Tag Archive: kingdom of God

Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God highlights many important issues for evangelism today.  He concisely defines evangelization as “incarnating the gospel in time.”  Every generation, he argues, must confront and share the gospel in its own time and place.  The gospel of the Gospels –Jesus’ good news – is none other than “the good news of the kingdom.”  And Jesus himself was the first evangelist of the kingdom. For Arias, today’s churches have a crisis in credibility, motivation, and methods.  We’ve tried our own definitions, methods, and approaches…so, why not try Jesus’ own definition of mission – announcing the reign of God.

This “get back to Jesus’ kingdom message” attitude drives Arias’s model for evangelism.  For him, kingdom evangelization is Christ-centered evangelization.  “To be converted to Christ is to give one’s allegiance to the Kingdom” (111).  Conversion is not purely a personal, individual, and private transaction between the soul and God.  Conversion is to turn to God and the kingdom…to enter a kingdom-building community….to turn to neighbor and share in work of kingdom.  Arias beautifully claims, “Participation in the dynamic kingdom of God, which is in-breaking through history to its final culmination, may become the most creative experience to inspire new methods and means of sharing and incarnating the good news of the kingdom in our generation” (xvii).

In addition to reclaiming Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom as our basis for evangelism, Arias also sheds light on many other issues that are important for evangelism today.  For example, I love his on-going discussion of forgiveness as it relates to kingdom.  He writes in several places, “Forgiveness is the door of entrance to the kingdom of God” (75).  Likewise, Arias urges Christians to reclaim the compassion of the kingdom.  Arias suggests that this is the area where Christians most need to recover Jesus’ model (see Mt. 9.36).  Compassion, according to Arias, is seeing the image of God in every human being.  To look upon those who life is wasted and be determined to say, “life must not be wasted” – life is the grace of God (79).

I also appreciate Arias’s convictions pertaining to Holy Eucharist.  He writes, “It is time for us to recover the evangelistic dimension to the Eucharist.  We have made the Lord’s Supper into an esoteric celebration for an in-group instead of a public proclamation and an open invitation” (81).  Such an imperative may challenge our current Eucharistic theology and invite us to reclaim Wesley’s vision of Eucharist as a converting and sanctifying ordinance.

One shortcoming in Arias’s work may be his heavy emphasis on description over prescription.  Arias beautifully and rightfully ‘names’ the kingdom.  His effort to refocus evangelism on the kingdom (against an evangelism that solely emphasizes personal salvation) succeeds.  However, at times I wanted him to transition the theology into an applicable or practical model.  When he did, he often used examples that where geographically specific (Latin America – where he served as Bishop) or time sensitive (the book was written in 1984 and many examples seem particular that time’s political and cultural climate).

Yet, overall Arias provides many compelling, insightful, and faithful thoughts on evangelism and mission in the church today.  Perhaps his best words come when he writes: “Only God knows the impact on the nonbelievers, agnostics, and people of anti-Christian ideologies of a church that is able to present a new face and a new life” (108).

This is the final review in a nine-part series looking at Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God.


The kingdom as challenge

The final chapter of Arias’s work concludes with a straightforward claim: The announcement of the kingdom is an invitation to radical discipleship. As he points out, “disciple” is the oldest name for Christians, and radical discipleship is life in the kingdom. The earliest followers of Jesus (and believers today) are called to be signs and anticipations of the coming kingdom. Arias also notes that we are called to be disciples for the kingdom. Just as the kingdom “bids for people’s” hearts souls, minds, and bodies, we participate in the blessings of the kingdom by celebrating the hopes of the kingdom and engaging in tasks of the kingdom (105).

In our lives and proclamations as disciples in and for the kingdom we must present a full picture of kingdom. We must proclaim the hopes and joys of the kingdom, but also the challenges and demands. Radical discipleship is just that, radical, revolutionary, world-shattering. Our presentation must be incarnational. The kingdom may fully be known and proclaimed when we make the gospel incarnate in our own lives and in the life of our community.

