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The Kingdom of God

An amazing article from Brian Mclaren was posted at Fuller seminary's site. Here are excerpts:

"There was a time in Christian history when one could not become a Christian unless one actually knew a Christian. There were no books, church buildings, television or radio broadcasts, billboards, websites, tracts, films, or other “evangelistic tools.” The only evidences for the gospel were the good lives and good works of people who be-lived the gospel. The church did better in those times than it does in ours.

One of the greatest enemies of evangelism is the church as fortress or social club that sucks Christians out of their neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and other social networks and isolates them in a religious ghetto. There it must entertain them (through various means, many of them masquerading as education) and hold them (through various means, many of them epitomized by the words guilt and fear). Thus Christians are warehoused as merchandise for heaven, kept safe in a protected space to prevent spillage, leakage, damage, or loss until their delivery.

What the emerging culture needs is nothing less than a radical new vision of what life can be, including personal life, family life, community life, social life, and global life in all its dimensions—cultural, business, political, economic, social, recreational, etc. This “vision of what life can be,” along with a way of life that helps bring that vision into reality, is at least a significant dimension of what I believe Jesus meant by the phrase “Kingdom of God.” It is a vision in the truest sense of the word—a gift of seeing that comes from God.

What I believe to be gospel, the gospel, is not just information on how one goes to heaven after death by whatever means (admitting that “by grace through faith” in Jesus is far better than by works, by luck, or by another other way), but rather a vision of what life can be in all its dimensions (not just individual). This is the Kingdom of God"

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