The Church as the Kingdom of God

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Carson Weber, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. Carson Weber

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    Brothers and sisters,

    I published my term paper for my graduate Theological Foundations course at Franciscan University of Steubenville on the World Wide Web for your reading pleasure.

    It may be reached at http://carson.boerne.com/catholic/kingdom_ecclesiology.html

    My thesis is that the Catholic Church may properly be identified as the Kingdom of God. It's really yummy; check it out - I'd love to hear your comments and criticism.

    in Christ,

    [​IMG]

    Carson

    [ April 23, 2003, 01:31 AM: Message edited by: Carson Weber ]
     
  2. Singer

    Singer
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    Carson,

    Your link wouldn't work for me, but then what can I expect when
    I've prayed for the protective hand of God over my life...!

    Hope you've included in your commentary that the Kingdom of
    God is within us.

    "Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold,
    the kingdom of God is within you. "

    BEWARE of those who say "Lo here or lo there".

    Hope you're not saying "Lo".............Carson.

    Singer
     
  3. Catholic Dad

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    Carson,

    Your link does not work for me either. I get a blank page.

    Catholic Dad
     
  4. Singer

    Singer
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    Catholic Dad,

    How do you feel about the Catholic Church being held up as the
    Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God ?

    Singer
     
  5. jasonW*

    jasonW*
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    Carson -

    Two votes "not working", one vote "working"

    I am getting the page correctly, just so you know.

    jason

    (PS. Tested using Netscape/Mozilla/Firebird (used to be called Phoenix) on Linux and IE6 on XP)
     
  6. DHK

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    Carson, your link works for me, and I found your paper interesting. However, as you probably expected I disagreed with much of what you had to say:

    This is the heart of your thesis:
    I will propose the grand idea that the Catholic Church may properly be identified with the kingdom of God.

    In order to prove your stated thesis you state the method that you will use:
    I propose that we must take on eyes of faith in our plight to understand the Catholic Church, and since our faith rests upon the word of God, especially as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture.

    In the very next paragraph instead of quoting the “Sacred Scripture,” as you said you would, you quoted from two men: Ratzinger and Augustine of Hippo. In fact your concluding statement of the paragraph was:
    Taking Augustine’s interpretation as our point of departure, let us now dive into the Bible and put the pieces of the puzzle together.
    So now, in contradiction to your previous statement, your method of proving your main premise has changed. It is no longer the Word of God; it has become the interpretation of Augustine. Thus Augustine, not the Bible is your authority.
    As you stated Augustine was an amillennialist. This position cannot be supported through Scripture, and does not have a shred of Biblical evidence. Yet people (mostly Catholics) continue to believe it just because people like Augustine believed it. There is no impetus to do personal Bible study. ‘It was good enough for those that went before me, therefore it is good enough for me,’ is the attitude taken. It is somewhat like the King James Only crowd who say: “It was good enough for Paul; it is good enough for me.” One ought not to be so interested in studying Augustine’s interpretation, as in what the Bible’s interpretation is, for the Bible interprets itself.

    I would like to propose in this essay that the kingdom of God, which we find ushered in with the advent of Jesus Christ is nothing other than the Davidic kingdom established by God through a sworn covenant oath with his servant David almost one millennium previously through the prophet Nathan.
    Here is another proposal that is supposed to support your original premise. You have a big problem with this theology. This premise is not provable. The Davidic Kingdom, the Millennium, is always spoken of in the future, never in the past. It is still a future event. When Christ was asked about he gave signs to watch for, but told them that it was not yet. The Jews rejected Christ as their Messiah, because He did not set up His Kingdom at that time. It is still a future event. To say that it was ushered in at the time of David goes contrary to all that Jesus said, and all that the New Testament says, not to mention the Old Testament prophecies.
    I would comment more on the rest of your paper, but for now this is all I have time for.
    DHK
     
  7. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
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    DHK --

    Only if you are not paying attention to the whole of Scripture:

    Da 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

    Not after these kings but in the days of these kings meaning that it had to happen during the reign of these aforementioned kingdoms and kings. And it did exactly, as the last of these kingdoms was destroyed by the "rock made without hands, Christ Jesus" by His crucifixion and establishment of the "new nation", the Church, in AD 70.

    Mt 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

    Again, Jesus gives a very succinct description of the passing of the kingdom from the Jews to the Church. You continually snipe at and ignore this parable, yet Scripture says that those to whom it was directed understood it quite well:

    Mt 21:45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

    Jesus was speaking of the end of the Jewish kingdom, and the chief priests and Pharisees knew it.

    Further evidence of this transistion is given by the apostle St. Peter:

    1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    This verse uses parallel language to that of Exodus 19: 6

    Ex 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

    Royal priesthood, kingdom of priests, holy nation. The OT Covenantal nation is transferred from the Jews to the Church, and it becomes, as Carson pointed out, a covenant of all the nations, not just of the Jews.

