Tag Archives: Enacted Inaugurated Eschatology

What Is Kingdom Theology?

On one level answer the title question is easy enough (i.e. it is a theology system based upon enacted, inaugurated eschatology). Yet on the other hand, it is a question that is hard to understand and live out (i.e. is King Jesus really king of everything in our lives?).

In my wilder moments, I dream of answering the question of “what is Kingdom Theology” via a book I’ve been writing…granted I have been working on it for many years now and will most likely will be continuing to work on it for many more years to come…

In the meantime, I recently discovered a relativity short definition of Kingdom Theology on Bill Jackson’s website taken from a lecture by Derek Morphew, the South African Vineyard theologian, practitioner and pastor who is the best (in my opinion that is) Kingdom Theologian out there.

After you finished reading that definition, make sure you check out the rest of  Bill Jackson’s resources as they are fairly cool. =D

The First New Universal Bapticostal Post Modern Charismatic Church of Reformed Rhetoric

I was working through my RSS feed today when I stumbled up a great post by my aunt, Tura Zapata, who is also a pastor/elder at LifeHouse Ministries in Beaumont, TX, about the church’s tendency to exchange “the Gospel of righteousness in Christ Jesus for religious rhetoric.”

To quote the beginning of her post:

“Rhetoric – The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively;  speech or discourse that pretends to significance but lacks true meaning.

This could be an abbreviated name of the church in the world today; the sign would be bigger than the building if we put in all the titles that were left out!

“The First New Universal Bapticostal Post Modern Charismatic Church of Reformed Rhetoric”  (tongue –in – cheek, but no chuckle here, I don’t think God is laughing)

Paul dealt with the same problem with the believers of his time. The church at Corinth had taken on this title only the names were different!

You may be questioning how this could be, for the church has only tried to answer the need of the society and culture of the people it embraces today; struggling to stay relevant letting go of doctrinal dogmas becoming more inclusive. The five fold ministry has survived and signs and wonders are supernaturally performed. What have we missed?

The next statement [from God] hit me harder than the first.  ‘Since the gospel being preached is one of rhetoric, then the response becomes rhetorical, having no practical application, or urgency to answer, no power to change and requires no true faith to endure. It results in unbelief or disobedience.'”

While she goes to develop this point a bit more, it was this last line above that really got me. To lose the ‘practical application’ of the message of Jesus…. to lose the understand that to meet the living Jesus is to change, to be set free from bondage of all kings (addictions, shame, guilt, sin, evil, injustice, death, judgment, etc.)…

That is a sobering thought – or, at least, it should be!

Continue reading The First New Universal Bapticostal Post Modern Charismatic Church of Reformed Rhetoric

Inaugurated Eschatology

I ran across an awesome post today about inaugurated eschatology by J. R. Daniel Kirk (NT Professor at Fuller) that I just HAD to share!!

“Inaugurated eschatology is the conviction that the power of the kingdom, the promised fullness of God, will burst forth and provide in rich abundance here and now, even when we cannot see with our eyes the fullness of the harvest.

“Inaugurated eschatology is the summons to move out on faith, trusting that the smallest seed will sprout and bring forth a plant in which all the birds of the air can find their food.

“Inaugurated eschatology is the summons to begin to feed the hungry with the little we have, trusting that the God’s kingdom economy of abundance is not constrained by the lack by which we would measure it.

“Inaugurated eschatology is trusting that if we truly become servants, loving others with the self-giving love of God in Christ, that life untold will spring forth from that place of death.

“The danger of inaugurated eschatology is triumphalism, that in our round proclamations that all things are made new we might miss the fact that we cannot measure with our eyes and hands, yet, the abundance of God’s kingdom.

“The solution is to remember that it is still eschatology, about the end–and that in Jesus-eschatology the great and climactic end comes by way of the cross.

“We still walk by faith, not by sight. And the way we walk is the one to which the Crucified summoned us: take up your cross and follow me.”

The Most Misused Biblical Term

Scot McKnight (Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University) recently published an article in RELEVANT Magazine about the misuse of the term “Kingdom.” Seeing how I use that term a lot, I thought it would be good to point you all towards this article (granted, McKnight stops just short of the eschatology nature of the word as used by Jesus). 😀

“The most misused biblical term today is “Kingdom.”

