It is impossible to read the synoptic gospels without noticing a reoccurring and central theme: the Kingdom of God. But as you can imagine, scholars from across the theological spectrum have interpreted the kingdom in vast and varied ways.
The Presence of the Future is the fruit of a subject that the author spent much of his academic career studying. Though himself evangelical and Baptist, Ladd plays an objective hand when dealing with the prominent interpretations of those with whom he disagrees. What this book lacks in readability, it makes up for with careful exegesis and keen insight.
Is the Kingdom of God coming, or is it here?
Yes, explains Ladd.
Jesus stood firmly in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets by proclaiming that the reign of God is both present and will be consummated in the future. It is dynamic tension reconciling seeming contradiction.
Ladd elucidates how the rule of God was manifested in the person and mission of Jesus. It remains active through the lordship of Christ in the lives of believers. It grows through the ministry of the church. And, it will firmly and finally be established at Christ’s return.
Bottom line: it is through Jesus Himself that the Kingdom must be interpreted.
This should be a standard go-to for those teaching on the subject in the local church. For to miss the import and application of this subject is to miss a significant biblical concept.