death, resurrection, kingdom of God

An evangelical reader writes …

I find it facinating that so many critics of your work fail to recognize the fact that Jesus’ death and ressurection are what ultimately give weight, power and authority to the gospel of the kingdom. This, I assume, should be a baseline assumption – shouldn’t it? I know there are people who think that Jesus was a person who just said a lot of really good things, but without his submission to death and subsequent ressurection none of what he said really has any weight. How can the kingdom be upon us, or how can the kingdom of God be a reality if the person who proported himself to be the King of the kingdom is just some phoney?
I understand that Evangelicals do tend to spend a lot of time focusing on ‘the death, the blood, the suffering’ etc. But I wonder if a wise course of action in regards to Evangelicals would be to point our attention (if only for a moment) to the fact that the death, the blood, the suffering and the resurrection all work to validate and give weight to the Gospel of the Kingdom. I wonder what would happen if we evangelicals started to grasp this. I wonder how much more compassionate, loving, inclusive, grace-giving and merciful we evangelicals might be if we fully embraced this.

Thanks for these helpful comments. I have a cover article related to this subject in next month’s issue of Sojourners, and of course it’s an important theme in A New Kind of Christianity.