Waters: What Is And Is Not Kingdom Work

One further problem with this approach is that virtually any activity can become “kingdom work.” McKnight commends a Chicago, Ill. congregation that opened and operated a laundromat, “health facilities,” a gym, and a “pizza joint” for the wider community. He sees these activities as examples of “church mission” and therefore “kingdom mission” (98). To be sure, these are laudable efforts in themselves and appropriate endeavors for Christians to undertake in their callings.  The New Testament, however, affords no warrant for the church in her organized capacity to undertake such works.

How, then, does the New Testament define the church’s “kingdom mission”? The Kingdom of God expands through the preaching of the word of God (Mark 4:1-20). Jesus therefore commissions the apostles to preach the Word (Matt 28:18-20; Luke 24:44-49; John 20:21-23; Acts 1:8). Both Acts and the epistles show us a church that is single-mindedly and unswervingly committed to the preaching of the word. Jesus Christ has called the church in her organized capacity to undertake the Kingdom endeavor of proclaiming the gospel.

—Guy Waters, reviewing Scot McKnight.

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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