Re: Matt. 6:10a/Lk. 11:2c (long)

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Sat Feb 28 1998 - 23:03:04 EST

On Sat 28 Feb 98 (13:00:25), wrote:
> First, to say that the petition is a plea for God to usher in his
> kingdom implies that, at the time the prayer was given, God was
> believed (by Jesus, no less!) not yet to have done so, that the kingdom
> was in no sense a present reality, and that there was some doubt about
> God's desire to establish his sovereignty at all. But how then do we
> reconcile this with the fact that Jesus, at all levels of the
> tradition, proclaims and is certain that the kingdom has arrived? In
> Matthew, Mark, Luke, and, yes, Q (sorry Mark Goodacre and Jim Deardorff
> :)) Jesus is presented as one who has no doubt in his mind that God is
> now acting to establish his BASILIEA. Why then urge a prayer for the
> accomplishment of a fait accompli?

 Dear Jeffrey,

 Here you go reopening the "Realised Eschatology" question. Are you wanting
 us to go back to Albert Schweitzer, /The Mystery of the Kingdom of God/,
 1901, and /The Quest of the Historical Jesus/, 1906? Or are we going
 demythologising again with Rudolf Bultmann?

 Yes, Jesus said "the Kingdom of heaven is among you". He, the King, was
 among them, preaching and teaching "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven
 is at hand" HGGIKEN hH BASILEIA TWN OURANWN. The Kingdom of Heaven is still
 "at hand", but still not actualised on earth. The call to Repent METANOEITE
 is only valid BEFORE the King comes, after which it will be too late; "Rien
 ne va plus" to use a casino analogy.

 Palpably God's will is NOT being done on earth at present. There will be
 no "peace in our time" until the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) is reigning
 from Jerusalem, and the Government is upon His shoulder. Only when the
 rebellion of the "Kings of the Earth" who stand up and take counsel together
 against the Lord and against his Anointed has been put down, will they come
 and kiss his feet with trembling (Psalm 2, RSV).

 Friends of mine who used to smuggle Bibles into Communist countries all
 testified that at clandestine church meetings with the doors closed for fear
 of the secret police, or deep in the woods, the faithful would earnestly pray
 for Christ to come again now and set up his righteous reign (kingdom) on
 earth. Christians in the West pray that the Lord will delay his return so
 that the Gospel may yet go forth in power and win more souls for Christ's
 Kingdom; but the persecuted church in South Sudan and elsewhere want Him to
 return NOW and restore all things (Acts 1:6-7; 3:21).

 Some teach that the Church is hH BASILEIA TOU QEOU [TWN OURANWN]; but this
 identification, though superficially attractive, just will not stand up.
 The Kingdom of God is where God's sovereignty is acknowledged and his will
 obeyed. This does not yet include planet earth; hence the LP petition. The
 Kingdom of Heaven is not a /fait accompli/; but it is a PROCESS which has
 already begun and will in due time be completed upon the Return of the
 Messianic King.

 Jeffrey, you ARE giving us a lot to get our teeth into!

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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