Sunday, February 20, 2005

Church vs Kingdom

Jim Catters did a quick little talk last night, and one of the things he talked about was how the word ekklesia-which we translate as church, is mentioned in the Gospels only three times, whereas the word Kingdom is mentioned 121... Very interesting stuff

The whole Kingdom of God, and how much bigger it is than we can understand, is something explored brilliantly by Brian McLaren in Generous Orthodoxy and A New Kind of Christian. The latter is the most brilliant, helpful faith wise book I've read. Jump on it, it'll rock your world!


Saemon said...

Hey Digs - make sure you listen to everything that Catters Snr tells you - he is a very wise man - speaking from one who spent some time sitting at his table and sharing the caffiene high!!

So, how do we in the year 2005 work for the Kingdom, and not the church?
Can we separate the two?
Will we be able to allow the church to die to self, in order for the Kingdom to be central?

I like your blog Digs - I'll come back!!

Jo said...

I have always thought that when one spoke of the kingdom they were referring to 'the kingdom in heaven' and church means the physical place on earth.. but hey I havent gone to Bible college!

Digger said...

Hmm interesting thought Sim, the question of how much work I do for the Kingdom as opposed to the church is an interesting one I'll chew over some more. Thanx mate

Digger said...

Hey Jo, thanks for commenting with ur name :)

My understanding of it is that Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are terms that seem to be used interchangeably by Jesus. I'd like to do some more research on which Gospel writers write which, but thats down the track somewhere.

This theologian dude called N.T. Wright said that when Matthew uses the term 'Kingdom of Heaven, he doesn't mean a 'Kingdom place called 'Heaven'' its more a reverent way of saying the Kingship of God.

My working definition is wherever God reigns. For me its not a place or thing, its almost a state of mind. When we see somebody selflessly serving others, loving unconditionally, becoming servants of others, then we see a glimpse of the Kingdom of God.

So the Kingdom of God can be seen in a sunset, or experienced under the stars, or when playing music, or sport. Sometimes these things happen in church, or with Christians, sometimes they don't.

I love what Luke has to say about the Kingdom "Do not say it is over here or there, for the Kingdom is within you. Luke 11 somewhere I think.

Hope that makes some sense!

Saemon said...

ditto to what you said, Digs

Anonymous said...

It was a great talk, but I'd be a bit dubious about his claims about the number of times the word "ekklesia" appears in the NT. Maybe he meant gospels, but the first few chapters of Revelation has at least seven.
Twisting what the Bible says to suit your own message is pretty dodgy - I'm hoping he made a simple mistake.
Make sure you test everything you hear Digger!

Digger said...

Yeah now I think about it it probably was the Gospels-thanx for that anon. I might check that out myself.