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Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now Paperback – April 1, 2013
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Alan Streett has written a very readable theology of the kingdom of God. But it is more than a theology, for it is the grand narrative of God's relationship to the world and humanity told in a fascinating manner without any mincing of words when it comes to bringing out its practical implications. I can only hope that as many as can get their hands on it will indeed "Take up and read." At the end of the work one wants to stand and sing the "Hallelujah Chorus."
Peter Davids, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor of Christianity
Houston Baptist University
Alan Streett has come upon a discovery that is revolutionizing his understanding of the Bible, the gospel, and the Christian life. You feel his exhilaration in every chapter as he grapples deeply with Jesus' core message - not simply about how to get into heaven when you die, but how God's dreams for planet earth can come true, beginning with you, and catching all of us up in God's transforming mission. This is a courageous work that will stimulate needed conversations about the Bible and the gospel, especially in Evangelical circles. Highly recommended.
Brian D. McLaren
Author and speaker
Good biblical scholarship always needs clear-headed and careful writers who can help the church as a whole grasp the "core essentials" of the gospel of the kingdom. Alan Streett has written a rare book, combining good scholarship with a compelling and clear style that allows him to speak powerfully to a wide audience. There is gold in this hill-search and find. I am quite sure your efforts will be rewarded.
John H. Armstrong
President, ACT 3 Network
Since Jesus spoke so often of the kingdom, shouldn't we? I heartily commend Alan's contribution to this important conversation about one of the Bible's often overlooked themes, the kingdom of God. Read it and be challenged.
President, LifeWay Research
Author of Subversive Kingdom
When Alan Streett pens a book it has a long life because of the way he reveals Biblical truth in such a practical and applicable manner. In a day when world events move believers to focus so much on Christ's second coming that they forget to appropriate all the first coming provides, HEAVEN ON EARTH is a welcome addition. Streett reminds us that we do not have to wait for our Lord's millennial reign to be blessed. Christ rules already from the Father's right hand. This truth should move every believer to get this book...read it and reap!
O. S. Hawkins
Guidestone Financial Services
“When Dr. Alan Streett writes a book, it has a long life because of the way he reveals biblical truth in such a practical and applicable manner. In a day when world events lead believers to focus so much on Christ's second coming that they forget to appropriate all the first coming provides, Heaven on Earth is a welcome addition. Streett reminds us that we do not have to wait for our Lord's millennial reign to be blessed. Christ is ruling already from the Father’s right hand. This reminder should move every believer to get this book...read it and reap!”
―O.S. Hawkins, president and CEO, GuideStone Financial Resources
“Good biblical scholarship always needs clear-headed and careful writers who can help the church grasp the core essentials of the gospel of the kingdom. Alan Streett has written a rare book, combining good scholarship with a compelling and clear style that allows him to speak powerfully to a wide audience. There is gold in this hill―search and find. I am quite sure your efforts will be rewarded.”
―John H. Armstrong, president, ACT 3 Network
“Alan Streett has written a very readable theology of the kingdom of God for everyman (to borrow from N.T. Wright's series). But it is more than a theology, for it is the grand narrative of God's relationship to the world and humanity told in a fascinating manner without any mincing of words when it comes to bringing out its practical implications. It is at a length and in a style that all can read (with notes for scholars), so I can only hope that as many as can get their hands on it will indeed ‘take up and read.’ At the end of the work one wants to stand and sing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus.’”
―Peter Davids, visiting professor of Christianity, Houston Baptist University
“Since Jesus spoke so often of the kingdom, shouldn't we? I heartily commend Alan's contribution to this important conversation about one of the Bible's often overlooked themes, the kingdom of God. Read it and be challenged.”
―Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research, author of Subversive Kingdom
“Alan Streett has come upon a discovery that is revolutionizing his understanding of the Bible, the gospel, and the Christian life. You feel his exhilaration in every chapter as he grapples deeply with Jesus' core message―not simply about how to get your soul to heaven when you die, but how God's dreams for planet earth can come true, beginning with you, and catching all of us up in God's transforming mission. This is a courageous work that will stimulate needed conversations about the Bible and the gospel, especially in Baptist and Evangelical circles. Highly recommended.”
―Brian D. McLaren, author and speaker
“In a broad sweep of biblical history from Genesis to Revelation, Dr. R. Alan Streett reminds the church that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not about leaving earth to go to heaven, but is about bringing heaven down to earth. May followers of Jesus everywhere read this book and wake up to the reality of the Kingdom of God in our day-to-day lives.”
―Jeremy Myers, TillHeComes.org
From the Author
Heaven on Earth is the culmination of my decade-long study of the kingdom of God. I have written this book for laypeople, theological students and ministers. I believe that all who read it will not only be informed, but changed by its message.
The kingdom of God is the theme of the entire Bible. The prophets pointed to it. The apostles preached about it. Jesus inaugurated it. And you can experience it for yourself. Learn how you can become a kingdom-centered believer and how your church can be transformed into a kingdom-focused congregation.
