I’m resuming this series after a break. I struggle with breaking this down into “bite-size” chunks. I already looked at how this type of language is prevalent in the NT. I want to look at how the kingdom is discussed in this paradigm. First, I want to make some qualifications. There’s a pretty wide range of positions within the hermeneutical paradigm. Frankly, you can embrace the already/not yet paradigm and be dispensational, a covenant theologian , or none-of-the-above. But the basic presupposition that already/not yet theology pushes is that in the OT there are only 2 kingdoms in view: the current kingdom and the “kingdom of God” or the eschatological kingdom for lack of a better term. The already/Not yet paradigm asserts that in some sense we are already in the kingdom and that because there are basically only 2 “parts” to the kingdom (oversimplifying to say the Davidic kingdom/Messianic kingdom), we are now in the “kingdom of God” in some sense. Is this true?
1) First, I don’t want to question that we are in the kingdom in some sense. Colossians 1:13 says we have been transferred to the kingdom of the Son. Philippians 3:20 says our citizenship is in heaven. It would be very hard to argue without twisting Scripture that we are in Christ’s kingdom in some sense(s). In fact, I’d like to pursue those ideas a little further in a later post. But before I do, I want to look at the basic assumption that there are 2 “parts” to the kingdom.
2) And in fact I want to question this part of the assumption rather strongly. I think it’s not a valid assumption.