Monday, July 10, 2006

Now where is that "publish post" button?

It wasn't planned, but my last post was over 3 months ago. However, I've finally returned from my blogging holiday (blogiday?). According to SiteMeter, there are still a few hardy souls who visit this site regularly, which is encouraging. Hopefully I can begin posting articles worthy of your faithfulness.

For today, a brief thought on theological training. I'm just finishing my 9th seminary course, which I feel very privileged to be able to do. The theology classes have been particularly interesting and valuable (although I love Greek too!). Although I haven't learned a lot of new ideas, what I appreciate is being taught about new categories for thinking through and arranging what I do know.

For example, take the relationship between the Kingdom of God and the world. How you understand this relationship has profound effects on how you live.

As Michael Hill notes in The How and Why of Love, those who see people as largely products of their society (the "holistic" view), tend to adopt the perspective that the whole world is the Kingdom of God, and so focus on a social gospel, one which emphasizes the transformation of systemic evils via political and social means.

Those who see people as independent individuals (the "individualistic" view) tend to see the Kingdom as being a purely future state, and often abandon any form of social reformation as being hopeless. After all, who cares about the social conditions of those who will be Left Behind?

The most scriptural of these models is that the Kingdom is both here, but not yet revealed to its fullest extent (the "already/not-yet" view, aka "inaugurated eschatology"). Jesus announced the start of God's Kingdom on earth, but that Kingdom will not be fully known until his return and the final judgment. Those who live with this perspective understand that we are obligated to seek social reform in accordance with God's revealed will, since the Kingdom is here, but also recognize that the sinful hearts which produce this systemic evil will only be completely dealt with through individual regeneration or final judgment, since the Kingdom is not yet consummated.

Well, that's a pretty dense article for a first post. Thanks for reading this far! :-)

May God bless you today with the ability to make much of Him!


JLF said...

Great to have you back, tomgee! :)

TwinsK&D said...

Dear Saint Tom

Ive missed your thoughts! Glad to see your back! Very interesting article, Ive never thought of that before, but I guess there are alot of things that affect your view of various topics and trying to work "with/around"? your presuppositions and get to what the text is really saying and to therefore be reformed in your thinking can only be brought about by the Holy Spirit. Great post, gave me alot to think about. I look forward to your next post :-)