Once, on being 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, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

—Luke 17:20–21

Scot McKnight’s newest One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow has some penetrating remarks:

Kingdom is an interconnected society;
Kingdom is a society noted by caring for others;
Kingdom is a society shaped by justice;
Kingdom is a society empowered by love;
Kingdom is a society dwelling in peace;
Kingdom is a society flowing with wisdom;
Kingdom is a society that knows its history;
Kingdom is a society living out its memory;
Kingdom is a society that values society;
Kingdom is a society that cares about its future.

This is what we miss when we turn kingdom into personal and private spirituality: Jesus chose one of the most social terms he could find to express what God was now doing. Jesus didn’t choose “personal relationship with God” but instead he chose the term kingdom.

Christianity that saves my soul, Christianity that makes my inner filiament glow, and Christianity that is personal spirituality is not the full kingdom Jesus announced. Christianity that is only about me and for me and concerns me—and in which I spend my time assessing how I am growing in my personal relationship with God—lacks the central society-focus of Jesus. That form of Christianity is not kingdom.

(p. 34)

For more on this theme, see Letter about “Kingdom” in One.Life or the One.Life series from his book.

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