Whatever Happened to the Kingdom?

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Tonight in our spiritual formation class we talked a great deal about the Kingdom of God (or Heaven).  In fact, we seem to talk of the Kingdom more than anything else.  This may sound odd subject matter for a spiritual formation class, but my prof believes it is essential.

He believes that many today dislike the “spiritual formation movement” primarily because it often seems to be disconnected with the actual Gospel.  For many, spiritual formation means little more than integrating psychological techniques into Christian life(for better or worse, depending on your perspective). 

What is so great about my profs perspective is that he takes this criticism very seriously, so seriously that is approach is undergirded and permeated by Jesus’ Gospel of the Kingdom of God.  In fact, one of his great laments is over how the Kingdom of God has by and large disappeared from the church.

His simple question “where is Jesus’ Gospel in the church today” resonates with me.  I’ve only heard a handful of sermons about Jesus’ Gospel, and all of them occured in just two churches.  Sadly, Harnack’s criticism of Jesus proclaiming a Kingdom and instead leaving a church has become a prophetic indictment of the church’s proclamation.

So what DID happen to Jesus’ Gospel of the Kingdom of God in the church today?

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3 responses to “Whatever Happened to the Kingdom?

  1. Good to find a fellow Kansas (though I have been living in Texas for two years).

    I randomly came across this post, but I feel it is worth dealing with (even though it’s been almost 6 months since you wrote it).

    The Gospel has been hidden by our own selfish desires. On the right of theology, Christians have either become pragmatic and issues driven while on the left the Gospel has become too offensive (or implausible).

    Likewise, the Gospel is not a short little story that we can summarize in five minutes. I’ve found that full presentations of the Gospel with people who have no background in Christianity can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours…and with people who have some understanding or upbringing in Christianity it can take days.

    The Gospel is a difficult pill to swallow – it reveals us as what we are. No one, especially in our feel good culture, wants to face the reality of themselves.

    Those are my thoughts. Feel free to visit my own blog at http://www.thechristianwatershed.com

  2. That should read “Kansan.”

  3. jborofsky,

    Thanks for stopping by. I do agree with you that we have much “unlearning” to do in the church today. I’ll have to check out your blog. Thanks again for dropping by.

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