Friday, November 21, 2008

Near Christianity

What is the "Gospel of the Kingdom"? That question caught my attention in 1994 as I prepared to teach an Institute of Biblical Studies in Hungary on "The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ."

Jesus proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom throughout Galilee (Matthew 4:23) and Paul seemed quite comfortable spending two years in Rome proclaiming it. Yet, at that point, if I tried to articulate it myself, well, I wasn't sure what all I would have said.

I found most helpful the writing of George E. Ladd, in particular his book by that name, The Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in Kingdom of God, and his A Theology of the New Testament, which has been one of my favorite references through the years. There were other works I dipped into, including Mortimer Arias' Announcing the Reign of God.

But I have found it intriguing that in the years since, more and more voices have been speaking out loud regarding the gospel of the kingdom. Perhaps they were before I simply hadn't heard them. But now it seems quite common, so that young seminarians in the course I teach, might think of the gospel as first and foremost the gospel of the kingdom. (Not all, of course, but some.) This seems quite different than what was true in previous decades. (Okay, I date myself with such a statement.)

Here is a recent expression, from Breakpoint Ministries, entitled "Near Christianity."

What do you think of the authors summary of the gospel of the Kingdom? What about the implications and applications he makes to the contemporary Christian culture in the US?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mr Jenner -- An Official Video of his Life Story

On Jan 28th of this year, I posted a blog on Mr. Frank Jenner and his amazing witness. Today, I received a comment upon it, notifying me of an new video of his life story and amazing witness. It is worth publishing anew...