One of my college students told me her sister was not working in the Church but was doing “Kingdom” work and “justice” work at a social service. Another student explained to me she was joining hands with a local inter-faith group to further peace. She called it “Kingdom” work and added, “It has nothing to do with the Church.” There’s a common theme here: the “Kingdom” is bigger and better than the “Church.”

We are using this word, “Kingdom,” both to cut out things we don’t like—evangelism and church—and to cast a vision for what we do like—justice and compassion. But it’s time to give this word “Kingdom” a fresh look, because we’re misusing it.

The word “kingdom” comes from Jesus, and so to Him and His Jewish world we must go. It was impossible in Jesus’ world to say “kingdom” and not think “king.” Either the word “king” referred to Caesar, the empire-building, worship-me-or-die emperor of Rome, or it referred to Israel’s hoped-for King, the Messiah. When Jesus said Kingdom, He meant the Messiah is the one true King and Caesar is not.”

Go here to continue reading this article.

Kingdom Theology vs. Covenant Theology

I have been thinking a lot lately about the differences between Kingdom Theology and Covenant Theology. I’m not sure what sparked this line of thinking but it has been interesting to ponder nonetheless. 🙂

Kingdom Theology (A Brief Summary)

At its core, Kingdom Theology is an inaugurated eschatology system that seeks to focus on the Kingship of Jesus. Within this framework, the present time in which we live is caught between two ages – the present evil age ruled by sin and death and the Age to Come, which is ruled by Jesus Christ into eternality.

Through the birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension of Jesus (plus Pentecost) the Age to Come has broken into this present evil age, existing together in a tension that will be removed at that last day when all is set right and God dwells among His people face-to-face.

Covenant Theology (A Brief Summary)

By far the largest stream of Protestant theology, Covenant Theology is based upon an understanding of three main overarching theological covenants (redemption, works, grace) that are said to be interwoven into one over-all eternal covenant.  The three covenants are considered ‘theological’ in the sense that they are not explicitly outlined as such within the Bible.

Within the Covenant Theology stream there are many, many variations as different groups seek to focus on certain parts of each covenant. There are also disagreements on how the Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and New (Jesus) covenants related to each other and/or either they fit within the three larger theological covenant systems.

Continue reading Kingdom Theology vs. Covenant Theology

A Response to Annihilationism by Rebecca Miller

I hope you all enjoyed our guest series by Rebecca Miller from Trinity International University – well, ‘enjoyed’ as much as one can considering the topic… 😕

As I mentioned at the beginning, I recognize that this is a touchy subject – I debated with myself for several weeks before posting it… Recent events within Evangelicalism (i.e. Rob Bell’s new book and the controversy surrounding it) spurred me to go ahead with the series as it seems that this topic is still on the metaphorical table within Christianity.

One of the craziest thing about the “Rob Bell/Love Win’s Controversy” is the shear amount of reactionary media buzz created a month before the book is released. This tells me that people – Believers – need to slow down and think through why they believe the way they do. This is one of the reason I love Rebecca’s paper – she takes you on a journey through the “interpretive lens” of both sides (traditional and annihilationism), ending with the conclusion that both are “biblical” and can be held by Bible believing Christians.

Rebecca also warns us – as does Steve S. in the comments – to be careful how much beyond the Scripture we take an issue or a doctrine. A lot of the time, God is calling us to let Him decide those matters instead of trying to figure everything out in our own human wisdom.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

As we end this series, I wanted to look at the issue from an enacted inaugurated eschatology viewpoint – seeing how we are a people called to live between the Ages. Specifically, I want to look how the Gospels use the words “eternal life” and “eternal punishment” (touched on by Rebecca in Part 3).

“Eternal Life” and “Eternal Punishment”

The phrase “eternal life” is often used in the same context as the “Kingdom of God” or “Kingdom of Heaven” – which can be defined as God’s rule and reign.  In that context, the phrase to me means more then simply ‘living forever’ (whether in heaven or hell). Instead, it means that God is releasing the life of the Age to Come into this Age (i.e. life from eternity).

