I’m a big Ed Stetzer fan. Ed is a consultant to churches on church growth, especially on church planting, and an expert in missional theology. He also has a great blog about these very subjects.
And so I was very pleased to receive a prepublication copy of Subversive Kingdom: Living as Agents of Gospel Transformation for review.
Subversive Kingdom reflects a maturing of evangelical thought about how to live as Christians. Stetzer is closely tied with the Southern Baptist Churches, but it’s easy to pick up the influence of Neo-Anabaptist thought from Yoder and Hauerwas and Kingdom thought from N. T. Wright and Scot McKnight.
Thus, rather than being a peculiarly Baptist or even evangelical approach to Kingdom living, Subversive Kingdom reflects the best thinking of all of Christendom — which is its greatest strength.
It’s a thoughtful synthesis of ideas from many sources, all brought together into a holistic, missional, practical study. And that makes it an excellent study for small groups or Bible classes.
The key to the book is to ask the reader to re-imagine the Kingdom as Christ intended, not as a social club or political special interest group but as a subversive influence that transforms all that it touches — like salt or light.
So don’t be surprised at how much more broken you find the world than you even realized it was when you began.
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
And don’t be afraid. The kingdom that’s already been inaugurated is on its way to being consummated. And though the size and scope of the renovation is more than we can get our arms around, we have reasons to be heartened rather than disheartened — because we’re not expected to fix everything. …
So get ready to be subversive, rebels.
It is worth the hard work.
And just wait till you see how its going to turn out in the end.