Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The Kingdom of God in a Nutshell

And here’s what the kingdom of God is all about:
In Jesus’ proclamation the kingdom is not coterminous with Israel or any geopolitical entity; neither is it styled as inner spirituality or a utopian dream. The kingdom is a metaphor for God’s dynamic sovereignty throughout eternity (Matt. 13:36-43), already yet secretly erupting in human history (Matt. 13:18-23; Mark 4:22; Luke 17:20-1). Its timing is ambiguous: the kingdom is variously described as on the verge (Mark 1:15; 9:1), already present (Luke 6:20), and yet to be consummated (Matt. 13:24-30; Luke 13:29). A gift from God, not a human achievement (Mark 10:23-7; Luke 12:32; John 3:3), the kingdom upends conventional expectations (Matt. 20:1-16; Luke 9:59-60). It requires radical acceptance (Matt. 18:23-35) and infant dependence (Mark 10:14-15). Those with faith anticipate its surprising future with joy and wonder (Luke 14:7-24); the faithless are hardened in their rejection (Mark 4:11-12, 25).

C. Clifton Black, ‘Kingdom of God’, in The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology, edited by Ian A. McFarland, David A. S. Fergusson, Karen Kilby, and Iain R. Torrance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 265–266; quotation from p. 265

Not quite the kingdom of God: Esch-sur-Sûre, Luxembourg.


  1. On seeing the title I thought that this would be about Julian of Norwich: "he showed me a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought 'What may this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that is made.'"
    - Sandy

    1. Ah, not quite Julian, Sandy. :) Hope you're going okay.