Thursday, April 12, 2007

Eugene Peterson on The Kingdom of God

[This was posted by Howard Baker in the Denver Seminary Campus News this week. It gives us much to ponder. Peterson is, to my mind, the best devotional writer of our day. I have not read this book, though.]

"Jesus' metaphor, kingdom of God, defines the world in which we live. We live in a world where Christ is King. If Christ is King, everything, quite literally, every thing and every one, has to be re-imagined, re-configured, re-oriented to a way of life that consists in an obedient following of Jesus. This is not easy. It is not accomplished by participating in a prayer meeting or two, or signing up for a seven-step course in discipleship at school or church, or attending an annual prayer breakfast. A total renovation of our imagination, our way of looking at things---what Jesus commanded in his no-nonsense imperative, 'Repent!'---is required."
---The Jesus Way, p.9


Paul D. Adams said...

Luke 17:20-21
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,'because the kingdom of God is in your midst."

Jeremy said...

The kingdom is not a metaphor. If it were, we would need to ask what the kingdom was a metaphor of, and we would also have to take the subjection to the reign of "king" Jesus as metaphorical too. If we are to take the kingdom seriously, we cannot take it metaphorically. Jesus is either really king or he's not.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


Good point, it is. But Peterson is thinking that the Kingdom of God is a metaphor with respect to human kingdoms, isn't he?

Jeremy said...

First, I don't know what Peterson is thinking about; I haven't read anything by him.

Isn't is a human kingdom? At the very least it's a kingdom with human subjects. Further, the ruler, at least one Person of the ruler is very much a human. (And in it's fullest expression, the human subjects will be human like Him.)

So what if every human kingdom we've seen is screwed up? It doesn't make the Kingdom of God a metaphor does it?

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Earthly king or heavenly King is the contrast that establishes the metaphor of the latter, I take it.