Citing Bonhoeffer, Arias defines costly, or radical, discipleship as one in which a strong choice must be made. We are either for or against Christ, the kingdom, and God (109). The challenge then for radical disciples is to test the spirits, read the signs of the times, to see clearly where the line between the kingdom and the antikingdom is today (109). And after we see it, to locate ourselves on God’s side. (See my comment in the last paragraph of the Chapter 4 review.)

While Arias builds a case for radical discipleship in and for the kingdom, I would have liked him to share more examples of “costly, radical discipleship.” Understandably, discipleship takes different forms in different parts of the world, but I would have appreciated a glimpse into the life of a disciple living in the kingdom. Or maybe a snapshot of someone radically living as a disciple for the kingdom. For all of Arias’s talk about the “concreteness” of the kingdom and kingdom–building work he fails to incorporate such issues in this final chapter.

This is the eighth review in a nine-part series looking at Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God.

The Prophet Isaiah by Raphael (1511)

Proclaiming the kingdom of hope

Arias summarizes the present and imminent kingdom of God in one word: Hope.  In his life, teachings, and ministry Jesus celebrated, taught, and proclaimed hope.  He called his disciples and us to be people of hope, creatively and actively waiting for the kingdom. Our waiting, Arais suggests, “demands watchful expectation and trusting intercession” for the kingdom to come (83).  How do we announce the kingdom of hope today?

As proclaimers of hope we look to the future in both hope and fear.  We are fearful of the unknown, but hopeful for the “final date with God,” in which “God has pledged himself to humanity in Jesus Christ” (86).  The promise, hope, and expectation of the coming kingdom serves as the mobilizing power for the whole life and mission of the church in the world.  We announce the hope of the kingdom by living, working, and sharing hope.  To be an evangelist is to be a sign of hope, a servant of hope, a minister of hope (89).

The ministry of hope includes both annunciation and denunciation.  The ministry of annunciation “gives people the bread of hope instead of the stones of fatalism and resignation to hellish fascination with death and annihilation” (90).  The ministry of denunication denounces anything, any power, and any program or trend that opposes God’s purpose for humanity (92).

Arias also highlights martyria and consolation as ministries of the kingdom of hope.  Christians, he suggests, must be prepared for martyrdom.  A martyr – a witness who puts his or her life on the line – must be ready to do so in the name of the hope Christ proclaimed.  Tertullian’s words ring particularly true: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.”  The ministry of consolation Arias describes is the ministry of defending the defenseless, giving voice to the voiceless.  Specifically, consolation involves defending human rights and caring for the brokenhearted in the most painful and repressive situations (98).

The hope of the kingdom through annunciation, denunciation, martyria, and consolation makes sense to me.  If we are able to witness to all of the areas surely we, as Christians, churches, and faith communities, can be witnesses and tools of the kingdom.  Announcing the reign of God is the duty of the Body of Christ.  Empowered by the Spirit, Christians and churches are called to be God’s instruments of kingdom-building.

However, Arias argues rather ambiguously on this point.  Throughout the chapter he repeatedly lifts up the “prophetic” nature of governments, politicians, and policies.  He hints that the way to fulfilling the prophetic hope of the kingdom is through the government.  Salvation seems to lie in the on-going work of the government, and Christians would do well to participate in that work.  Is it true that prophetic voices (even from Christians) are loudest and most effective through the government?

Surely the church will not abdicate her responsibility to elected officials.  Surely we have the creativity, imagination, and resources to proclaim hope in the world.  Perhaps the Church needs to hear the words of Augustine again: “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”  Let this, and not a campaign slogan, serve as the church’s credo and motivation for hopeful evangelism.

This is the seventh review in a nine-part series looking at Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God.

Kingdom as Gift of Love

Arias begins chapter six with a challenging question: How do we announce the kingdom as gift today?  How do we “tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love?”  Arias suggests that the answer to such questions rests with Christians’ willingness to become living letters and new chapters of the story (70).

Often, Arias argues, Christians have confused their role in the story.  They have told the story more than they have lived it.  And in their telling they have reduced the story to a single plot line with extreme polar ends.  The announcement of the story has been reduced to the plot of salvation by grace, justification by faith, and conversion to Christ.  The grace that is presented as part of the story often comes in two forms: cheap or costly grace.  “Cheap grace” knows only of the gifts but no demands of the gospel.  “Costly grace” does not necessarily emphasize the demands of discipleship in the kingdom, but rather the demands of a particular ecclesial tradition, confessional creed, or even a cultural form of Christianity (71).  Missing from the tellings is a true offering of the kingdom as a gift.

