Meet Dr. Miranda Zapor Cruz
When we affirm Jesus Christ as Lord, we declare that our citizenship is in Heaven and we pray for the Kingdom of God to come. But we are also citizens and residents of countries, with governments and laws that intersect with and diverge from the priorities and values of the Kingdom. Sometimes the intersection of the Kingdom and Country feels more like a collision. Sometimes the divergence of Kingdom and Country feels more like an explosion. And as we navigate Kingdom and Country, we find conflict, confusion, and occasional moments of clarity.
The nature of our calling as Christians is to be in the world, but not of the world, to seek the Shalom of our cities without conforming to them. But how? What is the relationship between Kingdom and Country, and how can we seek the Kingdom of God first while also engaging with politics and culture and society? How can we have Christ alone as our Lord, while also pledging allegiance to the flag or joining political parties?
I’ve been fascinated by these questions for decades. From reading St. Augustine and Abraham Lincoln at Whitworth University, to studying the minor prophets and religious nationalism at Princeton Theological Seminary, to earning a PhD in Religion, Politics, and Society at Baylor University, to teaching theology and church history at Indiana Wesleyan University — At every step the intersection of Kingdom and Country keeps me thinking, writing, speaking, and recommitting my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.