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...
It’s Here!!

It’s Here!!

I’m happy to announce that my book, The Here and Not Yet: What is Kingdom Theology and Why Does it Matter?, has officially been released!! Book Description Life is messy and rarely simple. There are times of victory when things seem to be going really well and times of struggle when things seem to be falling apart. The way we process these ups and downs of life is extremely important as it sets the tone for everything in our lives. Kingdom Theology provides a worldview that allows us to embrace the tension in which we live. It is a worldview based upon the central message of Jesus that the kingdom of God has come, is coming, will be coming soon, and is delayed. Written in an easy to read conversational tone, Joshua Hopping’s book, The Here and Not Yet, seeks to develop a scriptural framework for Kingdom Theology before exploring how this worldview changes the way we live. In holding the tensions of life together, we are better able to respond to the challenges of life while following the lead of our king and savior, Jesus of Nazareth. Where to buy the book? The physical book can be ordered through Amazon.com. Those with an e-reader can purchased the book through Amazon (Kindle), Kobo, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Scribd, and Inktera. Endorsements  “I am…keen to see the baton passed to the next generation. Therefore, when a writer much younger than I comes along and shows not only a wide reading on the subject, but a passion to articulate the kingdom to his generation, I can only be delighted.” –Dr. Derek Morphew,...
Confusion Over Kingdom Theology

Confusion Over Kingdom Theology

In my upcoming book (The Here and Not Yet: What is Kingdom Theology and why does it matter?) I define Kingdom Theology as a way of life that acknowledges that through the person of Jesus, the new age of life broke into human history and provided humanity with a new way to live life, while also acknowledging that the rule of evil, sin and death is still actively resisting the leadership change (i.e. enacted inaugurated eschatology). We are only six days into 2017 and already there has been two news articles written about Kingdom Theology. And unfortunately, they both miss the mark on defining Kingdom Theology. The first article (Jan 1st at PJ Media) directly defined “Kingdom Theology” as the desire use government power to create the God’s kingdom “here on earth.” The author then proceed to tell his readers that this view was incorrect. Rather the modern Christian shouldn’t “try to force” the kingdom to come down to earth “before the right season has come.”  In doing so, the author not only reduced the kingdom of God to a political nation, but they also embraced a delayed eschatology worldview (i.e. God’s kingdom is in the future somewhere and Christians just have to wait until it comes). The second article (Jan 3rd at Religion & Politics) talked about an “attitude shift about Kingdom theology” in which the kingdom of God changed from being a “religiously pure…and established after a period of apocalyptic upheaval to a vision of communities of mutual concern that support diverse forms of human flourishing in the here-and-now.” In other words, this article defined Kingdom Theology...
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...