Bringing the Kingdom: Progressive Reflections on Scripture

Bringing the Kingdom: Progressive Reflections on Scripture

by Kevin Brown


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People have used the Bible for a variety of purposes over the course of the past two thousand years; unfortunately, many of those uses have reinforced power structures and systems that oppress and dominate those without privilege. Worst of all, people have used the Bible as a means to divide humanity into those who are worthy of salvation and those who are not. However, if we look at the lectionary readings, especially the gospels, we can see that God actively seeks to undercut and subvert systems of power, and God calls Christians to do the same. Through an examination of Jesus's teachings, with support from a wide variety of other parts of the Bible, we can see that ideas of social justice and true liberation run throughout God's message to humanity. Rather than focusing on who gets into heaven and who doesn't, Jesus seeks to proclaim God's love for all humanity. By reading the Bible this way and attempting to live up to Jesus's call, we can seek to bring the kingdom to our world, as it is in heaven.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532619557
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 01/18/2018
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)

About the Author

Kevin Brown is an elder at Northminster Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is the author of a spiritual memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. He is also the author of three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems; A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner, Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry); and Exit Lines.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

It's the End of the World As We Know It 1

First Sunday in Advent

The Harbinger of Things to Come 4

Second Sunday in Advent

Do You Hear? 7

Third Sunday in Advent

A Song for Progressives 10

Fourth Sunday in Advent

More Than a Good Story 13

Christmas Eve

Taking Action 16

Christmas Day

Border Crossing 19

First Sunday After Christmas

Tipping Points 22

The Feast of the Epiphany

Good News 25

First Sunday After the Epiphany

Hearing the Call 28

Second Sunday After the Epiphany

Exceptionalism 31

Third Sunday After the Epiphany

Not Pie in the Sky By and By 34

Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany

Hide It Under a Bushel? No! 37

Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany

Are We Sure We Want Transformation? 40

Sixth Sunday After the Epiphany

It's Just That Simple 44

Seventh Sunday After the Epiphany

True Transfiguration 47

Transfiguration of Our Lord

Spiritual Practices 50

Ash Wednesday

The Real Problem of Evil 53

First Sunday in Lent

The State of the World 56

Second Sunday in Lent

Turning Over the Tables 59

Third Sunday in Lent

Why Evil Exists 62

Third Sunday in Lent

Reconciliation 65

Fourth Sunday in Lent

The Walking Dead 68

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Street Theater 71

Palm Sunday

The Rody and the Blood 75

Maundy Thursday

The Cross 78

Good Friday

The Empty Tomb 82

Easter Sunday

Having Faith 85

Second Sunday of Easter

Being Human 88

Third Sunday of Easter

Abundant Living 91

Fourth Sunday of Easter

New and Improved 94

Fifth Sunday of Easter

When the Spirit Moves 97

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Looking in the Right Place 100

Ascension Day

Nobody Likes Me 103

Seventh Sunday of Easter

The Wind Blows All the Walls Down 106

Day of Pentecost

Not Going It Alone 109

Trinity Sunday

Breaking the Law 112

Second Sunday After Pentecost

How to Stand Up 115

Third Sunday After Pentecost

Not What We Want to Hear 118

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Being Neighborly 121

Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

Bringing the Kingdom 124

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

We Can't Always Get What We Want 127

Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

Getting and Spending 130

Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Feeding the Hungry 133

Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Not the Warm and Fuzzy Jesus 136

Tenth Sunday After Pentecost

Surely He Knows Better 140

Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost

Who Do We Say He Is? 143

Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost

What to Worship 146

Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost

What We've Lost 149

Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Ending the Cycle 152

Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Radical Grace 156

Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Doubts and Questions 159

Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

Hearing the Margins 162

Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Not One of Us 165

Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Questions Even Jesus Didn't Answer 168

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

Can't Buy Us Love 171

Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost

Always Reforming 174

Reformation Sunday

The Heart of God 177

Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost

A False Choice 180

All Saints Day

We Shall See 183

Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost

The Generous Widow 186

Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

True Community 190

Twenty-Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

The Sheep and the Goats 193

Last Sunday After Pentecost

Books and Movies I've Read and Seen That Have Helped Me 196

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Kevin Brown reads and reflects on Scripture in a masterful way, providing the reader a book that is both progressive and prophetic. He helps the student of Scripture make the connections between the ancient word and present-day issues, particularly those related to matters of social justice. His reflections on a year’s worth of lectionary texts nourishes the inner spirit, even as he boldly challenges the reader to act justly on behalf of God’s kingdom.”

—Mark A. Benson, Senior Pastor, First Christian Church, Meridian, Mississippi

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