The resurgence of biblical theology and an emphasis on the kingdom of God has been a profound help to Christians, both in the academy and the local church. Patrick Schreiner’s offering, The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross is the latest publication in Crossway’s excellent series – Short Studies in Biblical Theology.
Dr. Schreiner defines the kingdom as “the King’s power over the King’s people in the King’s place.” This definition guards against the tendency to relegate the kingdom to the realm of the immaterial. Ultimately, we learn in this book, Jesus is the Hero of the Bible who is the God-Man who will fulfill the kingdom promises.
Part 1: Kingdom in the Old Testament
The major aspects of the Old Testament shine light on the kingdom of God. We learn a crucial redemptive lesson early in the book:“History does not just move on for the covenant God, he pushes it forward through the power of his Word as the saga strains toward its kingdom goal.” According to Schreiner, the Law revives hope in the kingdom. The Prophets foreshadow the kingdom. And the Writings articulate life in the kingdom.
“The kingdom will come through covenant,” writes Schreiner. Additionally, “God’s plan is to make a place, through a future King, so that his people might dwell with him again.” Indeed, this kingdom will come to pass through covenant. These observations crystallize the primary theological realities concerning the kingdom and set the stage for the kingdom in the New Testament.
Part 2: Kingdom in the New Testament
In the New Testament, the Gospels embody the kingdom. Acts and the Epistles emphasize kingdom community. And Revelation shows how the kingdom goal is achieved. But one sentence may summarize the whole book and bring a final answer to questions that may be posed concerning the kingdom. Schreiner writes, “The cross establishes the kingdom; the kingdom comes through the cross.” The awareness of this great reality not only informs and educates; it inspires hope for today and hope for the future!
The great benefit of The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross is found in its devotional qualities. I found myself deep in study, probing the mystery of the kingdom, exercising my mind and recalling my years of training in Bible College, Seminary, and beyond. But throughout this work, I was also drawn into worship as I contemplated the reality of the already, not-yet kingdom. I highly recommended this book.
Dr. David Steele has been in pastoral ministry since 1991. He holds BS and MA degrees from Multnomah University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary and a D. Min from Bakke Graduate University. Following graduation from Multnomah University, he served eight years as Pastor to Students at Lacey Chapel. In 2000, he became the Pastor of Theology at First Baptist Church in La Grande, Oregon where he served for over eleven years. In 2012, he became the Senior Pastor at Christ Fellowship in Everson, Washington.
He is the author of Bold Reformer: Celebrating the Gospel-Centered Convictions of Martin Luther, A Godward Gaze: The Holy Pursuit of John Calvin, and The White Flag: When Compromise Cripples the Church.
At Christ Fellowship he leads the staff, serves as the Pastor for preaching and vision casting, and oversees Veritas (adult theological education) and Iron Men (men’s leadership development).
His personal mission is to positively influence people, impact the world one person at a time and to glorify God by enjoying him forever. His passion in ministry is preaching, teaching, and leadership development. Specifically, his aim is to educate the mind, engage the affections, equip the whole person, and encourage God-centered living that treasures Christ above all things.
He and his wife, Gerrene were married in 1991 and they have two children.