The Kingdom of God and the Church: A Baptist Reappraisal
— Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 —
Some Baptists are debating right now whether or not our church rolls ought to contain the names only of those who are actually worshippers of the Lord Jesus. Some see this as a minor issue, one we ought to avoid so that we can get back to “Kingdom business.”
But what if our church membership rosters have everything to do with the business of the Kingdom?
The Kingdom of God is everywhere across the pages of the Bible. Some of us would even argue that God’s establishment of the Kingdom of Christ is the central theme of the Scripture itself. So why sometimes do Baptists act as though the Kingdom is a denominational program or an individual devotional exercise rather than as the invasion force forming the church itself?
My friend Robert Sagers and I have written an article together on the ways in which Kingdom theology informs a Baptist understanding of the church, and vice-versa. We think our vision of the Kingdom of God has much to do with some of our contemporary debates over worship, the ordinances, preaching, and regenerate church membership.
The article can be found in the latest issue of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, edited by theologian Steve Wellum. Our article’s not online at the SBJT site, but you can access it here.
If you don’t already subscribe to the SBJT, you can rectify that by signing up here.