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The kingdom of God changes all that....
The kingdom of God changes all that.
Part I A Subversive Way of Thinking 1
1 Rebelling against the Rebellion 3
2 Secrets of the Kingdom 25
3 Already, but Not Yet 49
Part II A Subversive Way of Life 71
4 Becoming Your Kingdom Self 73
5 Uncommonly Good 93
6 Rules of Engagement 115
7 Idol Elimination 137
Part III A Subversive Plan of Action 157
8 The King's Mission 159
9 A Sign of Things to Come 181
10 Instrumentality 203
Posted December 24, 2013
I am so appreciative of Christian books that really make you stop and think, and this is definitely one of them. The author continues to bring you back to the Bible, and he reminds you of our purpose in this world. It has nothing to do with getting everyone to like us and feel good. Our mission is to shake things up a bit. The enemy actively controls this world, and we are in a war against his powers. We are called to live a life like Christ and glorify Him in this world.
This is a heavy book, and it is meant to be digested slowly. This first reading was so overwhelming that I plan to keep this around and digest it in small pieces. And it shouldn't surprise us that this is a deep book. After all, this is from the guy who read the World Book encyclopedia for fun as a child! (Not kidding--check it out!) I would recommend this book to believers who truly want to go deeper in their relationship with God.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Posted May 30, 2012
Subversive Kingdom: Living As Agents of Gosepl Transformation by Ed Stetzer was written to break through the problem of lukewarm, modern Christianity that seems to prevail in today's society. In Revelation, one of the churches admonished for being considered lukewarm- lukewarmness or spiritual inactivity was condemened as being among the most loathsome of traits by God, as it essentially renders the life saving message of God, ineffective. From the start, the author explains the purpose of the book: that "we live among a world system that, even though ultimately under the reign of a soverign God, temporarily exerts a competing authority that seeks to enforce an unjust, 7uynreightous order on those it claims to rule". (page 5) The author compares it to political oppresion such as that of the confederacy in the civil war. Stetzer does not underestimate the problem when he states "We're in rebellion against the rebellion". There are various responses by Christian observed, including staying above ground in which the Christian blends in with society and accepted social norms, or hiding underground. The author identifies a more powerful and biblical option of staying and fighting in which the believer overcomes evil by becoming agents of God's subversive kingdom. In an appeal to the desire to be proactive and bold for Christ, the author suggests that many Christians simply are not doing enough to share the good news of the gospel and that many have become complascent or lukewarm.
This book is rich in scripture references to illustrate the role of the believer in today's modern society. The author points out that there is no middle ground- no relativism. The book serves as a "how to" manual, in a way, as it shows the step by step biblical process of how to live a life in accordance with biblical standards. It applies biblical truths to the practical modern world and everyday life of a believer. There is an objective truth and God's standards. To fall short is to miss the mark. The discussion of idols is informative, and it reveals to the reader how self proclaimed Christians have idols in their lives when they cling to any worldly thing or ambition to the exclusion of Christ. We may have personal, religious or cultural idols. Even so called noble or positive things such as work, family or church may become an idol. Idols are not just simply an ancient plague- but something that is very common today. Many readers may not realise they are in fact guilty of idol worship. Ironically, Jesus was considered subversive. Though he was peaceful and did not seek revenge, he was bold and did not comprimise. He compared believers to enemies of this world and that Satan was the father of this temporary, visible world that we live in. Those are bold claims, but true nevertheless. Teh implcation is that we are in fact called to resist the world which is in fact the enemy. Another way the author portrays Jesus is subversive is through the use of parables- in which the parables were not always clearly understood- especially by those who were spiritually hardened.
This book challenges the reader to see the discrepency between his or her life and the actual biblical message. The author prompts the reader to remove the hypocricy that he or she may be living in life, and to discard it in exchange for a life to achieve God's purpose. Essentially we are on a mission to share the gospel. Through his use of clever and attention holding analogies- Stetzer presents the gospel message in a fresh new light, in an attempt to bring new enthusiasm to ancient truths. There is something compelling about referring to the challange of sharing the gospel as "subversion". To appeal to those who are impressed by spy movies, we are called to be agents for God's kingdom. Often we have to accomplish what is needed for God's kingdom, subersivly or undercover- in a sense. The ultimate goal is to show and to share the gospel message to the spiritually lost and to share the love of Christ- just like the Great Commission in the bible that Jesus gave to the apostles. This book is a unique outreach method to give renewed energy and purpose to lukewarm christians who are spiritually stunted. Many Christians simply don't pick up their bibles to get this information- they live comfortable, statsisfying lives and if it were up to them, they would continue their lives in blissful ignorance. The author makes it easy to come face to face with the truth in this book. As a blogger I receieved this book from B&H publishers for the prupose of writing this review. My opinions are my own.
Posted May 19, 2012
I was offered the opportunity to review Ed Stetzer's (director of research at Lifeway publications) latest book, Subversive Kingdom: Living as Agents of Gospel Transformation.His name was not familiar to me, but I am a BIG FAN OF LIFEWAY PUBLICATIONS, so I was tickled. Gotta say, this was a great read. Has a permanent place on my bookshelf! God fills us Christians, like a fountain of pure, clean, cold refreshing water flows into a tall, clear, glass pitcher. But the fountain does not fill the pitcher so it can just sit there all smug and make all the empty pitchers envious and jealous. We are the same. God fills us up and means for us to go out into the world and share the Gospel of Jesus! But Just like Jonah: we sit there in church and think the unworthy need to come to church like we do, and we sit there and get our fill and then we leave and do nothing for God. We are supposed to share - I mean come on people - did Jesus teach us Nothing???? We know better. Stetzer has become frustrated with pews of people who just sit there and then do nothing. And to that end, he lights a great fire under the pews with this book. I especially enjoyed the way he points out that God uses the everyday, average people with flaws and warts and all to serve His Kingdom. Moses, picture Moses. Hot headed and stuttering. Long way from perfect. Noah, King David...the list is LONG of the kind of average persons from the Bible that God picked to help Him in His Work so why do we think God has changed His style? We know God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow so why do we think God needs only the rich, political affluent people to do His work? God has never relied on them before! Its the regular folks that God equips and depends on and this book really tickled me. I have noted a few people in church before that I though of as f-ing Pharasses. Yeah, I spelled it like that on purpose. You know the type. The retired rich people with perfect clothes and Home & Garden houses and every hair in place who always give lip service to God...but let them get the chance to work for God and they are more concerned with looking their best while they are down in the trenches and finding someone else to do the job than they are with serving God. Every church has some of them; and churches might new a reformation like the author suggests. I really dont think the churches need to change I think they just need to open their eyes. But the author has a lot more experience than me as hes from the pulpit. I agree with him, it sure is frustrating to see a bunch of Christians but noone will do anything just like Jonah (again) because we dont think the others/outsiders/nonchurchers are worthy....like we are anybetter. If we could get to Heaven on our own, Jesus would not have had to be tortured to death. We are saved by Grace, nothing else. The author talks about politics and ceremony and the hangups of our culture and points out once again the way God handled this in the past: Jesus did not come to us with pomp and circumstance on a great stallion surrounded by a host of angels and gold and diamonds underfoot like the rose petals of Earthly Kings. Jesus came humble; just as a man. And He did impossible things. And He told us that some will come after Him who will believe in Him who will do even MORE impossible things than He did. We need to start shutting up and start putting out. All we do is talk about why we cant do this or that for God. Jesus came to the hottest most miseWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.