Kingdom Now

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Kingdom Now Theology is a branch of Dominion Theology which has had a following within Pentecostalism. It attracted attention in the late 1980s.

Kingdom Now Theology states that although Satan has been in control of the world since the Fall, God is looking for people who will help him take back dominion. Those who yield themselves to the authority of God's apostles and prophets will take control of the kingdoms of this world, being defined as all social institutions, the "kingdom" of education, the "kingdom" of science, the "kingdom" of the arts, etc.

Kingdom Now Theology is influenced by the Latter Rain movement, and critics have connected it to the New Apostolic Reformation, "Spiritual Warfare Christianity", and Fivefold ministry thinking.

Kingdom Now theology should not be confused with Kingdom theology, which is related to inaugurated eschatology.

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. It is often associated with the Vineyard movement. 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.
Kingdom theology is often paired with a rejection of the doctrine of the Pretribulation Rapture, which states that Christ will return to remove the church from the earth. George Eldon Ladd believed that the Bible taught of two ages: 'This Age' and 'The Age to Come'. In 'This Age', there will be hostility to Christianity but in the 'Age to Come' those who have followed Jesus will be free from oppression and given eternal life. He believed that 'The Age to Come' would be inaugurated by the second coming of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead. 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'. The Vineyard movement's statement of faith states the belief that God's kingdom came through Jesus and continues to come through the Holy Spirit. They believe that, when Jesus comes again, Satan will be defeated, the dead will be raised, the final judgement will happen, and God's kingdom will be fully established.

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.

John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard movement, taught kingdom theology and emphasised signs and wonders as the coming of the kingdom of God, 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.


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Emergent theology sees the kingdom of God as present now with future culmination as we (the subjects of the kingdom) restore justice, eliminate poverty, clean up the ecosystem, tame global warming and the like.

The idea that the kingdom is here now is the one doctrinally unifying factor in emergent theology, yet some in the “conversation” have been honest enough to admit that even they are not always sure what is meant by the term. Mark Scandrette confesses in An Emergent Manifesto of Hope p. 26,29:

A central and reoccurring theme of conversation has been a renewed fascination with the present availability of the kingdom of God… [Yet] the term kingdom of God has become so popular, and its usage so varied, that it is difficult to know if we are even talking about the same thing… There is a tendency to see the kingdom of God as whatever is progressive, exotic, foreign, and obscure (emphasis in the original).


  • Brian McLaren in http://brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/q-r-follow-up-on-why-evangelical.html: I've heard the term "kingdom now theology" used by other people, but I've certainly never used it to describe myself because frankly, I have no idea what it means or where it comes from. If you hear someone say I believe in "kingdom now theology," that's a pretty good sign they haven't read my books, or that they're collapsing my views with someone else's, or (most likely) both.
  • N T Wright in Surprised by Hope, ch. 12.3: This, as we have seen, is what the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and the gift of the Spirit, are all about.  They are not designed to take us away from this earth, but to make us agents of the transformation of this earth, anticipating the day when, as we are promised, 'the earth shall be full of knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea'.  When the risen Jesus appears to his followers at the end of Matthew's gospel, he declares that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him.  When John the Seer hears the thundering voices in heaven, they are singing, 'the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he shall reign for ever and ever'.  And the point of the gospels - of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, together with Acts - is that this has already begun.




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A Tale Of Two Kingdoms, by Sandy Simpson - with a comparison chart and a teacher list.