The Kingdom Reformation is the third in a trilogy on the kingdom of God: the mission and message of Jesus. The other two publications are Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom (a biblical theology) and Demonstrating the Kingdom (a practical theology).

The trilogy forms the core of a larger project on kingdom theology which Derek Morphew has been developing over decades. It traces the roots of kingdom theology to four key factors that have emerged in the post Second World War era.

They are,

1. The discovery and availability of the literature of Second Temple Judaism (the Dead Sea Scrolls, 1947).

2. The post holocaust review of Protestantism and the emergence of a Jewish-Christian dialogue.

3. The shift from modernism to postmodernism, leading to a review of the historical method as applied to the New Testament.

4. The consensus position of inaugurated eschatology, namely that Jesus taught that the kingdom of God was both future (apocalyptic, or end of the age) and present in his ministry.

These four factors have led to the emergence of a fresh departure in the long history of Christian theology, which is so fundamental (like a Reformation) that everything must be reviewed. To rediscover Jesus is to review the entire history of theology, including orthodoxy and the Reformation, without rejecting either of them.

While this fresh departure is growing and widely represented today, applying kingdom theology to mission and praxis has taken place particularly in the post-Wimber charismatic or “third wave” tradition, in a number of young and growing missional and church planting movement.


In this landmark study of “kingdom theology,” Derek Morphew explains how understanding “the kingdom” in Jesus’ mission and message is the decisive key to unlocking the entire biblical story. This third volume in Derek’s trilogy is undoubtedly his magnum opus.

Steve Burnhope (PhD King’s College London),
Senior Pastor, Aylesbury Vineyard Church, UK.

Derek Morphew’s Kingdom Reformation is extraordinarily wide-ranging, evaluating and connecting trends in philosophy, history, exegesis and theology. It synthesizes observations from these disciplines in insightful ways, and its careful structure makes the cumulative argument easy to follow.

Craig S. Keener
Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary
President of the Evangelical Theological Society.

My father, a noted Pentecostal theologian, loved George Ladd’s A Theology of the New Testament. Now this central theme of the New Testament is given fresh treatment by Vineyard scholar, Derek Morphew, in his book, The Kingdom Reformation.  Morphew brings the discussion up-to-date by tracing a trajectory from Oscar Cullmann and George Ladd through John Wimber and Third-Wave Christianity to N.T. Wright and the Third Quest for the Historical Jesus. This engaging and insightful book argues that Jesus’ message of the inaugurated Kingdom of God has been rediscovered, after two millennia of obscurity, only in the last few decades. Morphew covers an amazing amount of ground, yet writes like a novelist. Every thinking Christian will read this book with profit.

Robert P. Menzies
Director of the Asian Center for Pentecostal Theology &
Adjunct Professor at the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary

I have been around the Vineyard for 35 years and thought I had a pretty good handle on Kingdom Theology as we understand it in our Movement. I have learnt so much from The Kingdom Reformation. Derek shared much of his manuscript with our Vineyard College students, many who have been a part of the Vineyard for quite a few years.  The unanimous feedback was about a new-found depth of understanding and excitement regarding God and his Kingdom.

Dr Peter Downes,
Vineyard College, Australia.

The first words, I personally heard John Wimber say was “let me tell you about the Kingdom of God”. Years later, now as a pastor, I heard Wimber introduce Derek Morphew saying, “no one teaches on the Kingdom of God like Derek”.  His insights, erudition, and challenges are profound. As a theologian and a pastor, he has that rare gift of theory and practice.  He is not nailing any “95 theses” to a “Wittenberg chapel door”, but he is graciously and learnedly encouraging us in to think again about a new “Reformation”, about a bigger and broader gospel to be preached, the fruit of which can only be profound. I highly recommend it.

Jeremy Cook, Senior Pastor,
The Hull Vineyard Church, UK.

Dr. Derek Morphew, in his Kingdom Reformation, has produced a magnificent backstory of biblical scholarship that frames his proposal for a “kingdom theology.” Morphew’s personal perspective strongly encourages a literal replication of Jesus’s original, biblically-described mission to inaugurate and continue his Kingdom “in power”—a replication that Jesus himself emphasized for the enlightened reader of the New Testament. The Kingdom Reformation commands a key role in Pentecostal/Charismatic scholarship, a text I plan to use in my own PhD courses.

Jon Ruthven,
PhD Program Coordinator, Iris Global University
 Previously School of Divinity, Regent University

Table Of Contents



Part One: The Story Of The Kingdom
The Two Stories

Part Two: Historical Method
The First Quest
The Escape
The Second, Or “New”, Quest
Summary Of Part Two

Part Three: Human Rationality
Postmodernism And Post Foundationalism
Richard R. Niebuhr
Wolfhart Pannenberg
Ben Meyer
Wentzel Van Huyssteen
Kevin J. Vanhoozer
Summary and Conclusions

Part Four: Jesus Research
The Jesus Seminar
Third Quest Critical Realism
The Jewish—Christian Dialogue
The Third Quest
The “Jesus” of The Third Quest
Choosing A Research Tradition
Summary of Part Four

Part Five: Kingdom Theology
The Genesis of Kingdom Theology
Defining The Kingdom
Kingdom Theology in New Testament Literature
Kingdom Theology and Orthodoxy
Kingdom Theology and Protestantism
The Big Picture of The Kingdom
The Gospel We Preach
Claiming A Reformation?