By Stan Guthrie
In recent decades, the kingdom of God—or at least our understanding of what it is and what we should do about it—has sparked almost as much contention in the church as out of it. Those on the evangelical political right, despite some high-profile disappointments, seek to bring in at least an echo of the kingdom through conservative political activism and exalting freedom. Those on the left, by contrast, advocate government programs aimed at poverty, education, and equality. Both sides act as if the kingdom, or at least substantial societal transformation, can be ushered in through human effort.