Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now as a gift. My library is filled with nearly 10,000 antiquarian theological books from which I have received a great deal of spiritual encouragement--much more than what I've been able to receive from modern theological works. For me, Alan Streett has hit the proverbial homerun in writing a book that can be devoured like ice cream, but satisfies like steak. I could not put it down. I've already ordered over a dozen copies and am giving them away as gifts. Some of our men's groups are going to be using Heaven on Earth for a small group study, and the book is entirely appropriate for study in women's or mixed groups as well, but the primary benefit will come to the Christian who takes time to read it personally and think through what is being said by the author. Alan has made the subject of the Kingdom of God a ten-year personal study and Heaven on Earth is the product of that study. I would like to briefly give the top seven reasons why I am naming Heaven on Earth the best contemporary theological book I've read this millennium.
(1). Heaven on
Earth takes the concept of the kingdom of God from the Garden of Eden in Genesis
to the Tree of Life in Revelation and gives the finest survey of the subject
from the biblical text I've ever read. The survey makes sense--biblical,
logical, rational sense. The light goes on for the reader.
(2). Heaven on
Earth is easy to read without being puerile (childish), serendipitous, or (for
lack of a better word) silly. Most modern theological books aimed at the layman that are as easy to read
as Heaven on Earth have style without substance, but Dr. Streett has managed to partner a crystal clear and colorful writing
style with an astonishing depth of substance which is a rare feat for modern authors.
(3). Heaven on Earth destroys the teaching of a truncated
gospel so often heard in modern evangelicalism without attacking or impugning
people who may be living a Christian life believing a warped gospel. In other
words, Heaven on Earth corrects without chastising, straightens without
slamming, and deconstructs error without denigrating those in error.
Heaven on Earth gives the reader an ability to understand how the kingdom of
God is given to us to be enjoyed and experienced now, not just then (heaven).
The knowledge that there is supposed to be enjoyment of His kingdom now transforms the reader from a church
going religious person waiting for heaven into a Christ-honoring relational
person transforming his world.
(5). Heaven on Earth takes the phrases
"kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven" and makes them so stunning in meaning, that
they will turn out to be phrases often repeated by the reader in his thoughts and conversation after setting the book down.
(6). Heaven on Earth convinces Christians that the King is to be
personally heard now, so that the reign of Christ in the individual life of the believer
becomes the focus of faith. In short, Heaven on Earth creates a desire in
the reader to fulfill the call as an ambassador of His King - who reigns now.
(7). Heaven on Earth is like a key that opens the door to a
vision of the kingdom that astonishes the key holder. The book is saturated with
Scripture, heavy in history (albeit written in a captivating style), but most
importantly, it targets the believer at the core of his or her soul. By that I
mean, when you read Heaven on Earth it is like the powerful presence of the King
of Kings begins to take up residence--I mean REALLY takes up residence--in your little piece of earth, what the Bible calls your earthen vessel or clay (i.e. your body and soul).
The treasure of the gospel becomes truly a treasure within you.
Heaven on Earth presents the gospel in the fullest sense of the word since men
like C.S. Lewis and his mentor George McDonald wrote of the transforming power
of the kingdom on earth in the 1900's and 1800's respectively. Yet,
Dr. Street does not use imagery or allegory like those two amazing authors--he
uses Scripture. People like me who are not as visual or artistic as Lewis and
McDonald have longed for a writer to capture the essence of the kingdom of God
on earth in language that is rational, logical, and most importantly, supremely
biblical. Al Streett has done it.
Buy the book. You will not be