How then might Christians better extend the gift of the kingdom?  Forgiveness.  As Arias has said before, forgiveness is the door of entrance to the kingdom of God (75).  Since sin distorts creation and ruins human life, separating us from God, from neighbor, from creation, repentance and forgiveness are vital to the gift of the kingdom.  Such repentance and forgiveness liberates the believers, freeing them for full participating in God and the kingdom.

The gift of the kingdom also includes care and compassion for the outcasts.  In the midst of a world of suffering and death, the kingdom proclaims life for the sick, protection of women, and care for the handicapped children and elderly.  Arias describes the work of the kingdom (and ways in which Christians announce the gift of the kingdom) as: healing through prayer, medicine, science, pastoral counseling, therapy, and rehabilitation.

Arias’s “we should evangelize like Jesus evangelized” theme drives chapter six.  Since Jesus ministered on the periphery, we too should seek to be with those on the margins (Mk. 2.17).  Just as Jesus had compassion, we should also exude compassion (Mt. 9.36). On these points, most Christians would agree.  I found myself nodding at many moments throughout the chapter.

However, Arias’s discussion of the “work of the kingdom” (counseling, therapy, rehabilitation, etc.) caused me to pause.  I wonder, has the Church outsourced this work?  Has the Protestant tradition so emphasizes the preached Word that our action of the Word has been relegated to the background?  How successful or faithful are we to telling the story – offering the gift of the kingdom – through our actions?  Certainly there are times when we (ministers) are right to refer individuals or families to professional counselors or therapists.  But do we ever use it as an excuse to free ourselves from the difficult work of entering into others’ difficult and intimate times?  Are there ways we can still remain “kingdom givers” to those we refer elsewhere?  Can we still love persons in ways that relay the kingdom, holding their hands along the journey?

This is the sixth review in a nine-part series looking at Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God.

Translation & Tradition

In chapter five Arias begins to answer the question he has struggled with since chapter 1:  What has happened to “the gospel of the kingdom” throughout the history of the church?  The gospels clearly witness to Jesus’ proclamation of the present, imminent, and in-breaking kingdom of God.  Yet, the proclamation of the kingdom and the use of kingdom terminology have been on the decline for centuries.  Arias’s conclusion: there has been an “eclipse of the reign of God from the apostolic age to the present” (55).  For Arias, the eclipse of the kingdom occurs when we move from the synoptic gospels, and “the incandescent daylight of Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom appears ‘somewhat dusky’” (55).

Arias believes the “setting sun” on the proclamation of the kingdom due to the biblical interpreters’ changing of the kingdom message.  Albert Schweitzer captures the ‘twilight’ in which we now live.  Schweitzer suggests that Jesus proclaimed the kingdom, and the church proclaims him.  Rudolf Bultmann further articulates the situation, “The Proclaimer became the Proclaimed”  (56).  Together, they believe the church has changed the message – the focus – of the kingdom.  No longer is the kingdom about love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, and justice, the kingdom concerns primarily salvation and faith in Christ.

Still, here we might wonder if proclaiming Christ is proclaiming the kingdom.  Is living as a witness of Jesus also a witness to the kingdom?  Paul’s words at the end of Acts seem to link the proclamations together: “From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus” (Acts 28.23).

Arias locates another major move in kingdom language in Paul. Paul translates “kingdom of God” in terms of an all-encompassing concept of salvation.  Arias suggests that Paul avoided the kingdom terminology for “tactical” reasons.  Perhaps the Greeks’ lack of familiarity with the OT hope for the kingdom caused Paul to re-interpret the kingdom.  Also, Paul may have altered the language for fear of being misinterpreted among the Romans.  Either way, Arias highlights Paul’s writings as a significant shift in kingdom terminology.

