The ‘Kingdom of God’ is a bad translation of the Greek basileia tou Theou. It comes with too much baggage and not enough emphasis on the counter narrative embedded in the phrase.
Jesus’ kin-dom is both ‘not of this world’ and completely un-like the kingdoms of this world.
I look forward to your comments, questions and concerns.
October 1, 2015 at 11:46 pm
I love it. And it somehow reminded me of the wonderful Whiteheadian quote that yourself and Tripp gave us in a TNT podcast some time ago. I think I have the quote here:
“There is, however, in the Galilean origin of Christianity yet another suggestion which does not fit very well with any of the three main strands of thought. It does not emphasize the ruling Caesar, or the ruthless moralist, or the unmoved mover. It dwells upon the tender elements in the world, which slowly and in quietness operate by love; and it finds purpose in the present immediacy of a kingdom not of this world. Love neither rules, nor is it unmoved; also it is a little oblivious as to morals. It does not look to the future; for it finds its own reward in the immediate present.” (PR 343/520f)
…. But I’d like to hear you talk more of kin-dom. Can you unpack that some more at some stage?
Peter V (Downunder)
October 2, 2015 at 4:03 am
WHAT a wonderful prompt!!! YES – I accept the challenge 🙂 I will look forward to fleshing this out. Plus – I don’t know if you saw the Twitter push-back but I have lots of material to work with. -Bo
November 23, 2015 at 4:26 pm
Good thoughts. Certainly Jesus’s kingdom is different and operates differently from and more justly than the kingdoms of this world, no argument. But I still think the language of kingdom is most appropriate. Jesus is a king. The king of kings. To say otherwise is misleading to the Christian narrative in fact, even if by using the term we have to accept some of the baggage that comes with it. I don’t think all the language of crowns and robes and stuff was accidental. I must disagree. It indeed is a top down hierarchy of authority. He’s not a president or prime minister or elected official. We don’t place checks and balances on God. In a sense, we don’t get a vote.
This isn’t, I don’t think anyway, counter to inclusion or kinship. Everyone is invited to the king’s table. Everyone. But, you come on his terms. You don’t get to come later after you’ve got passed your honeymoon and you don’t get to put him off because you just bought a piece of land you need to look at. You come as he says or you don’t come at all. The prodigal son is always welcome home to the father’s arms, but before he does, he has to turn from his old life. You have to bow the knee.