Today wrapped the Vineyard Regional Conference at VCC. It was my first official Vineyard gathering. I was impressed with a few things about my new tribe, but above all I was struck by the focus of a Kingdom-centered theology. Though the idea of the Kingdom of God is all throughout the Bible, and especially in the Jesus accounts, I spent most of my Christian life (including four years of Bible College) largely ignorant of the whole concept. I suppose it was first Dallas Willard in The Divine Conspiracy who opened my eyes about ten years ago.
From Willard I found Hauerwas, Yoder, Bosch, Ladd, Kung, Keller, Wimber and others who consistently pointed me toward the reality of the current-and-not-yet reign the Kingdom. I take the time to list these thinkers to show their different backgrounds - Liberals and Conservatives, Protestants and Catholics, Reformed and Armenian...I wonder if there is something to that. I've often wondered if there is fulfillment is Jesus saying that those who seek will find, and though we seek and find seemingly different positions and practices we find the same Kingdom. The same gospel. The same regeneration revolution. The same hope.
I've heard many people say that they were "vineyard" before they knew of the vineyard. After this week, I believe this is especially true for me.