Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Dr. Phillip G. Carnes
Dr. Roger Nam
In this dissertation I will argue that an egocentric eschatology (preoccupation with what happens to the individual at the moment of death) has unwittingly trumped the importance of incarnating the Kingdom of God in this present world. It is my assertion that a better understanding of Kingdom of God theology and the promotion of its priority will inspire Christian discipleship leading to reformation and renewal in the church. For this to happen, we must fundamentally renovate our definition and articulate the meaning of “Kingdom of God” as His sovereign reign and rule over a people He has called out, set apart, and sent forth to carry out His mission in the world. This Kingdom is both a present reality and a future hope. It exists already, but it is not yet fully realized. The supreme and sovereign reign of Christ has been established through His sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection. All authority in Heaven and on earth is His. His reign was victoriously inaugurated, and it will be finally consummated when He returns at the end of this age. Christ’s Kingly influence has continued to expand from the time of His ascension to the present day and it will progress until the Second Advent. During this age, God is drawing to Himself a people from every nation, tribe, and language. We call this gathering of people the Church, and its members are citizens, ambassadors, and witnesses of His Kingdom on earth. A problem I have observed in a rural Wesleyan context is that an inaccurate and inadequate theology of the Kingdom has inadvertently undermined the priority of spiritual formation and gospel ministry. An inordinate emphasis on “going to heaven when I die” has subjugated the primacy of the Kingdom of God. The question for our consideration then is, how might redeeming and redefining a biblical Kingdom of God metaphor revitalize spiritual passion in rural Wesleyan churches? Myles Munro summarizes this conflict very well: “One of God’s biggest challenges in getting His message of the Kingdom to the world is the fact that we who are His witnesses on earth are so slow to understand the message. Dreams of golden streets and heavenly bliss have blinded us to our responsibilities on earth.” 1 In this dissertation I will argue the case that improving our understanding of Kingdom citizenship (its privileges and responsibilities) will help the church refocus her attention on the task of reproducing Christ-like disciples; ambassadors and witnesses of the Kingdom of God in the present age.
Willson, Timothy R., "Reclaiming The Kingdom of God Metaphor for the Twenty-First-Century Church" (2014). Doctor of Ministry. 87.