Continue reading A Response to Annihilationism by Rebecca Miller

Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World

kingdom comeKnowing that I read some…um…strange books, I’m always on the look out for books that simplify the Kingdom message of Jesus. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of books out there talking about the ‘here and not yet’ of the Kingdom – instead, most Christian books tend to be of the self-help variety; or some kind of cheesy Christian romance (which is why I HATE going into Christian book stores!!)

Today though, I would like to introduce you to Allen Wakabayashi. Allen is the Associate Pastor at Twin City Bible Church and the Teaching Specialist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Illinois – Champaign/Urbana. More importantly for our purposes, he is the author of “Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World.”

This is a book that seeks to “bridge the gap from the scholarly literature about the kingdom to the normal Christian who is not familiar with the academic material.”

Hands down, Allen pulls it off.

“Kingdom Come” is a great introduction book to Kingdom Theology – i.e. the theology of that Jesus is King of everything (created and uncreated; spiritual and physical) and He is in activity involved in the world today, bring the future Age into our world today.

Interesting enough, Allen credit George Ladd as an influence – which is pretty cool seeing the influence Ladd has made on me.  🙂

Continue reading Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World

Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 3 of 3)

coffee cupJesus’ deeds were also a sign post declaring that the kingdom of God had come among men. The book of Isaiah mentions that when the Day of the Lord comes there would be salvation for all people: the deaf would hear, the blind see, the lame leap like deer, the dumb shout for joy, and those imprisoned would be set free  (Is 29:17-19; 35:5-6; 42:6-7; 49:8-9) [Derek Morphew, Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom, 38-39]. Luke 7:22 and Matthew 11:5 give testimony that all of these signs were accomplished through the ministry of Jesus Christ: “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor” (Mt 11:5, New International Version).

In addition, Isaiah 43 declares that when “the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King” comes He will “remember your sins no more” (Is 43:15, 25 New International Version). The Gospel texts show that Jesus of Nazareth, unlike any of the previous prophets of Israel, publically forgave the sins of the people without referring to the Temple sacrifices (Mt 9:5-6; Mk 2:5-10; Lk 5:20-24; 7:48; Jn 8:11). In effect, Jesus was simultaneously declaring Himself God while demonstrating the fact that the Day of the Lord or the Kingdom of God had come among men forever. Continue reading Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 3 of 3)

Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 2 of 3)

FlowerReturning to the teachings of Jesus, this understanding of the “kingdom of God” helps to explain sayings such as Matthew 6:33 (also Lk12:31): “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (New American Standard). In other words, seek first the reign and rule of God in your life and He will take care of the rest.

However, there are others teachings of Jesus that do not seem to fit with the concept of the kingdom being the active rule and reign of God. In these teachings, Jesus talked about the coming of the “kingdom of God” as if it was something that was coming soon, or something that had already come. In order to understand how these passages fit within the above definition of the kingdom of God, we will need to turn to the Old Testament writings.

Within the Old Testament there is a duality where God is described both as currently being the king of world and as some day in the future being king over the world. Psalm 103:19 states that the “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all” (New International Version). Yet, Obadiah 1 talks about the “day of the Lord” when God will become King of Israel and punish all those who do not follow Him. Continue reading Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 2 of 3)

Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 1 of 3)

desert pathLast month I wrote a short paper about the definition of the term “kingdom of God” for my Fuller class on the Gospels. Originally, I was going to wait until I received a grade for the paper before I posted it online…but since it looks like Fuller is taking their time grading it, I figure I would go ahead and start posting sections of the paper for your reading enjoyment.  🙂

Note that while I am going to save the full bibliography until the end, I will try to include references throughout the journey so that you (and all the copyright lawyers out there) will know where I gathered my information. 😛



The Gospel texts declare that the central message of Jesus Christ was the “kingdom of God” (Mt 4:17; 9:35; Mk 1:14-15; Lk 4:43). Unfortunately, the phrase is not defined in the Gospel texts as the Biblical writers most likely assumed their readers would already know the meaning of the phrase. This leaves the modern reader in the predicament of having to define the phrase based upon the Old Testament writings, Jewish intertestamental literature, and the particular contexts in which Jesus used the phrase. Accordingly, this paper will seek to briefly define the phrase the “kingdom of God” and look at its impact on the teachings of Jesus. Continue reading Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 1 of 3)