Saturday 12 February 2011

Chris Smith on Scot McKnight and Alan Hirsch on the Church-Kingdom Relationship

Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford, Right Here, Right Now: Everyday Mission for Everyday People (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2011).

Scot McKnight, One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011).

These two books are near the top of my ‘to read’ pile.

For the moment, over at Englewood Review of Books, Chris Smith looks at them (here), particularly on what they say about the relationship between God’s universal reign and the local church.

His brief summary is that ‘Alan Hirsch is making the appeal that we need to loosen up the correlation between kingdom and church, while Scot McKnight is calling for a stronger correlation between kingdom and church’.

After some excerpts from Hirsch and McKnight (and some further elaboration from an interview with McKnight), Smith suggests they ‘are each framing their remarks about church and kingdom in response to two very different problems that emerge as we seek to embody a church-kingdom relationship’, and he hopes there might be a synergy between their two responses:

‘Scot is in essence addressing the problem of individualism, and our tendency to narrate the kingdom through our own individualized lens rather than through our commitment to and the discernment of the local church community... Alan, on the other hand, is addressing the problem of narrow-mindedness, the perspective that God’s kingdom is manifested only in the local church community.’

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