Just finishing reading one of Tom Wright's latest books, 'How God Became King: Getting to the heart of the gospels' (I recommend it but be warned that even the books he aims at a more popular audience are still heavy-weight; and I was disappointed that he didn't explore more fully the implications of his thesis - which is that the gospels are not just about us getting our sins forgiven, being justified and getting to heaven but are about how the God revealed in the story of Israel, which now culminates in the story of Jesus, is the king of heaven and earth, about the universal significance of that fact, and about the surprising and unexpected nature of this reign or kingdom - if you've got a spare hour, he lectures on the subject of the book at Fuller Theological Seminary here).
It is one of a number of things I've read recently on how the Cross must be kept at the centre of our understanding of the Kingdom. In fact, as I indicated in an earlier post here, the first one to really get me thinking about this was the first few chapters of Greg Boyd's The Myth of a Christian Nation, which just blew me away (and it was this which strongly affected my changing views about hierarchy and authority, which I have blogged a lot on). And in fact, I guess this is what I want this whole blog to be about - a different kingdom which is so different from the kingdoms of this world because of the cross; it is the reign of the crucified king, the kingdom of the Lamb who was slain. It is this truth and this reality which just beats at my heart continually now. It is challenging me at the core, and, quite honestly, changing my views on hierarchy is just a little tip of the iceberg in terms of its potential impact. It is challenging me so much on a personal level about how I live and love (or fail to, far too often), about what church is and how we live in community, and how we engage with the world. So my next few posts will aim to explore more of this amazing truth of the Cross-centred Kingdom. Any insights my readers can offer will be greatly appreciated.
Next post: a better way and a better world.