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Imminent Domain: The Story of the Kingdom of God and Its Celebration Paperback – March 31, 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 93 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802863671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802863676
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,728,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Marc Axelrod VINE VOICE on May 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ben Witherington has given us a handy guide to understanding the kingdom of God. He prefers the term "dominion" because the kingdom of God is both the place where God dwells, the sphere where God reigns, and is also present when His saving power is at work int he world, and it is present and active in the ministry of Christ and the Spirit. Yet he also stresses that we will not experience the kingdom in its fullness until Christ returns to set it up at the end of the age.

Witherington says that there is nothing we can do politically or militarily to bring in the dominion, we just need to pray "Thy kingdom come thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

He also says that since God's ultimate plan is for the kingdom of heaven to come to earth, and for us to live forever in glorified bodies. This teaches us that bodily living is God's desired plan for us, and that He truly cares for the earth He has created. He brings this out in texts such as 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 21-22. As a result, we should care for this planet because we are simply stewards of what God has given us.

The other purpose for this book is to garner more attention to the liturgical season of kingdom tide, which occurs in the fall and concludes around the time of Thanksgiving. Witherington feels that kingdomtide nicely dovetails into Thanksgiving and gives us a great opportunity to thank the Lord for His blessings and for His dominion rule.

The only weakness with this brief volume is that there is very little discussion of the kingdom of God in the Old Testament, particularly the mediatorial kingdom during the times of the kings of Israel. It would have been neat to see the progressive revelation of God's kingdom through the centuries. But what we have here is a tasty appetizer to further study.
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I'm not certain why the previous reviewer focused on tax structure in his critique of this book. I certainly did not find that aspect emphasized and did not, at first reading, see exactly how his comments were accurate. I probably missed something but if I did it was because it was not significantly set apart in the book itself.

This book is a fairly simple text and perhaps borders on being overly so. Witherington is at pains to make the concepts of the Kingdom accessible to minds which do not have a great deal of overlapping experience with earthly kingdoms, as the original readers of the Scriptures did. Modern Americans really don't know what it is like to have authority vested in one man who is able to command by fiat and impose his or her own particular whims on the mass of his servants. They are used to politicians and Eastern potentates were a different breed of animal. So, Witherington attempts to translate the idea of the Kingdom of God and its implications into our thought processes with some success.

It is an OK book from which to start and I found nothing in the book to overly criticize (and I am a pretty staunch advocate of Reformed Theology which holds the absolute sovereignty of God as the critical unifying theme in all revelation). I appreciated the structure of the book. It is easily digested in small chunks and the suggested discussion questions are ready made for a small group study. I did learn something new... the idea of "Kingdomtide" as a season in the liturgical calendar and I will probably do something with that in our own congregation this year.

On the whole... it is a book well worth having in your library even if you differ with the author on some points and if it stimulates thinking about the Kingdom of God it has served its purpose admirably.
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Another work of practical theology disfigured by the author's belief that being relevant means accepting conventional liberal politics. No, Professor Witherington, working for the Kingdom does not mean advocating a graduated income tax system. Progressive taxation is advocated by Marx's "Communist Manifesto," not the Bible. Why God would believe it was just for the government to take 0% of one man's income and 50% of another's, when God himself asks for only 10%, is beyond me. I mean really, think about what you are calling for before you do so. Perhaps asking "Is this something Augustine would have advocated?" might help clarify things.
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