I have a lot of academic interest in Christology and the Kingdom of God. Much of the reading I’ve been doing lately is related to how the two subjects tend to fit together. The Molt has a fascinating statement concerning Jesus and the kingdom:
“The kingdom of the Son consists of the liberating lordship of the crucified one, and fellowship with the first-born of many brothers and sisters. The Son liberates men and women from servitude to sin through his own servitude (Phil. 2). He redeems men and women from death through his own surrender of himself to death. In this he consummates the Father’s patience. He leads people into the glorious liberty of the children of God by making them like himself, in fellowship with him. In this he anticipates the kingdom of the Spirit. If creation is designed in such a way that its future is open for the kingdom of glory, then men and women are created as the image of God in order that they may become God’s children. They are open for this future in which their destiny will be fulfilled. So turning away from the Creator to a life that contradicts God always means, in addition, being imprisoned in one’s own existing being, and closed against the future (incurvatio in seipsum). This imprisonment, this closed-in-ness, means the death of every ‘open system’. Liberation from it—liberation for primal openness—cannot come about through superior strength or compulsion, but only through vicarious suffering and the call to that liberty which vicarious suffering alone throws open…” – Jürgen Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God, 210.
What I like about this paragraph is that there’s an emphasis on the work of the Son in redemption. I also like that the Molt stresses a Trinitarian perspective here (his Trinitarianism is, at times, questionable).
However, I want to ask the Molt a question about how Jesus anticipates the kingdom of the Spirit. I’m not sure sure what he means here. On one hand it is likely talking about consummation. If so, I get it. On the other hand, this isn’t very clear and could be implying many other ideas.
Unfortunately, the Molt probably doesn’t read this blog. So I leave you to decipher what he’s saying here!
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Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.
I took it to refer to the immediately preceding sentence – becoming like Christ and in fellowship with him is the anticipation of (the fulness of) the kingdom.