The Presence of the Kingdom

The Presence of the Kingdom by Jacques Ellul

This is the first of my Lent books...during the Lenten season this year I read three books of theology from foreign thinkers, it turned out to be a good experience.

  • pg. 35 - Christians thinking that we are on the winning side...
  • pg. 37 - the revolutionary Christian
  • pg. 66 - justice prevails when just men are present
  • pg. 67 - using scripture to learn to live, as a representative of the kingdom, among men
This book is best summarized by this passage from page 37:

"In his (the Christian) judgment he is guided by the Holy Spirit - he is making an essentially revolutionary act. If the Christian is not being revolutionary, then in some way or another he has been unfaithful to his calling in the world."

This reminds me of another quote that I came across a few years ago:

"the church is too busy preserving what WAS instead of discerning the times and ALLOWING the Holy Spirit to work through them for God's purposes in THESE times."

And this, I believe, is the point of this book - a life lived in the kingdom is grounded in the truth of God but is malleable and guided by the Spirit of God in all times and environments to bring light. This will require us to let go of some of our dogma and begin to think through the filter of the Gospel.

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