The Pauline proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Christ within its New Testament setting
Colossians and Ephesians occupy an unusual position in the Pauline literature. While they are clearly influenced by the apostles theology and language, they contain ideas which many have thought to be too far distant from the theology of the non-disputed letters to be considered Pauline. We have already discussed the meaning of the with regard to the subjection of the angelic Powers. Mt this point we will examine Colossians and Ephesians in order to evaluate the context in which their authors speak of the rule of God and of Christ. It is immediately apparent that the kingdom theology of Colossians and Ephesians is strongly influenced by the general purposes of the letters. These epistles were not written in a theological void; they were directed against a particular teaching (Colossians) and for readers who feared a hostile cosmos (Ephesians). In discussing questions such as the role of realized eschatology, cosmology, and the relationship between church and kingdom in these letters we need to pay attention to the polemical aims of their writers.