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N. T. Wright is the bishop of Durham and a New Testament scholar without equal in my judgment. Bishop Wright describes the kingdom as God’s “ultimate future and urgent present.” What does he mean?

He means what so many others mean when they say the kingdom is both now and not yet. There is a ultimate future in which God will rule without rival throughout the whole creation. It is the future that Isaiah envisions when he tells how “the wolf shall live with the lamb, [how] the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together..., [how] the nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp..., [and how] they will not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain” (Isa. 11:6ff.). It is the future that John envisions when he says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth.... And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.... And I heard a voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his people, and God himself will be with them” (Rev. 21:1ff.).

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