Top customer reviews
There’s so much here I hardly know where to begin. The bottom line: “When the message that Jesus and the apostles preached is compared to most contemporary gospel messages, the difference is like night and day. In many ways, the messages are complete opposites of each other. One emphasizes a future salvation, but the other invites people to enter the kingdom of God now. According to one, you have to wait to experience the blessings of the kingdom, but according to the other, the benefits of the kingdom are available for you to enjoy this moment while you are alive and well on planet earth…God’s ultimate goal is not for us to go to heaven but for heaven to come down to us on earth!...If Jesus and the apostles walked the earth today, would they even recognize the gospel message heralded from most pulpits?”
Much of the book is a very rich overview of God’s work in human history from a kingdom-building perspective. I found “Rome: The Final Empire” and “Kingdom Responsibilities” to be particularly enlightening. Who knew how radical and subversive the gospel and ethics of the kingdom really were/are? Honestly, I had no idea.
The most important chapters may be “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb” and “The Church as a Colony and Embassy” because this is where the author moves from preaching to meddling by putting our own cultural biases under the biblical-historical microscope. One example: an American flag in church? The early churches would have rioted at the mere suggestion of any such nationalistic patriotism! Agree or disagree, and you’ll be hard-pressed to disagree, this section alone is worth the price of the book.
Some will find “AM and FM Christians and “The Kingdom-Focused Church” challenging because, though a Baptist, the author is clearly charismatic. Whether you’re charismatic or not, you’d have to agree that the power of God should be more evident among us, and that our lack of kingdom power is a direct result of our lack of prayer and holiness.
My biggest surprise, and my biggest complaint, is that for a book on the kingdom of God, there is little to nothing on Christ’s own kingdom parables. My other gripes are tangential:
“‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’ is an admission that he believes God can heal, but he is uncertain that he will. Does that sound familiar?...do you simply tack on the words ‘if it be thy will’ to the end of your prayers?...We need to believe not only that God can heal but also that he will. If we have doubts…” This strikes me as a bit presumptuous when Christ himself taught us to pray “if it be thy will.”
Also a bit presumptuous, in my view, are statements such as this one: “If the assessment is correct that where the Spirit is, there is the kingdom, then the reign of God on earth is presently displayed in the church—not just any church, but in churches where the Spirit is indeed present in a demonstrable way when the congregation comes together.” Such sentiments are suspect because I’ve known too many charismatics who insist that the Spirit must be present “in a demonstrable way” per their definition.
The author dabbles in ecclesiology throughout the book, and is clearly “low” church. There are multiple statements like this one: “From the Scriptures we can recreate what a church gathering might look like.” And Spirit-filled, kingdom-focused churches will look the same today, of course. This is a rather simplistic view that doesn’t even do justice to the variety of models evident in Scripture.
The author is not only an esteemed doctor of theology and biblical exegesis but also a psychologist and hypnotist. I don’t necessarily have a problem with psychology or hypnosis. And I don’t have a problem with Christian meditation and contemplation. But I think “Hearing God on Your FM Dial” should be more nuanced with, at least, a discussion of spiritual discernment.
Finally, the author fails to reconcile or even address the obvious tension between:
a. Christians make a mistake when we cross the line from the City of God to the City of Man (not the author’s language) to wage cultural warfare; history has proven the two can’t mix.
b. Christians should do whatever we can to affect the culture around us, and the City of God will continue to expand until the City of Man is someday subsumed and Christ returns.
At what point does the line begin to blur? And what does it look like when the present “kingdom already” meets the future “kingdom not yet” somewhere in the middle? Obviously, one’s eschatology plays a role here but that is nowhere addressed in the book and one is left guessing as to what the author’s presuppositions might be.
Heaven on Earth is an important work.
Heaven on Earth by Dr. R. Alan Streett takes you on a sweeping tour of the whole counsel of God and shows what the message and practice of God's people was in the Old Testament and the New Testament and what it should be today.
If you have been praying for God's kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, then this book will be a foretaste of glory divine! This book is full of fresh insights and historical context.
Read it, learn from it, and experience the kingdom and the glory! Thanks Dr. Streett.
“He calls on those who are part of God’s new society to practice a different ethic. Jesus offers himself as prime example: “I am among you as one who serves.”…..According to John’s Gospel, Jesus stops in the middle of the meal and shows what greatness looks like by performing the task of a slave. He washes the disciples’ feet (probably including the feet of Judas Iscariot). Jesus insinuates that greatness in not defined by status but by actions. He teaches that in God’s kingdom, those with the greatest authority are not those who lord it over others but those who serve others.”
“Citizens everywhere are expected to obey their nation’s established laws. Those of us who belong to the kingdom of God are no different. We get to enjoy the benefits of the kingdom, but we also are expected to abide by its moral code. Soon after Jesus launched into his public ministry, he delivers a lengthy treatise on responsibilities of kingdom citizenship.
Kingdom Ethics: Living as Kingdom Citizens -…….The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5- 7)…”
“Healings and other miracles are signs that point to the arrival of the kingdom, and they validate the claims of the true gospel. If we fail to see miracles in our churches, possibly we are not preaching the authentic gospel- the gospel of the kingdom. We place too much emphasis on individual salvation of the soul or going to heaven and not enough on experiencing the kingdom of heaven here and now.
Our theology often gets in the way. At the impressionable age, many of us (including me) were introduced to and embraced theological systems that explained away modern-day miracles, arguing that miracles ended when the last apostle died or the canon of Scripture was completed.”