“Over the past decade, McKnight . . . has emerged as America’s theologian. . . . His works provide an extra layer of theological undergirding for pastors and lay people who wish to go deeper in Bible study and live more consciously under the rule of ‘King Jesus,’ as he refers to Jesus Christ. McKnight’s writing is vivid, occasionally a little quirky. His book is valuable because he begins with the present state of churches: divided between what he calls the ‘skinny jeans’ and ‘pleated pants’ approaches. . . . This is a must-read for church leaders today.”
According to Scot McKnight, “kingdom” is the biblical term most misused by Christians today. It has taken on meanings that are completely at odds with what the Bible says. “Kingdom” has become a buzzword for both social justice and redemption so that it has lost its connection with Israel and with the church as a local church.
McKnight defines the biblical concept of kingdom, offering a thorough corrective and vision for the contemporary church. The most important articulation of kingdom was that of Jesus, who contended that the kingdom was in some sense present and in some sense in the future. The apostles talked less about the kingdom and more about the church. McKnight explains that kingdom mission is local church mission and that the present-day fetish with influencing society, culture, and politics distracts us from the mission of God: to build the local church. He also shows how kingdom theology helps to reshape the contemporary missional conversation.
Scot McKnight (PhD, University of Nottingham), professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, is a world-renowned scholar, writer, and speaker. His blog, Jesus Creed, is one of the most popular and influential evangelical blogs. He is the author or editor of fifty books, including The Jesus Creed,The Blue Parakeet, The King Jesus Gospel, and Sermon on the Mount.
Praise for Kingdom Conspiracy:
“Scot is relentless in his focusing our attention on Jesus’ Messiahship and what the identity of Jesus means for orienting us to the reality of the kingdom. His desire to ask the right questions of the biblical text is refreshing in that he is constantly bringing us back to Jesus as the central figure. . . . Kingdom Conspiracy is a book that challenges some commonly held beliefs and assumptions among evangelicals. Scot McKnight will rile up people on both the left and the right, as brilliant Anabaptists always do. . . . Kingdom Conspiracy‘s primary goal is one that I appreciate. It offers an ecclesio-centric view of the kingdom that refocuses our attention back on the church as the centerpoint of God’s plan in our world today.”
—Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition
“There is so much talk these days about ‘the kingdom of God,’ and yet there is so much confusion about what this phrase even means! For many, it simply represents whatever theological, political, and/or cultural ideals they deem best. The result is that a beautiful, powerful concept that should be uniting the church is now contributing to its fragmentation. This is why Kingdom Conspiracy is one of the most important and timeliest works to be written in recent years. Using airtight arguments solidly anchored in Scripture, McKnight brings much-needed clarity to what ‘kingdom of God’ means–and doesn’t mean–and how it relates to the church and its mission. He writes in a clear and informal style that is accessible to all. And that is a good thing, because this is a book that needs to be read by everyone–scholars and laypeople alike–who wants to understand and consistently live out what it means to be a follower of King Jesus.”
—Gregory A. Boyd, senior pastor, Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul, Minnesota; author of Repenting of Religionand Benefit of the Doubt
“The misappropriation of faddish terms can be an unfortunate reality for American Christians. The casual manner in which we toss around phrases like ‘kingdom theology’ and ‘missional churches’ can have an adverse effect on our efforts to form a robust ecclesiology. Evoking ‘kingdom’ language has become the new vogue among missional communities–almost as in vogue as the word ‘missional’ itself. With prescient analysis and pastoral insight, Scot McKnight succeeds in providing a scriptural and theological text for those who have heard the word so often but failed to think through its meaning. McKnight offers a fresh take on the kingdom that will serve as a primer for followers of Jesus who seek first the kingdom of God in our own context.”
—Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, North Park Theological Seminary; author of The Next Evangelicalism
“Unlocking what Jesus meant by ‘the kingdom of God’ is essential to our witness to the gospel. If Christians today are going to live in the world as the church, we need to understand the message of this book.”
—Rich Stearns, president of World Vision U.S.; author of Unfinished and The Hole in Our Gospel
“As both a pastor and an activist, I can say that the punches Kingdom Conspiracy throws are as important as they are infuriating! At times it had me yelling ‘Amen!’ and at other times it just had me yelling. But if you keep wrestling, this book will inspire you to a greater vision of the church–greater than self-focused seclusion, greater than the coercion of a new clandestine Christendom, greater than personal social action. Scot is a kingdom pacifist picking fights with pastors and activists alike until we bleed with passion for what the local church is graced to be: where God’s will is done, where the kingdom has come, where the incarnation is continued, where God’s future is happening, now!”
—Jarrod McKenna, Australian Peace Award-winning activist, pastor, and cofounder of First Home Project
“In Kingdom Conspiracy, McKnight critiques those of us who have reduced the kingdom to social action or personal salvation. He then issues an invitation to embrace a kingdom theology rooted in the church; it’s as simple as gathering and doing the things the church is called to do.”
—Sara Barton, university chaplain, Pepperdine University; author of A Woman Called: Piecing Together the Ministry Puzzle
“Scot McKnight’s pastoral heart and concern for Jesus’ bride, the church, will bring tears to your eyes. The implications of Kingdom Conspiracy will move you to practice what it teaches! This is essential reading for the church in a post-Christian America. Do someone a huge favor; buy them this book, which needs to be read by every Christian.”
—Derwin L. Gray, lead pastor, Transformation Church