Arias also highlights the Johannine texts as ones that transformed the kingdom language.  John frequently expresses the kingdom in terms of ‘life” and “life eternal.”  Arias argues that this shift better communicated Jesus’ message to the Gnostic-influenced (Hellenistic or Jewish) audience (64).

In all, Arias posits that the eclipse of the kingdom in contemporary discourse stems from a changing of the Jesus’ kingdom message and language.  While some may hold that such a change is necessary due to different contexts, Arias warns of the risks of contextualizaton.  He writes, “The question is not one of language and thought-forms, but of faithfulness to the original message and to the totality of its meaning” (64).

Arias presents a compelling story of “the eclipse of the kingdom of God.”  Without pointing fingers at Paul, John, or the Church Fathers, he highlights the major moves in kingdom terminology.  He also explains the significance of such moves for today’s churches.  By focusing on Paul’s “salvation-kingdom” rhetoric or John’s “life eternal” have we personalized the kingdom?  Are we guilty of proclaiming a kingdom that can be earned or entered into by our own personal commitment?

Arias’ “eclipse” challenges anyone who cares about evangelism today.  What is our context for announcing the kingdom?  Are we faithful to the message as we invite others to participate?  How have we translated the proclamation of the reign of God for the 21st century?  How can we translate the message while at the same time honor the tradition?

This is the fifth review in a nine-part series looking at Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God.

Sharing our wounds…

Arias begins chapter four with a question I (and he) asked earlier: If Jesus proclaimed the presence and imminence of the kingdom, why has the kingdom disappeared from evangelism and theology today?  Arias proposes that the loss is a result of a misunderstanding of language.  Today the biblical “kingdom” of God is conflated with the notion of a democratic or political kingdom and kingship.  The kingdom has been reduced to a static realm, territory, or space.  It is not longer viewed as a dynamic, active all-encompassing reality that envelops all creation.  For Arias, the dynamic vibrancy of the kingdom – the radical in-breaking – is grounds for Jesus’ confrontational evangelization.

What is confrontational about Jesus’ evangelism?  The kingdom Jesus came to announce is an in-breaking kingdom that draws dividing lines and demands an option.  Arias describes the kingdom as a disturber, challenger, and expose of human values and motivations.   The kingdom is the permanent subverter of human orders.  The appropriate response to the challenge of the kingdom is a change of mind, change of action, and change of relationships – a complete reorientation of life (47).

What are the implications of this for the evangelists of this kingdom?  The proclaimers of this kingdom should not expect any other treatment than the one reserved for the subversives in human history (think: Bonhoeffer, King).  The words of Jesus in Mark 8.34-35 come to mind: “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.”

Following Arias’s model of evangelism – do what Jesus did – today’s Christians can expect (and even seek, if Arias’s thought is pushed to its extreme) confrontation.  Arias quotes Jesus’ instructions to the disciples: “Listen!  I am sending you out just like a sheep to a pack of wolves” (Mt. 10.16, TEV).  Due to a commitment to a life of “radical discipleship,” total renunciation, and total subordination of all other values and loyalties to the demands of the in-breaking kingdom, the proclaimers of the kingdom should prepare to announce the kingdom in the midst of trouble and tribulation.  The grace, however, is that in a world of sin, the reign of God passes through rejection, suffering, and death (53).

This is one of the most insightful chapters of Arias’s work.  He paints a poignant picture of the life of an evangelist, or proclaimer of the kingdom.  Evangelism in this sense is difficult work.  Proclaiming the in-breaking kingdom disrupts not only the world order, but also the personal lives of those who proclaim it.  Confrontational evangelism results in wounds.  Yet, these are the wounds we show to the world to proclaim the kingdom and our conviction.  To the Thomases in the world who only wish to see the wounds of Christ, we offer our scrapes and scars for the kingdom.

The one caveat I might add to Arias’s discussion of confrontation evangelism is this:  We must be aware of any tendency to “go” where is conflict or confrontation and proclaim, “This is the in-breaking kingdom.”  We must prayerfully discern which conflicts are kingdom-building and which are antithetical to the kingdom Jesus proclaimed.

This is the fourth review in a nine-part series looking at Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God.

