I like to stop by your blog every once in a while, and I’ve read a couple of your books. I really appreciate your reading of the NT, and I too feel folks “contemporize” too much NT langauage in an unhealthy way for their own advantages, and yet I still can’t seem to shake the sense that your tendency is to flatten some of this language (or “narrow,” if you prefer) in a way that doesn’t allow folks to employ language that picks up on broader biblical categories. Not sure if that makes sense.
So, for example, if I remember correctly, when you speak of the church’s mission, you like to employ new creation language, and rightly so, in my opinion. And yet I notice that creation and new creation language throughout Scripture will speak to “ruling,” “kingdom,” “glory,” and “image”-type categories, among others. This, to me, suggests that there is an appropriate way to use kingdom language for our role as humans and therefore as the church as renewed humanity.
Because of this, when I teach an overview of Scripture, I don’t mind using the kingdom theme as one of the main threads that runs throughout the biblical story, while realizing that each biblical author uses this term in different a more narrow and nuanced senses, though often overlapping in some ways. To me, it’s hard not to use this language when ideas of God’s rule expressed through his people pop up all over the place from Genesis to Revelation. It is a tricky line to walk, but it feels worth walking.
I wonder how you’d respond to this. Thanks.