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The Coming of the Kingdom A Clash of Stories Michael Goheen Geneva Society Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

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Presentation on theme: "The Coming of the Kingdom A Clash of Stories Michael Goheen Geneva Society Vancouver, B.C., Canada."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Coming of the Kingdom A Clash of Stories Michael Goheen Geneva Society Vancouver, B.C., Canada

2 Announcement of good news of kingdom After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. The time has come, he said. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news. (Mark )

3 What is the kingdom? God is acting in history in power and love in the Christ and by the Spirit to restore all of creation, including all of human life, to again live under the rule of God.

4 Context: A kingdom story waiting for an ending Seething cauldron or raging inferno of kingdom expectation Flame ignited by shared story and prophetic hope Fanned into raging fire by oppression Directed by favourite book of Daniel Universal kingdom (7.14) Seventy weeks ( ) Appearance of messianic movements Jesus: Kingdom has come!

5 Shared faith and shared story Monotheism: One God Election and covenant I will make Adam first and if he goes astray I will send Abraham to sort it out. (Rabbinic commentary) Originally fundamentally missionalfor the sake of the world

6 Shared faith and shared story Monotheism: One God Election and covenant Torah Land and temple This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. (Ezek. 5.5) Just as the navel lies at the center of Mans body, thus the Land of Israel is the navel of the world [...] the Land of Israel sits at the center of the world; and Jerusalem, at the center of Land of Israel; and the Temple, at the center of Jerusalem... and upon it the world was established. (Rabbinic comment) Fundamentally missional The visibility of Israel was part of its theological identity and role as the priesthood of yhwh among the nations. (Wright)

7 Shared faith and shared story Monotheism: One God Election and covenant Torah Land and temple Coming of world kingdom Focussed in a king (Messiah) Old age and age to come

8 Spirit Messiah Spirit Messiah Sin Death Evil Satan Knowledge of God Shalom Joy Justice AGE TO COME Jewish Expectation OLD AGE

9 Shared faith and shared story Monotheism: One God Election and covenant Torah Land and temple Coming of world kingdom Focussed in a king (Messiah) Old age and age to come Salvation and judgement for Jews and Gentiles

10 Faith warped by oppression Monotheism: Exclusive possession of Jews Election and covenant: Ethnocentric privilege Torah: Badge of ethnocentric privilege Land and temple: Symbols of ethnocentric privilege Hope: Judgement on Gentiles and compromising Jews; salvation for us

11 Oppression of world empires Successive world empires (Persia, Greece, Rome) Threat of pagan Hellenistic culture Antiochus Epiphanes: Forced Hellenisation and abomination of desolation (Dan ) Compromised Jewish rule Beast of Rome (Dan. 7.7) terrifying, frightening, very powerful

12 Different responses to oppression and compromise Zealots: Activists advocated holy war against oppressors Essenes: Quietists who withdrew from pagan pollution Pharisees: Separatists who established boundaries by religious practices to protect from defilement Sadduccees: Opportunists who compromised with the occupying powers for sake of expedience

13 Different endings to the story Zealots: Wage holy war to bring in the kingdom Essenes: Withdraw and pray for the kingdom to comeGod will bring it Pharisees: Be holy and God will act Sadduccees: Maintain the status quo so that Israel wont be destroyed, and wait for God to act in his time

14 Common ground in all parties Misunderstanding of their election Ethnocentric privilege Hatred for and vengeance on Gentiles

15 Growing anti-gentile loathing for the... Jewish population, it was almost entirely a history of oppressive exploitation... indescribable brutality and disappointed hopes. (Martin Hengel) Anti-gentile attitudes... permeated the whole Jewish population and varying only in their intensity. (Martin Goodman)

16 Hatred for Gentiles... dominant popular expectation eagerly awaited the day of divine vengeance, especially on Rome, and the final destruction of the Gentiles. No Gentile will have a part in the world to come, was the teaching of that consistent upholder of the ancient tradition, R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus (circa A.D. 90). Hell is the destiny of the Gentiles. There is no ransom for the Gentiles... (Joachim Jeremias)

17 Coming judgement on Gentiles Prophetic promise: Salvation and judgement on Gentiles (Is f.; Is. 63:1ff.) Focus on judgement In a few places... salvation is extended to Gentiles who repent; but this is rare. More typical is the word, I will rejoice over the few [Israelites] that shall be saved.... And I will not grieve over the multitude of them [Gentiles] that shall perish (IV Ezra 7:61f.) (George Ladd).

18 Smashed like a potters jar May God raise up a king and endow him with the strength to destroy unrighteous rulers, to purge Jerusalem from gentiles who trample her to destruction; in wisdom and in righteousness to drive out the sinners from the inheritance; to smash the arrogance of sinners like a potters jar; to shatter all their substance with an iron rod; to destroy the unlawful nations with the word of his mouth. (Psalms of Solomon)

19 Common ground in all parties Misunderstanding of their election Ethnocentric privilege Hatred for and vengeance on Gentiles Separatism and segregation from Gentiles

20 Erecting high fences to keep separate from pagan defilement Compromise of Jews with pagan culture Sabbath, circumcision, food and purity laws Eighteen decrees to enact strict separation and prevent defilement Gentiles forbidden in temple

21 JesusA Missionary Encounter of Stories Love of enemies instead of their destruction; unconditional forgiveness instead of retaliation; readiness to suffer instead of using force; blessing for peacemakers instead of hymns of hate and revenge - Hans Kung

22 Jesus response Mark Judas Maccabeus: Entry and temple cleansing Jesus comes riding a donkey in peace Is it not written: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of robbers [lestes=revolutionaries].

23 Jesus response Mark Luke No more vengeance Kingdom comes by weakness of word and deed

24 Jesus response Mark Luke Matthew Identifies with Israels longing for the kingdom to come, and for its blessings of comfort, inheritance of the earth, justice and righteousness Preconditions: poverty of spirit, meekness, mercy, purity of heart, peacemaking, and patient suffering As such, they would be light and city on a hill

25 Jesus response Mark Luke Matthew John Kingdom life: Humble, suffering love Exemplified in cross

26 Following Jesus today As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. (John 20.21) Gospel of the kingdom offered comprehensive story about world and human life Conflict with other stories

27 Following Christ in a secular, consumer culture Identified with the longings of his contemporaries Challenged the idolatries of other stories (Jewish and Roman) Challenge comes in life, word, and deed Suffering, spirituality, and community


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