The Gospel of the Kingdom is a solid biblical theology that stresses the importance of God’s kingdom. The thesis is that the Gospel of God in the New Testament is the redemptive work of God active in history for the defeat of his enemies, bringing men the blessings of the divine reign.
Ladd presents the kingdom as a present spiritual reality and has popularized the “already-not yet” paradigm of the kingdom. The kingdom is not only spiritual; it is also an inheritance which God will bestow on his people when he comes in glory. Ladd notes that the kingdom is God’s sovereign reign, but God’s reign expresses itself in different stages throughout redemptive history. In order to enter the kingdom one must submit himself in trust to God’s rule here and now.
The author explains the mystery of the kingdom. The mystery is that the kingdom has come among men and yet men can still reject it. The kingdom will not experience uniform success in this age.
Ladd makes it clear that righteousness is required for entrance into the future realm of God’s kingdom. This very same righteousness God imparts as he comes to rule within our lives. When one submits himself to the reign of God, the miracle of the new birth takes place within his heart. The author continues to explain that the kingdom demands repentance which determines the quality of present life and future destiny. The basic demand of the kingdom obedience. Ladd stresses that there is but one people of God (in contrast to classical dispensationalism).
The Gospel of the Kingdom has many strengths worth noting. First, Dr. Ladd does a great job making sense of the different aspects of God’s kingdom, i.e. present versus future. Second, he writes on a personal level and vividly conveys the hope of the kingdom to the new covenant believer. The perspective in this book is quite illuminating. Rather than getting weighted down by sophisticated theological arguments, Ladd presents his case in a simple, yet profound manner. Third, the author engages in a serious biblical theology. No proof texting can be found here. Forth, this book causes the reader to worship as he confronts the reality of the present and future reality of the kingdom of God. Finally, the author does a formidable job at explaining the relationship between the church and Israel. He remains committed to premillennialism, yet rejects the erroneous distinctions of classical dispensationalism.
One thought on “THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM – George Eldon Ladd (1959)”