Scott McKnight on “Mission” #kingdom #church

“Kingdom mission is church mission, church mission is kingdom mission, and there is no kingdom mission that is not church mission…

Many see kingdom exclusively in utopian terms and the church in all its rugged messiness, so they toss dust in the eyes of anyone who gets the two too close. But this fails at the most basic level of exegesis. The kingdom in the New Testament is not just a future glory but a present rugged reality struggling toward that glorious future. That is, the kingdom is only partly realized; it is only inaugurated in the here and now. So the kingdom today is a rugged mess no less than the church is also a utopia…

It is easier to do [good deeds like build a well than get involved in a church] because it feels good, it resolves some social shame for all that we have, it creates a bonded and encapsulated experience, it is a momentary and at times condescending invasion of resources and energy, and it is all ramped up into ultimate legitimation by calling it kingdom work.

Not only that, it is good and right and noble and just. It is more glamorous to do social activism because building a local church is hard.

It [building the church] involves people who struggle with one another, it involves persuading others of the desires of your heart to help the homeless, it means caring for people where they are and not where you want them to be, it involves daily routines, and it only rarely leads to the highs of ‘short-term’ experiences.

But local church is what Jesus came to build, so the local church’s mission shapes kingdom mission.

from Kingdom Conspiracy (p. 96-97)


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