Thursday, June 11, 2015
Kingdom Come by Reggie McNeal
I must admit that this book was a challenge for me. I am not quite sure how I feel about the contents. On the one hand I understand I see where McNeal is coming from but on the other hand I have my reservations.
Perhaps that is why McNeal wrote this book. People like me to need to evaluate what we believe and whether or not it is Biblical.
That is where this book enters. In Kingdom Come, McNeal challenges the reader to really look at why many focus on getting "church" right when the focus should be on advancing the Kingdom of God.
Sadly, many people, and I having been one of them, equate the church and the Kingdom of God. This is not so. The church is to promote and advance the Kingdom of God but the Kingdom of God is not the church. Why?
"The Kingdom of God", as McNeal writes, "is life as God intends it to be, His original blueprint for all of creation." When understood, this means that the church plays a role but is not the goal; fulfilling-life with God is.
From this point, McNeal wants church leaders to focus outwards (think missional) and less inward (think church development). It is not to say that the focus should not be on church but that the first focus is going to those that do not know God and His Son Jesus.
McNeal suggests more community involvement with members of that community. Helping in hunger programs, clothing drives, reading initiatives, and such. He also advocates partnering with non-Christian groups for the benefit of the community with the knowledge that God will use such work to advance His Kingdom.
This is where my struggle began. Working with atheists, for example, to feed the hungry in the community. We have differences of theological beliefs, yet putting those aside for the hungry is hard. I struggled with questions of working with theological opposition and whether or not it is wise to do so.
I have not come to an answer but perhaps that is what McNeal wants; to get me to questioning.