There isn’t a great definition of the Kingdom of God within modern theology. Some simply define it as “the rule and reign of God.” Some equate the kingdom with the Church. Neither of these is an adequate, as in the case of the first definition, nor truth in the case of the second.
Patrick Schreiner, Professor of New Testament at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has provided a definition in his book The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross. For him, it has 3 elements, and in a footnote, he stretches it to 5. These are:
The first 3 are essential to his definition, while the last two are valuable. I would argue that he needs to expand the definition to include the last two.
In the Gospel text for the lectionary, Matthew 16:21-28, I think Jesus shows us six elements of the kingdom of God that are essential to living in that kingdom. (Patrick, if you read this, you might consider additional work here.)
My list of six include:
- A King
- A Battle
- A Mindset
- A People
- A Surrender
- A Presence
Listen to this episode and see how Jesus provides these for us so that we can understand and live in the Kingdom of God.