    God does not deal with mankind outside of covenant. From the earliest parts of Scripture to the present the covenant is mentioned. Premillenialism is non covenantal in its understanding, and therefore is not a proper representation of how God deals with people.

    Carson wrote a fine paper. I would suggest you give it more than a cursory glance. Get a Bible and concordance, along with a Greek/English lexicon and do some studying. It will be profitable to you.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed
     
  8. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
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    My web server has been having some problems today, and this is the reason why some of you have had problems accessing my paper today. Hopefully, the problem will be resolved as time goes on.

    Hi DHK,

    You are correct in asserting that I begin by quoting Ratzinger and Augustine, but you are incorrect in assuming that this means I am not beginning with Sacred Scripture. For, I quote Ratzinger on what truths were drawn out of Scripture by the Fathers (this is exegesis), and Augustine is quoted in his The City of God regarding his reading of the Sacra Pagina.

    I understand that I'm a Catholic, and that you disagree with me - but at least be reasonable in your dialogue with me. In the very least, try not to convolute what I've written to create a false dichotomy as you have just started off with.

    If you would have read my paper (I'm assuming that you did not - because if you did, your response seems quite unnecessary), you would have seen how the kingdom exists in the world at present. I have presented numerous Biblical texts that demonstrate this assertion, and it is your job - in denying amillenialism - to show how what the Bible asserts is false.

    The Jews rejected Christ as their Messiah, because He did not set up His Kingdom at that time. It is still a future event.

    Au contraire, mon ami. The Jews were expecting the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom, and Jesus - the Davidic King - restored this Kingdom in an unexpected and sublime way. N.T. Wright, one of the greatest New Testament scholars of our day, has expressedly shown this, especially in his Jesus and the Victory of God, which I quote briefly from in my paper.

    Cf. Mt 12:28, "But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."

    Cf. Mk 9:1, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."

    Cf. Acts 1:6, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"

    The advent of Jesus Christ is one of restoration, fulfillment, and transformation. The kingdom is not of this earth or this world. Essentially, the Church is heavenly, but the pilgrim Church here on earth - in its transitional and embyronic state - shares in the life and communion of the heavenly Church, and it is through the heavenly liturgy (i.e., as shown in John the Seer's Apocalypse) that the Church worships as one - heaven and earth - Saints and saints - angels and men. The Catholic Church on earth is the kingdom of God, but this pilgrim church is only part of the entire kingdom (which includes the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant), and will not be fully herself until the new heavens and the new earth are fully ushered in with the Second Coming.

    It is then when "The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers" (Mt 13:41), for the kingdom includes sinners at present in the pilgrim Church.
     
  9. Rakka Rage

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    it does not work for me either but... i wonder if he means AS or WITH?

    i do admit, it sounds "grand"
     
  10. Carson Weber

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  11. Rakka Rage

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    "the very purpose of creation, which is the Church."

    F-
     
  12. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
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    "the very purpose of creation, which is the Church."

    I attached a footnote to this sentence, which reads:

    (22) For a meditation upon how the Church is the goal of all creation, cf. Christoph Schönborn, Loving the Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998), 23-31: “’The world was created for the sake of the Church’, say the Christians of the first centuries … In the pilgrim Church the plan of creation already begins to become a reality; in the perfected Church it will have attained its goal. The perfected creation will be the perfected Church. Then will the true meaning of the Church be displayed: communion with God, communion among men in God”.

    This comment of Cardinal Christoph Schonborn (who was the general editor of the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church) reflects paragraph 760 of the Catechism, which reads:

    760. Christians of the first centuries said, "The world was created for the sake of the Church." (1) God created the world for the sake of communion with his divine life, a communion brought about by the "convocation" of men in Christ, and this "convocation" is the Church. The Church is the goal of all things, (2) and God permitted such painful upheavals as the angels' fall and man's sin only as occasions and means for displaying all the power of his arm and the whole measure of the love he wanted to give the world: Just as God's will is creation and is called "the world," so his intention is the salvation of men, and it is called "the Church." (3)
    _

    (1) Pastor Hermae, Vision 2,4,1:pG 2,899; cf. Aristides, Apol. 16,6; St. Justin, Apol. 2,7:pG 6,456; Tertullian, Apol. 31,3; 32,1:pL 1,508-509.

    (2) Cf. St. Epiphanius, Panarion 1,1,5:pG 41,181C.

    (3) Clement of Alex., Pæd. 1,6,27:pG 8,281.

    If you are interested in further exploring this issue, I suggest referencing the sources above.
     
  13. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
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    My website is back up and running, so the page should be accessible by all at present.
     
