Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Kingdom of God and the Church--An Outline

Much has been said in the last century and a half concerning the relationship of the Kingdom of God and the Church. Some have questioned if the Church is related to the Kingdom of God at all insisting that it was a sociological development by the apostles as a means of maintaining their control after Jesus' death. Others have suggested that the kingdom is totally future and that the Church is merely a temporary phenomenon until God's Kingdom program starts back up. Others have postulated that the kingdom is so present today that it should become become political and transform society (a Christian utopia if you will).

Given the importance that it plays in the teaching of the Bible and Jesus and the abuses that have occurred because of misunderstanding, we need some clarity. Geerhardus Vos provides this in his fine study on the Kingdom of God and the Church. Vos presents a thorough, yet, accessible treatment from a redemptive-historical perspective looking at it from just about every possible angle.

Well, making this book even more accessible, there is a great new resource for helping the reader grasp Vos' argument. Over at Twenty-First Century Tabletalk, Michael Lynch has posted a full outline of the book. With the outline he helps walk the reader through not only the material, but the argument, including helpful quotes along the way.

If you want to read it but not spend any money, then you can read it online for free at Google Books.

[HT: James Grant]

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the links.

    I recently heard or read somebody say that the church wasn't the same as the kingdom of God, since a king has subjects and Christians aren't God's subjects, we're His family. Seemed to me that was taking one particular Biblical concept of the church way too narrowly.

    More helpful, I believe, is how one of my NT profs, R. T. France, defined the kingdom of God. He says it's "that state of affairs where God is absolute king-- beginning with me." The kingdom of God certainly includes the church, as we should be the first to (joyfully) bow the knee to His sovereign will.

    But an intriguing and troubling question concerns those who do not willingly submit to His kingship, but are under His rule nonetheless. Are they and their fate also part of the kingdom of God? We tend to think of the kingdom of God as something uniformly positive . . . though, true, God's vindication of His own righteousness is definitely positive, even if we, this side of eternity, have trouble seeing it as pleasant.

    Something to chew on!