Monday, November 7, 2011

King or Kingdom?

This Story of Israel meme is kicking up a lot of discussion about how interpretations of Kingdom of Heaven/God affect Christian practice and outlook. Reading various blogs , especially Scot McKnight's discussion of his gospel of Jesus, a question has introduced itself in my mind.

Is the gospel about Jesus primarily or about the Kingdom itself? Jesus spends a lot of time discussing the nature of the Kingdom and what is expected of his followers behavior - supposedly in relation to their role in the Kingdom. In fact, compared to the Kingdom discussion, Jesus' kingship hardly comes up in the Gospels. In the synoptics, rumor equates Jesus' activity with that of the Baptist, implying a messenger role for Jesus. Even in John's Gospel, Jesus casts himself as a servant doing the will of the Father, not his own.

I am increasingly thinking that McKnight is off on a tangent that, while intellectually interesting, will prove a theological dead end.

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