  14. Singer

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    [​IMG]
    Geez.....and all these years I've had the misconception that God
    created man because he was lonely. Now where did I get such
    an idea anyhow.

    Now that's far out...just imagine...God created the heavens and
    the earth to fulfill His dream of maintaining a Catholic Church. That's
    funny it didn't exist for the first few thousand years then.

    The Garden of Eden must have had a Catholic Church in it then.
    I do know it had a snake in it..!!!
     
  15. DHK

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    The Bible asserts no such thing. Therefore it is your job to prove that unbiblical view of amilleniallism is taught in the Scripures. You assert that which is Biblically false. If the Bible asserts amilleniallism, as you claim it does, then show where it does.
    DHK
     
  16. Frank

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    Carson:
    The Bible says we have been translated into the kingdom of his dear Son. Col. 1:12,13. The kngdom came when the apostles were still living. Mark. 9:1, Luke 3:1-3, Mat. 2:1,2. The kingdom of which we are a part will be delivered up to God in the end. I Cor. 15. Mat. 19 uses the terms kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God interchangeably. Therefore, the building of the church as promised by Christ happened on Pentecost in Jerusalem. Acts 2. The body of Christ (I Cor. 12:12,13) is the kingdom of God, Heaven and the church.
    As for the millenial reign the Bible teaches the following:
    1. Jesus will return a second time. Hebrews 9:28. This prevents a rapture of the righteous as it would require a third time appearance.
    2. Jesus will be SEEN. Rev. 1:7. It will not be secretive as some have proposed.
    3. Jesus' return will be HEARD. I Thes.4:16,17.
    4. Jesus will return to settle ALL accounts. Romans 14:12, II Cor. 5:10, John 5:28,29.
    5. Jesus will return to judge All men. II Tim. 4:1. Therefore, there will be no subjects to occupy an earthly kingdom of Christ. A man is either quick( alive) or dead.
    6. Jesus will return and the world will be destroyed. II Pet. 3:10-12. Therefore, there will be no place in this realm for him to sit on a throne.
    7. These events will happen in the last days. John 6. Three times in this chapter Jesus proclaimed he would raise us up in the last day. If there were an earthly reign, then it would be the next to the last days.

    8. There will be no signs of his return that denote that it is ready to take place. II Pet. 3:9-12. The manifold predictions to the contrary are simply unsubstantiated guess work. The religious highway is littered with these soothsayers.

    9. There is no scriptural evidence for an earthly reign.

    If the kingdom of Christ was not set up as predicted by prophesy in the days of the Romans kings, why would one think Jesus would have the power to finish the job the second time? If the personal sacrifice and righteousness of Christ failed the first time, How will he broker the deal the second time?

    Carson, I have not read all of your paper. However, the Bible does not teach any earthly or one thousand year reign of Christ on this earth. I applaud your scholarship in this area.
     
  17. Carson Weber

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    Hi Singer,

    Geez.....and all these years I've had the misconception that God created man because he was lonely.

    God, as a communion of Persons, does not need the world, but rather by the superabundance of his goodness freely wills that the world come into being. He does not love us because he needs us, but rather loves us into being without constraint or restriction. As St. Bonaventure put it, "God created the world to share his glory."

    All intelligent design has an end in view, and so the final end of creation is the intended telos (i.e., end goal) of its very existence. Since we know that God's end in creating us was communion with him (this is the essence of the Church: man's communion with God and thus with one another), we can say that the Church is the purpose for his creation.

    It's very popular these days to make God contingent upon our activity - as if our sin caused God to redeem us. Yet, if this were so, we would be the cause of the uncaused cause. The direction of creation by which it reaches and achieves its purpose is the result of divine providence and the ineffable design of God.

    Hi DHK,

    Therefore it is your job to prove that unbiblical view of amilleniallism is taught in the Scripures.

    The topic of this thread is a paper I wrote; perhaps a good starting point would be addressing the content of this particular essay. This presupposes that you read it in a considerate and fairminded fashion.
     
  18. Carson Weber

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    Hi Frank,

    I pretty much agree with all of your points.

    Carson, I have not read all of your paper.

    I suggest doing so; it's delicious, I think.
     
  19. Don

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    I considered it, but then I read these:
    And I was reminded of Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

    Perhaps if you re-phrased and left it at simply "I'd love to hear your comments and criticism"?
     
  20. Carson Weber

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    Hi Don, are you in a bad mood? What gives? Why don't you just get on with reading my paper and commenting on it (you know, the purpose of this thread) instead of falling into the muck of accusing me of evil pride and arrogance. Sheesh.. is this the way you treat your friends? This board has a propensity to fall into this sort of wish-wash that brings us nowhere; why can't we stay on topic here? I do have my faults, but taking those statements and turning around, accusing me of being full of evil pride and arrogance is - well - taking it a little bit too far, in my estimation.
     

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