I suppose all three of you who have looked at my blog so far may be asking why I chose to title it “Empire of God.” The simple answer is that kingdomofgod.wordpress.com was already taken! And whoever claimed that blog name is wasting it! They haven’t posted anything!!
The slightly longer version of the story is that “Empire of God” struck me as a way to draw attention to one of the meanings Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God would have had in the ancient world. Since much of the language he used to describe his mission (bringing salvation, peace, righteousness) would have been heard right along side of similar claims by Caesar, “the son of god”, and since we now apply the term “empire” to the Roman rule at that time, “Empire of God” seemed to me to set up that juxtaposition well.
We often don’t think of Jesus’ message in this way because as much as we like to shout our belief that context determined meaning, we often do not carry the mantra through to a truly contextual interpretation. The coin shown at left was minted throughout the Roman Empire during Augustus Caesar’s reign (27 BC-14 AD) and reads “Imp. Caesar Divi Filius”, Emperor Caesar Son of God. It is time we began to take Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God seriously as proclamation of an alternative kingdom that challenges all other kingdoms for our allegiance.