Proclaiming kingdom come…

After discussing the present reality of the kingdom of God (chapter 2), Arias then examines the imminence of the kingdom.  He correlates the imminence of the kingdom to eschatological evangelism.  Though we are people who wait for the kingdom of God, we are invited in the present to be signs of the coming kingdom.

When looking at the future coming of the kingdom Arias highlights the eschatological nature of Jesus’ parables.  For example, in the Parable of the Sower he notes how the seed of the kingdom is already planted, but the harvest of the kingdom will be in the future (Lk. 8.5).  Likewise, Arias highlights the parables of crisis and parousia, which he believes have a clear future component (Mt. 24.43-44; Mk. 13.33-37; Lk. 12.41-46; Mt. 25.1-13, 14-30).  Finally, Arias argues that the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes project the final consummation of the kingdom in its fullness.  For Arias, Jesus proclaims a kingdom that is imminent and looming.

However, Arias wonders if Jesus is an apocalypticist.  Are Jesus’ futurist sayings words of an apocalypticist or a prophet?  For Arias, an apocalypticist warns of an impending and unavoidable action in which world will end – total destruction of world (34).  Proclaimers of this view adhere to a deterministic future.  Prophets, on the other hand, appeal to human freedom, calling all people to lives of love and justice in response to God’s actions.  Prophets, then, proclaim an eschatological hope in God’s coming judgment and salvation.  Within this spectrum Arias concludes that Jesus was of the prophetic eschatological tradition.  Jesus spoke apocalyptically at times, but maintained a hope and love for humanity.

Arias puts together the eschatological puzzle this way: Jesus’ message is of hope in the midst of tribulation.   Jesus does not preach a message of terror, but a message to raise and preserve hope in the midst of persecution and oppression.  The core of Jesus’ eschatological evangelization, according to Arias, is that the future belongs to God.  With respect to contemporary evangelism, we are not prophets of doom, but evangelists of hope (39).

While Arias offers many great insights on eschatology and evangelism, this chapter is not his strongest.  Much of the material is simply descriptive of the gospels, lacking analysis or reflection.  Nevertheless, it is helpful to ponder the core nature of Jesus’ eschatological language.  Does Christ speak of the end times with doom and fatalism?  (At times, yes.)  Or is Jesus’ message of the kingdom one of hope and grace?  (Most often this is the case.)  What is the tone of many of our contemporary efforts to proclaim the coming kingdom?  Are we following the model Christ implemented (i.e. are we following Jesus’ kingdom evangelization Arias described in chapter 1)?  How might we be prophets of hope?  Into what situations are we [churches] currently speaking, or need to be speaking, hope, forgiveness, and love?

This is the third review in a nine-part series looking at Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God.

The Present Kingdom of Forgiveness and Grace

In chapter two Arias argues that the uniqueness of Jesus’ kingdom message was the “nearness” of the kingdom he proclaimed.  Jesus’ kingdom evangelism was not something only to be hoped for in the future, but was a reality inaugurated in Jesus himself.  Jesus told those who asked for signs that they were not to look for external cosmic signs; the kingdom was present in their midst  (Lk. 17.20).

The kingdom Jesus proclaimed to those leaders (and to us) cannot be earned or conquered.  The present kingdom can only be received as a gift (16).  The kingdom of God is not observing rites or ceremonies.  Rather, the kingdom is God’s gift of grace, free for humanity to experience.  Through Christ God makes to us a gracious offer of “family” in which all are invited to participate in love and grace.

Arias also points out the Jesus’ depiction of the kingdom at hand includes forgiveness of sins.  Reflecting upon the Parable of Unforgiving Servant and the Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector, Arias claims, “forgiveness of sins becomes the ‘keys to the kingdom of God,’ entrusted to the church as its essential ministry (Matt. 16.19, 18.18; John 20.23).  I ask myself, does my teaching about the kingdom include forgiveness and grace?

Arias summarizes Jesus’ message and the reign of God as “grace in action” (21).  The kingdom is to restore, promise, and celebrate life.  To enter in to the kingdom is to enter into life.  To partake of Communion, to share a meal with all people, is to celebrate such life.  When Jesus ate with people – rich and poor, sinners and righteous, lowly and powerful – he was not merely participating in a social event.  He was actively interjecting the kingdom, his very self, into the middle of humanity’s reality.

