Quote of Note #70 — An Allegiance a Heavenly Kingdom


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Wheeling Suspension Bridge; photo by GAC

“In Philippians 3:20, Paul reminds these inhabitants of of the Roman colony that, as Christians, ‘we are citizens of a heavenly commonwealth [politeuma].’  We are citizens of a different empire.  The church of Jesus Christ is an alternative city, a counter-empire.  We are the ‘Messiah-people’ who pledge allegiance to the Lamb.  We are subjects of a king who tells us to put away our swords.  We are a peculiar people, ‘a royal priesthood and a holy nation’ (1 Peter 2:9), whose allegiance transcends the boundaries of states and nations — making us ‘strangers’ in every nation and state (1 Peter 2:11).”

James K. A. Smith, The Devil Reads Derrida and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009, page 76.

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