense of connection to Ladd and the heart of the Vineyard movement.

Hope that you enjoy the series.

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