For the Nation

For the Nation


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The nature of the kingdom Jesus proclaims in the Gospels has long been a subject of intense theological debate. More recently the lines of this debate have dramatically shifted as several leading historical Jesus scholars and Christian social ethicists have argued that Jesus' kingdom proclamation most likely expresses a first century Jewish hope for Israel's restoration.
Yet while several are now sanguine that Jesus' kingdom vision constitutes nothing less than a full-throated restoration of Israel's nationality, they are just as certain it rejects a restoration of Israel's land. As such it has become increasingly fashionable to say that an authentic practice of the ""kingdom"" ethic that Jesus enunciates must necessarily be a-territorial.
The purpose of this work is to respond to these arguments and show why this can and indeed should not be the case. Through a careful and detailed process of historical investigation, biblical exegesis, theological exploration, and ethical analysis we will come to see that not only is the kingdom that Jesus proclaims inextricably landed, but also why such a kingdom is integral to articulating a Christian ethic of territorial governance.

""A bravura performance by a promising young scholar, For the Nation challenges my own and other work in Christian ethics for not taking seriously Israel's land when speaking of God's kingdom as proclaimed by Israel's Messiah, Jesus. The work moves on from there to consider the ethical issues raised by territoriality in human existence. Strongly recommended."" 
--David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Director, Center for Theology & Public Life, Mercer University; Vice President, American Academy of Religion; Columnist, Religion News Service; President-Elect, Society of Christian Ethics

""Nicholas Brown here offers a powerful challenge to the reigning scholarly consensus regarding the territorial implications of Jesus' message of the kingdom. Skillfully integrating the disciplines of historical Jesus scholarship and Christian theological and ethical reflection, Brown presents a compelling vision of Jesus as a figure committed to Israel's territorial restoration but just as concerned about the ethical conditions and consequences of Israel's restored national life.""
--Mark S. Kinzer, President Emeritus, Messianic Jewish Theological Institute

""We are a long way from recovering the landed nature of Jesus' life and work as the Christ. In For the Nation, Nick Brown points us in the right direction. He exposes how influential Christian interpretation of the Gospels has been dismissive of land and place, and he offers a welcome plea for Christians to scrutinize our ethics of land by attending to Jesus' commitment to the land of Israel.""
--Tommy Givens, author of We the People: Israel and the Catholicity of Jesus

""With an impressive command of New Testament scholarship regarding the historical Jesus, ethicist Nicholas Brown works to dismantle Christian anti-materialism to show that Jesus' preaching of the kingdom was deeply concerned with the theological and territorial significance of Israel. This book will be the basis for a whole new theo-political discourse about structural supersessionism and the moral legitimacy of states and state-building.""
--Love L. Sechrest, Ph.D., Associate Professor of New Testament, Co-chair, SBL African American Biblical Hermeneutics Section, Fuller Theological Seminary

Nicholas R. Brown is a part-time professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a part-time professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498279031
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 09/29/2016
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Nicholas R. Brown is a part-time professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a part-time professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.

Table of Contents

Foreword Joel Willitts xi

Introduction 1

I Origins of the Project 1

II Prolegomena and Questions 3

III Thesis 5

1 W(h)ilher the Land? The De-territorialization of Jesus and the Kingdom of God in New Testament Scholarship 8

1.1 Introduction 8

1.2 Scholarly Incongruities and Puzzling Conundrums 9

1.3 Texts for Examination 14

1.4 W. D. Davies: The Gospel and the Land: Early Christianity and Jewish Territorial Doctrine 14

1.5 Marcus Borg: Conflict, Holiness and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus 31

1.6 N.T. Wright: Jesus and the Victory of God 46

1.7 Conclusion 50

2 From a Territorial State into State of Ethical Praxis: Discerning the Roots and Structure of the Kingdom's De-territorialization in Christian Ethics 53

2.1 Introduction 53

2.2 From a Territorial State to a Non-territorial Religious Ethic: A Historical and Theological Etiology of the Kingdom's De-territorialization 57

2.3 The Ethical De-territorialization of the Kingdom in Three Acts: Praxification, Ecclesiofication, and Typofication 65

2.3.1 Praxification: The Kingdom of God as a Place-less Ethical Performance 65

2.3.2 Ecclesiofication: The Kingdom as a "Churchified" Spatial Reality 69

2.3.3 Typofication: Israel's Land as a Provisional Paradigm for Holy Space 72

2.4 The Politics of Jesus: Nonviolent Enemy Love 83

2.5 A Peaceable and Non-territorial Reign 87

2.6 Conclusion 90

3 The Ground(s) on Which We Stand: De-territorializing the Kingdom of God in the Christian Imagination and Its Implications for Contemporary Theology and Ethics 92

3.1 Introduction 92

3.2 On Hollowed Ground: The Ambivalent Territoriality of St. Justin Martyr's and St. Irenaeus's Interpretations of the Kingdom of God 94

3.2.1 Chiliasm and Gnosticism in St. Justin Martyr's and St. Irenaeus's Theology 95

3.2.2 St. Justin Martyr's and St. Irenaeus' Interpretations of the Kingdom 100

3.3 Theological Imputations of a De-territorialized Kingdom 109

3.3.1 Covenantal 109

3.3.2 Supersessionist 111

3.4 Ethical Implications of a De-territorialized Kingdom 114

3.5 Conclusion 120

4 A Restoration of Land and a Restoration of Justice Governance-Restoration Eschatologies in Prophetic Texts and Late Second Temple Literature 121

4.1 Introduction 121

4.2 &cgpA;&cgpN;&cgpH;&cgpJ; Jeremiahs Theological and Ethical Symbiosis between Yahweh, Israel and the Land 122

4.2.1 Jeremiah 29-34: A Return to the Land and a Return to Justice 125

4.3 Israel's Restoration in Isa 56-61: A Landed, Particular Universalism 132

4.4 Israel's Restoration in Late Second Temple Jewish Literature 143

4.4.1 The Book of Jubilees 143

4.4.2 Psalms of Solomon 147

4.5 Conclusion 150

5 Jesus and the Kingdom: A Restoration of the Land and a Restoration of Just Governance for Israel and the Nations 152

5.1 Introduction 152

5.2 Matthew 5:5-Jesus' Beatitude of Blessing the Meek 154

5.3 The Lords Prayer in Matt 6:9-13 Luke 11:1-4 and Jesus' Appropriation of Isaiah's Jubilee in Luke 4:16-20 165

5.4 Jesus' Proclamation of the Jubilee in Luke 4:16-21 178

5.5 The Palingenesia/Kingdom in Matt 19:27-30 Luke 22:24-30 182

5.6 Toward Articulating a Christian Ethic of Territorial Governance: A Proposed Normative Framework 191

5.6.1 Walzer's Reiteration-a Normative Model for a Christian Ethic of Territorial Governance 194

Bibliography 199

Subject Index 207

Scripture Index 217

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