I hope you don’t mind that I share some of the things I am currently reading. It helps me to save some of the thoughts here that I want to remember.
Lately, I’ve been reading and listening to quite a bit of NT Wright. I am actually new to his work – a fact which totally irritates me – but that’s another topic. I love his understanding of the gospel and the kingdom within the larger frame of God’s story.
Paul’s Gospel and Caesar’s Empire
By N.T. Wright
Center of Theological Inquiry (1998)
For Paul “the gospel” is the announcement that the crucified and risen Jesus of Nazareth is Israel’s Messiah and the world’s Lord.
The gospel of the true God, then, unveils the covenant faithfulness of this God, through which the entire world receives health-giving, restorative justice.
If Paul’s answer to Caesar’s empire is the empire of Jesus, what does that say about this new empire, living under the rule of its new lord?
It implies a high and strong ecclesiology, in which the scattered and often muddled cells of women, men and children loyal to Jesus as Lord form colonial outposts of the empire that is to be.
…an advance foretaste of the time when the earth shall be filled with the glory of the God of Abraham and the nations will join Israel in singing God’s praises.
…modeling justice and peace and unity across traditional racial and cultural barriers…
It claims to be the reality of which Caesar’s empire is the parody.
You might enjoy this earlier post of mine about finding our identity within a proper understanding of the gospel of the kingdom.