N.B. Scot and I often have chats about things and in the next few posts we are going to dialogue about things in his book for the sake of clarification and understanding.
BEN: Scot I think there is a good deal of overlap in our views, though they are not identical. I’m right there with you on the notion that the place one finds Kingdom is where ever two or more are gathered, because of course that is where God’s saving reign and activity is most in evidence. I also agree with your notion that ‘Jesus is the locus of the Kingdom during his ministry’, though I would add its his activities which are said to be evidence of the Kingdom in the midst. Where we disagree is that I don’t think you can get to Kingdom of God from the Kingdom of Israel. From the theocracy earlier in the OT you can get to the Kingdom of God maybe, but not from Israel as a kingdom. That’s Plan B, as you like to say, and God is not settling for Plan B when Jesus shows up. My major point is that the Kingdom involves the end or the future breaking into the present, and so it is an eschatological thing not a continuation of previous kingdoms. Kingdom Perspective in my view involves living from the future into the present, so for example living the Sermon on the Mount is a living of the values of the final Kingdom on earth now— studying war no more, etc.
SCOT: Ben this is fine and fair minded and represents — though the big point is to get the five points of the kingdom:
1. King (God, Jesus)
2. Rule of the king (by way redemption and governing or ruling)
3. The people of the king (Israel, the church)
4. The law of the king for the people (Torah, Jesus’ teachings, life in the Spirit)
5. The land where the king rules the people (land of Israel expanded or extended into the world)