Tuesday, September 19, 2006

postal scrotum: Jesus the monarchist?

M writes:

In re:

Was Jesus a Liberal?

I read something that made me think of this post:

"Jesus is not a Republican or a Democrat," said John Mark Reynolds, "He's probably a monarchist." When I first heard that at GodBlogCon I thought it was clever; now I find it to be a profound insight. Jesus constantly talked about the Kingdom of Heaven. So why do so few Christians talk about it? One reason, I believe, is that we are now all republicans and democrats (small-R, small-D) and simply don't understand what Jesus is talking about. We may use the term "Lord" and "King of Kings" but-- unlike the vast majority of people throughout history-- we do not comprehend what it means to live under the reign of a king. We need some remedial training on how to live as subjects in a kingdom. We may be justified in rejecting the divine right of kings to rule but we cannot be justified if we reject the rule of our divine king.

Found at:
Evangelical Outpost



Not having a theistic christology, I'll talk only about the parts I agree with, namely: it's true that the center of Jesus' message is what theo students call the KOG, i.e., the Kingdom of God. It's also true that many people who should know better-- that is to say, pastors and priests-- gloss over this fact in their sermons and homilies. People of the cloth go through seminary, where they all learn pretty much the same thing about Jesus' central message.

What the KOG actually is is a subject of some debate. Is it a political analogy referring to something that transcends politics, or is it more literally rooted in the messianic tradition? Is it something else entirely? How does one best approach or express it?

I tend to think of the KOG the way Bultmann did-- it refers to an existential reality, a reality of the heart, not to some objective reality. I'm scatological, but not eschatological.


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