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Kingdom theology

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Title: Kingdom theology  
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Subject: John Wimber, Christian eschatology, Transformational Christianity, Dominion Theology
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Kingdom theology

Kingdom theology is a system of Christian thought that elaborates on inaugurated eschatology, which is a way of understanding the various teachings on the kingdom of God found throughout the New Testament. Its emphasis is that the purpose of both individual Christians and the church as a whole is to manifest the kingdom of God on the earth, incorporating personal evangelism, social action, and foreign missions.


  • Theology 1
    • Eschatology 1.1
  • History and influence 2
  • References 3
  • Further reading and bibliography 4


Kingdom theology distinguishes between the current world ruled by Satan, the one we live in, and the world ruled by God, his kingdom.[1] Kingdom theology holds the importance of the kingdom of God as a core value and teaches that the kingdom currently exists in the world, but not yet in its fullness. The theology maintains that the kingdom of God will come in fullness with Christ's second coming.[2] In the future fulfilment, evil and Satan will be destroyed and God's complete rule on Earth established.[3] Theologian and director of the Vineyard Bible Institute Derek Morphew argued that the kingdom of God encompassed both signs and wonders and social justice.[4] Although kingdom theology presents history as a struggle between God and Satan, there is an eschatological expectation that God will triumph over Satan, which is why suffering for the sake of the kingdom is accepted.[5]

In more Charismatic circles, kingdom theology attempts to be able to explain both spiritual victory and continued spiritual warfare, and why some people are seen to be healed by the Holy Spirit and some are not. These kingdom theologians have argued that, because of this, a tension will exist between the apparent successes and failures of prayer. Theologian Don Williams argued that to pray means to ask the future kingdom to break into the present world, rather than being to call down perfection from heaven.[3] Kingdom theology proposes values based on the spiritual world, often different from secular values, such as when Jesus urges people to love their enemies in the sermon on the mount.[6]


Kingdom theology is often paired with a rejection of the doctrine of the

  • Bender, Harold; Friedmann, Robert (2010). Hutterite Studies. H. B. Book Centre.  
  • Bielo, James (2011). Emerging Evangelicals: Faith, Modernity, and the Desire for Authenticity. NYU Press.  
  • Bowden, John; Richardson, Alan (1983). The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology. Westminster John Knox Press.  
  • Enns, Peter (2011). Ecclesiastes. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.  
  • Ladd, George Eldon (1959). The Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in the Kingdom of God. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.  
  • A Theology of the New Testament. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. 1993.  
  • "Vineyard USA Statement of Faith" (PDF). Vineyard USA. 
  • Morphew, Derek (2007). Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom. Vineyard International Publishing.  

Further reading and bibliography

  1. ^ Friedmann & Bender 2010, p. 100
  2. ^ Waggoner, Berten. "". Vineyard USA. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Williams, Don. "". Vineyard USA. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Morphew, Derek. "". Vineyard USA. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ Friedmann & Bender 2010, p. 102
  6. ^ Friedmann & Bender 2010, p. 101
  7. ^ Ladd 1959, pp. 26-7
  8. ^ Ladd 1959, p. 41
  9. ^ Vineyard USA
  10. ^ Ladd 1993, pp. 66-67
  11. ^ Enns 2011, p. 180
  12. ^ Bielo 2011 p.140
  13. ^ Ladd 1959, pp. 19-20
  14. ^ Ladd 1959, p. 22
  15. ^ Ladd 1959, pp. 23-5
  16. ^ Richardson & Bowden 1983, p. 317


John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard movement, taught a particular application of kingdom theology, emphasizing signs and wonders as the coming of the kingdom of God,[4] as well as Gordon Fee and Dallas Willard. The theology has been influential among the more Charismatic elements of evangelical Christianity, for whom it provides a theological framework for believing in the present-day activity of the Holy Spirit. It is officially embraced by the Vineyard Churches, and underpins many of its teachings.[4]

Doctrine of the kingdom of God caused controversy with Protestantism, regarding whether Christians should work to achieve the coming of the kingdom, or whether it is a divine gift from God. The evangelical movement regarded the extension of the kingdom of God as achieved through evangelism and missionary work. The philosophers Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schleiermacher and Albrecht Ritschl believed that the kingdom of God referred to a world of ideal human relations and envisaged a perfect Christian society. This interpretation influenced the secularisation of the doctrine and the development of liberal theology in the 1930s, and the Social Gospel movement in the USA.[16]

This theological concept of "already" and "not yet" was proposed by Princeton theologian Fuller Theological Seminary.[12] He argued that there are two true meanings to the kingdom of God: Firstly, he proposed that the kingdom of God is God's authority and right to rule.[13] Secondly, he argued that it also refers to the realm in which God exercises his authority, which is described in scripture both as a kingdom that is presently entered into and as one which will be entered in the future.[14] He concluded that the kingdom of God is both present and future.[15]

History and influence

[9] will happen, and God's kingdom will be fully judgement The Vineyard movement's statement of faith relating to the last book of the bible, Revelation, states that God's kingdom came through Jesus and continues to come through the Holy Spirit. It suggests that, when Jesus comes again, Satan will be defeated, the dead will be raised, the [8] Ladd argued that there is an overlap between the two ages; he suggested that, although the 'Age to Come' is in the future, it can still be "tasted" now, and its power can penetrate 'This Age'.[7]

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