Over the last couple of years as we have been in our current role we have often spoken and taught about the Kingdom of God. The deep intracacies and integrated nature of this Kingdom
Several people have asked me about the Kingdom of God as there are various ideas, hopes and fears that seem to be prevalent.
To help I have highlighted just a few of the many resources that impacted me as I have researched, investigated and lived out my theology and explored the practical reality of the Kingdom.
My study of the kingdom of God and the resources I mention impacted into my life over a period of time and as I accepted and undertook the various adventures that God took myself, Linsey and our kids through.
These resources about the Kingdom were not only imbibed as technical or purely educational exercise but were given as I engaged and undertook the opportunities and challenges that God placed into my life. They were intertwined with the life experiences God designed for me.
Therefore, if or when you explore these resources please remember they were received in a time and place of God’s choosing and through the wisdom and leading of the Holy Spirit.
The timeline was as follows:
I became a Christian in 1984 and went to India a month after committing to follow the way of Jesus. On that trip, I was impacted by the spiritual reality of the kingdom principles laid out in Jesus teaching. The gospel stories and the parables of Jesus came alive to me as I lived in a very remote rural Indian jungle context and was involved in practical spiritual encounters. Returning to the UK I was challenged by the Christian faith lived out in Britain, that was very materialistic in the 8o’s, and was quite different to the simplicity and depth of faith I experienced in India. I wanted to know and explore how the kingdom of God spoke into these two differing worlds and opening time at All Nations Christian College was very helpful.
Later on, I became involved with youth work and church planting in a deprived urban environment in the UK. The Lord taught me again how real the kingdom of God was and as an ambassador of Christ how I had been asked to live as a representative of that Kingdom.
Living in India in the 90’s and working with the poor I was immersed in kingdom action and teaching from various people, one of them was a pastor called Stanley Mehta (1) who was very insightful.
Leaving India I read Eldon Ladd (2) when I undertook a sabbatical study and explored the positives and challenges of leading and facilitating a church community, at Fuller Seminary.
On our return to the UK, I was immersed in the practical and spiritual outworking of the kingdom of God as I founded a Christian charity called The Mustard Tree Foundation.
This is where I came into contact with Dewi Hughes (3). During our time in Mexico and the USA, working with the marginalized and developing christian communities (active church), I became aware of several streams of teaching on the kingdom of God. The ideas raised were impacted by previous teaching and reading Malcolm Duncan’s book (4) ‘Kingdom Come’.
The books by Andy Matheson ‘In His Image’ and ‘We Not Me” (5) lay out what Linsey and I imbibed and lived out in India and in Mexico and the USA. The ‘Deep Justice in a Broken World’ (6) came from the Fuller seminary youth focus and was a good resource working with young people.
All these resources helped form my perspective and understanding as they built on each other and also challenged and reformed ideas that I was contemplating.
I hope these resources will be helpful to you as you explore this topic and please remember that any reading has to be worked out in reality and through the relationships and the community you are living amongst and by the leading and counsel of the Holy Spirit.
Biblical insight is not just a process of gaining head knowledge. It is fuel for action that will help transforms the soul, body and mind.
Jesus says in Matthew –
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.
James says –
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says
1. Stanley Mehta – Kingdom of God video series – https://www.gmi.org.in/project/kingdom-of-god-paradise-2/
2. The Gospel and the Kingdom – Scriptural studies in the kingdom of God by George Eldon Ladd (1959)
3. God of the Poor – A biblical vision of God’s rule – Dewi Hughes (Ex Tear fund and EA) (1998)
4. Kingdom Come – Malcome Duncan – Teacher, speaker and church leader (2007)
5. In His Image & ‘We Not Me’ – Andy Matheson – Missionary and activist(2010)
6. Deep Justice in a broken world – focussed on helping youth – Clark & Powell (Fuller Seminary Youth 2007)