Every Tribe, Tongue, People, And Nation: The Future Of Race Relations And Social Justice Implications For Today -- By: Christopher B. Cone

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 024:1 (Spring 2020)
Article: Every Tribe, Tongue, People, And Nation: The Future Of Race Relations And Social Justice Implications For Today
Author: Christopher B. Cone


Every Tribe, Tongue, People, And Nation: The Future Of Race Relations And Social Justice Implications For Today

Christopher Cone

Abstract: This study introduces several ideological diagnoses of social injustice with their respective prescriptions, illustrates the extent of the problem as expressed in racial disunity, outlines the solution expressed in biblical eschatology, and examines the hermeneutic legitimacy of contemporary application of the Sermon on the Mount and of its future aspects and the destinies implied for its citizens. The latter is considered in light of the “every tribe” inclusiveness found in passages like Genesis 12:3b and Revelation 5:9, 7:9, 10:11, 11:9, 13:7, 14:6, 16:10, and 17:15. The resulting focus on human relationships and ethnic diversity in the kingdom helps us consider the implications of that diversity for the present-day church and its interactions with society.

Key words: Social justice, Ecclesiastical Approach, Statist Approach, Dominionism, Sermon on the Mount, inclusiveness, eschatology

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Introduction

Jesus’ presentation of the “kingdom of the heavens” in Matthew 5–7 was particularly intended for first-century Jewish people to understand that internal righteousness and not simply external adherence to moral code was necessary to enter that kingdom. In addition to demonstrating this key deficiency on the part of his listeners, his Sermon on the Mount further offers a model for the character of kingdom members and the culture of the kingdom, and thus has contemporary applications, since believers during the church age have been transferred (positionally) “to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col 1:13).2 Although that kingdom currently has no (other) earthly expression in this age, it will one day come to earth in literal fulfillment of God’s kingdom promises in physical manifestation (hence, Matthew’s term “kingdom of the heavens”), thus the applicability of the Sermon for the present day is strengthened by the future certainty of kingdom-promise fulfillment. If it is appropriate to understand the Sermon on the Mount as having contemporary

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