What is the Kingdom of God?
As Scot McKnight explains, there are basically two schools of thought. One says that doing “kingdom work” is all about doing good works and bringing social justice. The other says the kingdom is all about the redemptive work about God. In his new book Kingdom Conspiracy, McKnight describes a third way for understanding the Kingdom of God. That way is through the church. Essentially he writes that the Kingdom and the Church are one in the same. When you talk about the kingdom of God on earth you are talking about the church. There are many out there who would cringe at this thought. I used to be one of them. Just the word kingdom seems so much more grand than the church. As McKnight points out though, kingdom seems so much better because we look to the end of the world to define the kingdom and we look to the here and now to define the church. In this light the church looks bad and the kingdom looks great. In reality, Jesus is already king and his people are the church.
There’s a lot more to this book and it has caused quite a stir on the internet, but my main attitude toward this book is one of appreciation. So often people write off the church and say that they are going to go do kingdom work outside of the church. Instead, God calls us to build up the church and calls his church to do the kingdom work. While I disagree with McKnight on whether or not kingdom work can be done outside of the church, I will agree that the primary work of the kingdom is done through the local church. There’s a lot of things that can and have been said about this book but I will say this, McKnight does local churches a great service in reminding us that we are called to do the work of the God’s Kingdom in the world. This book is not an easy read and has taken me some time to process, but I certainly recommend it to those studying what it means to be the church in the world.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Brazos Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”