Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church  -     By: Scot McKnight
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Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church

Brazos Press / 2014 / Hardcover

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According to Scot McKnight, "kingdom" is the biblical term most misused by Christians today. It has taken on meanings that are completely at odds with what the Bible says. "Kingdom" has become a buzzword for both social justice and redemption so that it has lost its connection with Israel and with the church as a local church.

McKnight defines the biblical concept of kingdom, offering a thorough corrective and vision for the contemporary church. The most important articulation of kingdom was that of Jesus, who contended that the kingdom was in some sense present and in some sense in the future. The apostles talked less about the kingdom and more about the church. McKnight explains that kingdom mission is local church mission and that the present-day fetish with influencing society, culture, and politics distracts us from the mission of God: to build the local church. He also shows how kingdom theology helps to reshape the contemporary missional conversation.

Kingdom Conspiracy was names Outreach Resource of the Year in the Missional Church category by Outreach Magazine

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Brazos Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1587433605
ISBN-13: 9781587433603
Availability: In Stock

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Author Bio

Scot McKnight (PhD, University of Nottingham), Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, is a world-renowned scholar, writer, and speaker. His blog, Jesus Creed, is one of the most popular and influential evangelical blogs. He is the author or editor of fifty books, including The Jesus Creed, The Blue Parakeet, and The King Jesus Gospel. McKnight is also a canon theologian for the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others.


There is so much talk these days about 'the kingdom of God,' and yet there is so much confusion about what this phrase even means! For many, it simply represents whatever theological, political, and/or cultural ideals they deem best. The result is that a beautiful, powerful concept that should be uniting the church is now contributing to its fragmentation. This is why Kingdom Conspiracy is one of the most important and timeliest works to be written in recent years. Using airtight arguments solidly anchored in Scripture, McKnight brings much-needed clarity to what 'kingdom of God' means--and doesn't mean--and how it relates to the church and its mission. He writes in a clear and informal style that is accessible to all. And that is a good thing, because this is a book that needs to be read by everyone--scholars and laypeople alike--who wants to understand and consistently live out what it means to be a follower of King Jesus.
-Gregory A. Boyd,
senior pastor, Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul, Minnesota

The misappropriation of faddish terms can be an unfortunate reality for American Christians. The casual manner in which we toss around phrases like 'kingdom theology' and 'missional churches' can have an adverse effect on our efforts to form a robust ecclesiology. Evoking 'kingdom' language has become the new vogue among missional communities--almost as in vogue as the word 'missional' itself. With prescient analysis and pastoral insight, Scot McKnight succeeds in providing a scriptural and theological text for those who have heard the word so often but failed to think through its meaning. McKnight offers a fresh take on the kingdom that will serve as a primer for followers of Jesus who seek first the kingdom of God in our own context.
-Soong-Chan Rah,
North Park Theological Seminary

Unlocking what Jesus meant by 'the kingdom of God' is essential to our witness to the gospel. If Christians today are going to live in the world as the church, we need to understand the message of this book.
-Rich Stearns,
president of World Vision U.S.

As both a pastor and an activist, I can say that the punches Kingdom Conspiracy throws are as important as they are infuriating! At times it had me yelling 'Amen!' and at other times it just had me yelling. But if you keep wrestling, this book will inspire you to a greater vision of the church--greater than self-focused seclusion, greater than the coercion of a new clandestine Christendom, greater than personal social action. Scot is a kingdom pacifist picking fights with pastors and activists alike until we bleed with passion for what the local church is graced to be: where God's will is done, where the kingdom has come, where the incarnation is continued, where God's future is happening, now!
-Jarrod McKenna,
Australian Peace Award-winning activist, pastor, and cofounder of First Home Project

In Kingdom Conspiracy, McKnight critiques those of us who have reduced the kingdom to social action or personal salvation. He then issues an invitation to embrace a kingdom theology rooted in the church; it's as simple as gathering and doing the things the church is called to do.
-Sara Barton,
university chaplain, Pepperdine University

Scot McKnight's pastoral heart and concern for Jesus' bride, the church, will bring tears to your eyes. The implications of Kingdom Conspiracy will move you to practice what it teaches! This is essential reading for the church in a post-Christian America. Do someone a huge favor; buy them this book, which needs to be read by every Christian.
-Derwin L. Gray,
lead pastor, Transformation Church

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A McKnight of the Kingdom
    October 11, 2014
    Matt Lowe, Lectio House
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Cross-posted from my blog review -- -- for Brazos Books Bloggers:

    I enjoy reading Scot McKnight's work, even when I disagree with him (usually on relatively minor points). And I don't disagree with him here, for the most part. What he's trying to do, and largely succeeding at, in his new book is to reconcile two Christian views of "kingdom" -- as theology, as language, and as activity -- that have tended to diverge over the past century and are doing so again today. McKnight casts one stream of thought and practice, which tends to aim its "kingdom" work toward "the common good," social justice, and culture-making, as "skinny jeans kingdom" people, and the other, the kingdom-as-personal-salvation camp, as "pleated pants kingdom" people (including, cleverly, "the arch-Pleated Pants scholar" George Eldon Ladd, p. 10). Those who recognize themselves as falling into one camp or the other will find their views and practices represented well here, both in strengths and weaknesses. For those folks, and for the rest of us who find ourselves somewhere between the two extremes, this book serves as a fine biblical theology of church, kingdom, and mission. It's very readable, too: the most challenging words in the body of the text are perhaps eschatological and parabolic, while readers who want to go deeper can plunge into sources recommended in the endnotes (as when McKnight notes Tom Wright's recent two-volume work in its entirety in partial support of a point on first-century use of "Son of God" imagery, p. 132!).

    Throughout Kingdom Conspiracy, McKnight nicely balances his attention to many facets of kingdom thought and action, including the tensions of its growth in this world (classically, the "already" and the "not yet", and as both "realm" and "reign"); the biblical (and deeply contextual) story that it encapsulates; and what it looks like to live out the kingdom in mission, in vocation, and in public and political presence -- or, simply put, what it means to embody the kingdom in and as the church. There are moments when the author nearly loses that balance. I wish he'd added more nuance to his study of the New Testament's view of "the world" and Jesus' confrontation with its idolatrous worldviews (pp. 17, 60): a brief focus on the way that Rome saw the world (as the oikoumenē, the inhabited world/culture that it had inherited from Greece) might have strengthened McKnight's discussion of culture and counterculture, both here and through the rest of the volume. But that missing nuance does little to hurt his overall argument. This book is highly recommended for anyone -- no matter how close or distant their relationship with "church" -- who has ever struggled with how the church is to embody God's kingdom in the world.
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