"[Dispensationalism] aroused strong resistance among American Protestants by denying what most evangelicals and all liberals firmly believed--that the Kingdom of God would come as part of the historical process. They could not accept the dispensationalist claim that all Christian history was a kind of meaningless 'parenthesis' between the setting aside of the Jews and the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom. Dispensationalism failed to see how the whole scope of the divine purposes were related to the identity and mission of Jesus.
Cosmic View of Kingdom
"Salvation is related to the overthrow of Satanic rule, that it is cosmic in its scope, that it is to be seen as the restoration of the created order (including human viceregency over the earth), and that it is to be placed within the context of the inbreaking of the eschatological Kingdom in the person and work of Jesus as both the incarnate God and as the head of a new humanity. . . . the emphasis [of redemptive history is placed] where Scripture does--on the telos of the program of redemption--not on God's glory in the abstract, or on the justification of the individual sinner, but in the glory of God in the exaltation of Jesus as the triumphant Final Adam and the meditorial Warrior-King. . . . [Indeed,] a significant advance in the evangelical theology of the Kingdom is possible if the rest of the movement thinks through the warfare implications of an inaugurated Kingdom eschatology."
Note, however, that "without a clear understanding of the nature of the kingdom, kingdom theology is inadequate to the task of indicating what the world is like when it is transformed by the divine rule. the goal of creation and redemption is an eschatological community under the rule of the triune God. The image "Kingdom" is intrinsically corporate or communal, implying a community of people living as subjects of a King."
Evangelical Kingdom theology in the late twentieth century sought to recover the biblical emphasis that the sovereignty of God is not revealed as an atemporal, self-directed attribute, but is instead revealed in the context of the dynamic relation between God and His creation as he sovereignly directs it toward its appointed end--the summing up of all things in Christ (Eph. 1:10) to see to it that Christ "will come to have first place in everything" (Col. 1:18).
When inclusivist evangelicals argue that the salvation of the unevangelized can come about in the same manner as that of the OT believers, they ignore the Kingdom orientation of biblical soteriology. In a Kingdom-oriented theology of redemptive history, the soteriological role of the Spirit means that he does not, in fact, have a "mission of his own."
- Theologies seek root metaphors to help express their vision of God.
- Evangelical ecclesiology invariably is dependent upon a robust evangelical epistemology
- Pinnock rejects the filioque language of the Nicene Creed because it promotes Christomonism
dispensationalism; history; Kingdom of God; theology of creation; ecology; The Powers; eschatological community; metaphor; ecclesiology.