Living in the Kingdom of God
Second Edition, 2021
Living in the Kingdom of God examines the parables of Jesus of Nazareth based on two assumptions: first, that the “kingdom of God” is not a place we go after death—it is a “state of being” which each of us can achieve in this lifetime. Second, that the parables are to be taken literally as stories about people already living in the kingdom of God. They illustrate the behavior of these people and imply the values they live by as examples for us to follow.
This approach has led me to find eleven practical though challenging ideas that constitute Jesus’ core spiritual and ethical teachings. The first section of the book indicates how three well-known parables illustrate these core teachings. The second section shows how examples from Jesus’ life and his other sayings reflect these same eleven teachings. New to this second edition is a discussion of the meaning of Jesus’ invitation “follow me,” and its relevance for today. A third section describes Jesus’ ideas about God and a final section describes spiritual practices derived from gospel examples that can help each of us reach this new state of being and begin living in the kingdom of God.
By focusing on the words, the teachings of Jesus, and not on the theological issues of his birth, divinity, death, and resurrection, Living in the Kingdom of God makes Jesus’ teachings more accessible to all who want to live a happier and fuller life, regardless of religious orientation.
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