How is God’s kingdom seen today? In this appendix, McKnight ties the social view of the kingdom, whatever that might be, to a capitulation of Christianity to political influence.
McKnight, Scot. Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Brazos Press, 2014. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Appendix 2, “Kingdom Today.” pp. 225-257
McKnight here discusses the capitulation of Gerhard Kittel and many other theologians to the Third Reich. As he puts it, “The temptation in the 1930s in Germany was to become a ‘German Christian,’ a form of Lutheranism that was engulfed by race, nation, blood, and land” (McKnight 2014, 226). There were some who resisted, some who did not. McKnight asks how some had the perception to avoid allowing governmental control of Christianity. They saw and resisted various types of idolatry (McKnight 2014, 228).
The discussion of kingdom may be useful as we try to identify cultural idolatry. McKnight sees this happening in two ways. First, some think the church has a place in a world which is pluralistic (McKnight 2014, 228). This view may become Constantinian and may dilute its clear message of the Gospel.
Others think the kingdom of God is a matter of liberation from the world, working against the system (McKnight 2014, 237). McKnight identifies much of modern American theology as a form of this liberation theology, viewing it as a valuable balance against the more traditional views (McKnight 2014, 257).