Is There a Theodicy Built into Kingdom Theology?

Is There a Theodicy Built into Kingdom Theology?

The above question was recently posed to me by a friend and it made me stop and think for a bit. Is there something inherent in Kingdom Theology that accounts for the problem of evil (i.e. theodicy)? And if so, what is it? It was – and is – a very good question. (For those unfamiliar with the term ‘theodicy,’ I’ve included a brief overview at the bottom of this post) If we are talking about generic kingdom of God theology (i.e. inaugurated eschatology), then I would have to say that there isn’t any one theodicy inherit to that theological system. This is because inaugurated eschatology is primary focused on answering the question of when the end-time promises of God will be fulfilled (i.e. is God’s rule and reign here today? Is it delayed? When is it coming, etc.?). Accordingly, it is possible to add inaugurated eschatology onto whatever theological and/or theodicy worldview you might already have. This is how you get people as diverse as N.T. Wright, Wayne Grudem, Scott McKnight, Derek Morphew, Bill Johnson, Greg Boyd, and R. Alan Street all promoting different views on inaugurated eschatology while using kingdom language. The definition of Kingdom Theology promoted by myself and others within the Vineyard worldwide movement (e.g. John Wimber, Derek Morphew, Don Williams, Bill Jackson, etc.) is one of ‘enacted inaugurated eschatology.’ This is a theological worldview that starts with the life and ministry of historical Jesus before building out other theological concepts. Meaning that everything is seen through a lens of the here and not yet of the ages. Being ‘enacted’, it is a worldview that...
Kingdom Theology Resources (Updated)

Kingdom Theology Resources (Updated)

A year ago I posted a list of Kingdom Theology resources for those wanting to know more about the Kingdom of God. This post is an updated version of that original post with even more resources for those wanting to know about the Kingdom. The resources listed in the first section are dealing with the theological foundation of Kingdom Theology while the second section contain books whose focus in the practical application of Kingdom Theology. Have fun digging into these books and wrestling with the concepts found between their covers.   Section One: Theological Foundation of Kingdom Theology   Kingdom Theology Proper Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom by Derek Morphew – If you were to just read one other book on Kingdom Theology, this would be the book I would recommend. Derek Morphew is a South African Vineyard pastor, scholar and theologian who has been studying, living and teaching Kingdom Theology for decades. This volume beautifully captures his view of Jesus’ message of the enacted inaugurated eschatology.  Morphew also has published numerous other books on Kingdom Theology through Vineyard International Publishing. Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World by Allen Mitsuo Wakabayashi – This is a good starter book on Kingdom Theology and what it means to join God in His Mission to redeem all of creation to Himself. Sadly however, Allen fails to take Kingdom Theology outside of the parameters of conservative evangelism (i.e. no signs and wonders or healing prayers in this book, just a focus on Bible studies and living a life devoted to Jesus). Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the...
Kingdom Theology vs. Covenant Theology

Kingdom Theology vs. Covenant Theology

Within the Scriptures there are eight major covenants or contracts between the Creator King and humanity. Of these contracts, six of them are given to thirteen individuals: Adam, Eve, Noah and family, Abraham, Phinehas and David. The remaining two covenants were between God and the people of Israel.  Details about each of these covenants can be seen in the below chart. (This chart is a modified version of the one created by Bill Jackson in his book The Biblical Metanarrative.) Covenant Type Parties in Covenant with the Creator First Scriptural Reference Adamic Royal Grant Adam and Eve Genesis 1:26-30 Noahic Royal Grant Noah and every living creature Genesis 9:8-17 Abrahamic A Royal Grant Abraham Genesis 15:9-21 Abrahamic B Suzerain-vassal Abraham Genesis 17 Sinaitic Suzerain-vassal The people of Israel (including the non-Abrahamic descendants who left Egypt with the Israelites) Exodus 18-24 Phinehas Royal Grant Phinehas Numbers 25:10-13 Davidic Royal Grant David 2 Samuel 7:5-16 Messianic Royal Grant The people of Israel and Judah Jeremiah 31:31-34 The reason I’m mentioning these eight covenants is that I want to talk briefly about a theological lens that focuses solely on these covenants. This lens is called Covenant Theology and is practiced by a large portion of Protestants. It first gained popularity during the Protestant Reformation through the teaching of John Calvin (1509-1564) and continues under the Reform or Calvinist movements. Covenant Theology in its simplest form is a theological lens that sees two overarching theological covenants throughout the Bible, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. The covenant of works basically states that if humanity obeys God, then God would give them...
Remembering Dr. Bill (Jax) Jackson

Remembering Dr. Bill (Jax) Jackson

I went camping this past weekend, relaxing under a shade tree while my son dug holes in the ground (LOTS of holes and tunnels, mustn’t forget the tunnels…). Keeping me company on this trip was Dr. Bill Jackson’s “A History of the Christian Church: Book 1: AD 70-1730.”  Ever since last fall when I heard that Bill (or Jax as those in the Vineyard called him) was publishing a book on church history, I have been wanting to read it. Some extra birthday cash gave me the excuse to download the book to my Kindle and, well, the rest is history. =) In a kind of sadly odd way, this reading of Jax’s book turned out to be a tribute to him as Dr. Bill Jackson passed away while I was camping (June 7, 2015) after a long battle with his health. A tribute… yeah, I think I can call reading Jax’s book on history a tribute as he spent his life telling the story of the scriptures through the lens of a pastor/historian. His first book was a history of the Vineyard movement called “The Quest for the Radical Middle.” This was one of the first books I read when I joined the Vineyard Movement twelve years ago. Published in 1999, this book told the story of the Vineyard, warts and all. Lite on fire by the Spirit during the Jesus Movement of South California, the founders of the Vineyard (Kenn Gulliksen, John Wimber, Bob Fulton, Lonnie Frisbee, and others) tried hard to walk the line between Pentecostalism and Evangelicals, having traits of both but belonging in neither...
Top 14 Books For Every Pastor or Church Leader

Top 14 Books For Every Pastor or Church Leader

My friends over at Think Theology have started listing out their top books every pastor should either own or have read. After reading over Able Baker, Robby McAlpine, and Kenny Burchard lists, I just had to respond as I think they missed the mark on some must have books!! 😀 1)    “Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom” by Derek Morphew The Scriptures tell us that central message of Jesus and the 12 was the Kingdom of God. Sadly the original meaning behind these words have been shifted and changed as the years march by. Building upon the works of George Ladd, Albert Schweitzer, John Wimber and others, Derek Morphew lays out the historical and biblical foundation for the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God in human history. If you are at all interested in Enacted Inaugurated Eschatology of Kingdom Theology, you simply MUST read this book. 2)    “The Pastor: A Memoir” by Eugene Peterson I first read this book a few months after I became a senior pastor, and I have to say that it did more to shape my view of pastoring than any other book I have ever read. Drawing from 30 years of experience as the pastor of a small 300 member church in Maryland, Peterson shares the tough times and the good times, the happy times and the not-so-happy times. And in doing so he lays out an amazing pastoral model built on empowering the people to be the people of God. 3)    “God’s EPIC Adventure” by Winn Griffin A lot of Christians know the different Bible stories, but very few actually know how they are connected....