Arias concludes by highlighting the kingdom thrust of Jesus’ teaching.  He argues that Jesus’ parables are “evangelistic through and through” (20).  Jesus announces the kingdom, demonstrates a reversal of order (old become new, first become last), and invites the hearer to then act, to participate or not.  I wonder, does our teaching (from the pulpit, in Sunday school, etc.) sufficiently announce the kingdom?  To we offer people a present and future hope for the reversal of life as we know it?  Do our actions give evidence to such a kingdom reality?

This is the second review in a nine-part series looking at Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God.

Jesus: First and Greatest Evangelist

Mortimer Arias begins his study of evangelism the only place he sees fit: the accounts of Jesus’ life in the New Testament. For Arias, Jesus is the first evangelizer. Even more, Jesus himself is the evangel, or “good news.” As Pope Paul VI said, “Jesus himself, the Good News of God, was the very first and greatest evangelizer.” Jesus was the one who came evangelizomai, to announce a new age to come.

However, exactly what age or news did Jesus come to announce? Luke writes in his gospel, “Jesus came announcing the kingdom of God” (Lk. 4.43).

As Arias rightly points out, Jesus’ mission is to preach the good news of the kingdom of God (Mk. 1.14-15; Lk. 4.43; Mt. 9.35). The gospels (particularly the synoptics) are filled with references to the kingdom. (Note: Matthew likes to use the phrase, “kingdom of heaven.”) Jesus speaks about the kingdom in parables, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sermon on the Mount. During Christ’s temptation in the desert the offer is for power and kingdoms. At Jesus’ death Pilate contributes to the kingdom theme, inscribing “King of the Jews” in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin over the cross. In one of Arias’s more insightful exegetical moves he highlights Jesus’ opening of the kingdom to the repentant sinner on the cross (Lk. 23.42, p. 10). The kingdom of God, it seems, is Jesus’ mission from birth to death.

Arias depicts Jesus’ method for mission as a holistic endeavor. Jesus preaches, teaches, and heals, bringing the kingdom into the spiritual, intellectual, and physical realms. Along the way Jesus invites others into his kingdom evangelization. In Matt. 10.7-8 Jesus sends of the twelve saying, “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

Luke paints an intriguing picture of those participating in the kingdom evangelization with Jesus. In Luke 8.1-3 we read of Jesus traveling with the twelve disciples and three women, Mary, Joanna, and Susanna. As Arias points out, this is a small, unique group called to participate in Jesus’ mission. The common thread among them: They had all been “cured,” “healed” or “set free” by Jesus’ kingdom evangelism, and were living manifestations of the new life in the coming kingdom (6).

Evangelism then, according to Jesus, is part of the life of all believers. Evangelism and discipleship go hand in hand. If we wish to be disciples we must follow Christ, making ourselves fit for the kingdom of God (Lk. 9.57-62).

Yet, if the kingdom is so prominent in the gospels, how do we miss it? Arias suggests that there has been an eclipse of the kingdom (think, solar eclipse). The message of the kingdom of God has always been there, but we have failed to grasp its totality. The eclipse has resulted in the disappearance of the language and the reduction of the kingdom to a single dimension.

On this point, I think Arias is correct. Oftentimes the church is guilty of sidestepping or taming Jesus’ message of the kingdom. This is evident in our usual reduction of evangelism to only Matthew 28. In fact, the distilling of evangelism to only The Great Commission only exacerbates the problem. Jesus’ words in Matt. 28.16-20 are absent of kingdom language and reduce the mission to only one dimension (baptism).

Arias longs for church evangelism to match the model set forth by the first great evangelist, Jesus. Arias challenges all preachers, including me: have we mentioned the ‘kingdom’ in our preaching and teaching? Could our congregation define the ‘kingdom of God?’ Do we shy away from claiming and proclaiming the kingdom of God as the mission of the church? Are we as bold as Jesus in announcing the reign of God?

This is the first review in a nine-part series looking at Mortimer Arias’s Announcing the Reign of God.

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