Pastor’s Book Review
The author begins by showing the readers that Jesus came to the this earth “appearing as a baby in a Bethlehem manger, born in obscurity to humble parents, raised as the son of a poor carpenter in the back waters of the Roman Empire”. His first thirty years, we know very little, not much by way of public attention. At the age of thirty, he begins to declare that the Kingdom of God has come. He did not march on Rome with a group of zealots; he did not write a political manifesto. He simply announced the Kingdom is here (Matthew 4:17).
He told his selected few disciples that the “knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven have been given to you” (Matthew 13:11). In essence, Jesus was telling His disciples that he was the “Secret” to understanding the Kingdom of God and experiencing His Presence and Power!
Stetzer writes, “God in Christ reaching down to the broken and lost world, rescuing them from bondage, and transferring them into God’s Kingdom of Light – the gospel is not merely the story of the Bible and the only hope for hopeless mankind. It is indeed the grandest expression of God’s mission. And God’s mission needs to be our mission.”
Stetzer continues with some very thought provoking statements about kingdom living or the Christian “Subversive” lifestyle. “If it is God’s mission then it should also be the Church’s mission. It should orient our schedule and priorities. It should dictate our activities and why we do them” (page 166). But does it?
Stetzer has this to say about Christ’s Church and His Kingdom: “Some people talk as if the Church isn’t necessary to this endeavor anymore, that it no longer applies to His plan and mission to the same degree it once did. People say, “God is at work outside the Church” – and yes, He is. People say, “The Kingdom is bigger than the Church” – and yes, it is. People say, “The Kingdom of God is not the Church” – and no, it is not. The ministry of the Gospel has been designed “so that God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the Church (Ephesians 3:10). The Church, therefore, remains His central tool. For accomplishing the subversive Kingdom’s agenda (page 169).
I highly recommend this book to serious disciples of Jesus Christ who are not content with just saying that he/she is a Christian but wants to be part of something bigger than themselves. They desire instead to be [part of a subversive kingdom, being an agent of change in their world.