Scott Hodge

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The Kingdom of God – Today

Nov 6, 2007
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Still making my way through Brian McLaren’s newest book, Everything Must Change.  I’m about half way through and so far, like all of McLaren’s books, this one has me chewing, wrestling, digesting, swallowing, regurgitating, chewing again and still scratching my head in a few spots.  But overall, it’s been a challenging read for me – in a good way.

In chapter 16, McLaren ponders the question of what type of metaphor Jesus might use TODAY to explain or describe the alternative framing story of Jesus he captured in the phrase "Kingdom of God." 

I agree with McLaren that this is a phrase that is not always easy to grasp – because for most of us who have grown up in the church, this "kingdom of God" was always seen as something that was all about the future – after we die – in Heaven – instead of about God’s ongoing work of transformation and redemption in our world NOW.

So McLaren gives us four examples of the kind of metaphors Jesus might use today if he were confronting the "security, equitiy, and prosperity systems" of today.  (I realize I’m at risk sharing a few "snippets" like this from the 16th chapter of a book that dives into this whole thing pretty deep, but these are some good thoughts…)

Divine Peace Insurgency

  • Jesus came to launch an insurgency to overthrow that occupying regime.  Its goal is to resist the occupation, liberate the planet, and retrain and restore humanity to its original vocation and potential. 
  • It is a merciful insurgency, a wisdom insurgency, a hope insurgency, a generous insurgency, a courage insurgency, a compassion insurgency, a faith insurgency, a peace insurgency.

God’s Unterror Movement

  • When groups of seemingly disparate people defect and band together in the way of Jesus, they form what we might call unterror cells.  They secretly plot detonations of hope.  They quietly conspire to set of explosions of spontaneous kindness.  They plan gentle coup d’etats to replace regimes of domination and oppression with movements of empowerment and service.  In a complete overthrow of violent terrorism, they fly airplanes of generosity into towers of need and plant improvised encouragement devices by roadsides and in neighborhoods everywhere, seeking God’s kingdom and equity.

New Global Love Economy

  • A wise relational economy that measures success in terms of gross national affection and global community, that seeks to amass the appreciating capital of wise judgment, profound forethought, and deepening virtue for the sake of rich relationships.

God’s Sacred Ecosystem

  • The goal of all of these is to "see God’s primal creative dream for our world come true…"
  • This mutual embrace – God embracing our pain and ugliness, and humanity embracing God’s mercy and beauty – creates the possibility of a new beginning where we stop working against God.  Instead of pursuing our own selfish dreams – whether they are individual, ethnic, religious, political, economic, or national – we seek for God’s dream for creation to come true, and we are restored to our place in God’s sacred ecosystem.

One Response to “The Kingdom of God – Today”

  1. Chilly... says:

    thanks for the “cliff notes” just in case it takes me a little while to get to this book…
    when is your book coming out??

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