In my last post, I referred to Wilson’s postmillennial view of the Church/Kingdom relationship. His post explains how he believes the Kingdom of God will come on earth: through the gradual working of the Spirit (leaven is an analogy that he often uses, referring to Jesus’ parable). Here are a couple quotes:
When kings come to Christ, their glory will grow. When kings die to their own glory, they will be raised in the glory of Another. And incidentally, though I am a minarchist (not an anarchist), and I believe that the kings of the latter glory will largely be ceremonial figureheads, I do not intend this as demeaning or as some kind of a nothing-honor. Why would any of us think that ceremony is a trivial thing? I suspect it will be shown to be the chief thing, far better than the current techniques for lording it over people — to wit, kicking butt and taking names — peace through superior firepower. That is a model that has a certain rough justice about it, but we have to admit that improvements could be made. When the lion lies down with the lamb, it will not be because men with block letters on their jackets are standing over them with automatic weapons.
So the Church is not gathered into the State, with ecclesiastical functions delegated to some part of the bureaucracy. Rather, I see the nations gathered to the Church, with the remaining civil functions distinct from the Church proper, but subordinate to it. The honor and glory of the kings really is honor and glory, and that honor and glory is really brought as tribute to be laid on the altar. In other words, I don’t see the nations gathering the Church, but rather the Church gathering the nations.
Remember, this is a purified Church, and not a grasping Church with a thin veneer of piety. Remember, this is eschatology, and depends upon the Spirit working through millennia. I am talking about 3500 A.D., and not proposing a sorry retread of the Sanhedrin or the Council of Constance to be implemented tomorrow.
I haven’t done much sorting out of my own eschatological views. I really don’t know where to start. But it is certainly fascinating to get others’ views on it.