Experiencing the Kingdom through Environmental Stewardship

Experiencing the Kingdom through Environmental Stewardship

It is a sad but true reality that many of the followers of Jesus do not take care of the creation the Creator King made. Instead, they quote selected Bible verses, chosen to support their view that what they do to the environment (biological and geological) does not matter. After all, it is all going to burn anyway. Or so goes the standard view of a lot of Christianity today. In stark opposition to this view is the concept of Kingdom Theology which declares that the rule and reign of the King over every area of life and everything, created or uncreated, invisible or visible. Time itself began with the Creator King declaring that everything was good. The dirt was good; the animals of the land, sea and sky were good; the trees, grass, and plants that covered earth was good. Everything that was made or would be made was good. This declaration of the King of Kings has never been revoked. It is a fact that God made this planet and all other planets across the galaxies of the vast skies, simply because he wanted to. He found joy in creating things that no eye, animal or human, would ever see. And he declared it all good. Things did change when Adam and Eve decided to try to rule things themselves, as we have seen. Despite the entrance of sin, evil and death into the creation, the essence of creation remained good. Sadly, as the years rolled by, the creation was ground down by sin and evil. Things that were beautiful became deadly; elements that were to bring...
“Being” King

“Being” King

It is interesting to me to see the actions of God shortly after Adam and Eve left the garden. In Genesis 4, the Bible records the first murder, that of Abel by the hands of his brother Cain. Murder in and of itself is not that interesting as it is actually kind of common in this crazy, messed-up world. What is interesting is how Cain was treated. Three things could have happened after the murder. First, the people in the area (Cain’s family – Adam, Eve, siblings, or their descendants) could have gathered together and punished Cain for his deeds. In modern terms, this would be a type of democratic society in which the people decide what is right and wrong according to popular vote or what is best for society. In other words, society as a whole becomes the king who determines what is right and wrong. Second, they could have ignored the killing and continued living out their lives as if nothing happened. This would be a similar concept to the first choice – namely promoting society to the role of king. Granted, there may have been some folks who would disagree with society and try to enact judgment on Cain themselves. But, then again, this would still be humanity deciding what is right and wrong – and if we learned anything from the Genesis 1–3, it is that God alone determines what is right and wrong. This brings us to the third choice people had after Cain killed Abel: they could let the Creator King judge the deeds of Cain. This may sound self-evident, considering that...
Why should we trust Jesus?

Why should we trust Jesus?

I think it is very important to stop for a moment and ask the question that the early church had to ask itself: “With all the different versions of the kingdom of God, why believe Jesus’ version? What was it that made his claims different than all the other claims out there?” The New Testaments gives us two answers as to why the first-century followers of Jesus took his word over and above the words of all the other voices of their time. These answers are also the ones that we, in the twenty-first century, must hold on to, as they are what set us apart, not only from other definitions of the kingdom of God, but from all other religions. In 1 Corinthians 15:1a, 3b–8, Paul gives us the first answer to the question of why we should believe Jesus’ version of the kingdom: “Let me remind you, brother and sisters, about the good news which I announced to you…The Messiah died for our sins in accordance with the Bible; he was buried; he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Bible; he was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve; then he was seen by over five hundred brothers and sisters at once, most of whom are still with us, though some fell asleep; then he was seen by James, then by all the apostles, and last of all as to one ripped from the womb, he appeared to even to me.” (TKNT) It was the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth after three days in the grave that marked him as someone different. If...
Help me publish a book about the Kingdom of God!

Help me publish a book about the Kingdom of God!

It’s happening! The editor has returned my manuscript and will be going to the page layout lady later on this week!! =D I do, however, need your help getting this book over the finish line. Even though the book been accepted for publication by Vineyard International Publishing there are lots of expenses. This is where you all come in as I need help generating the necessary funds to pay for the book editing, layout, and cover design. Please check out my crowd-sourcing campaign to find out more about the book and how you can help. Thank you and God bless!...
The Here and Not Yet: Book Update

The Here and Not Yet: Book Update

As it’s been a while since I’ve talked about it, I figured I own you all a quick update on my upcoming book, The Here and Not Yet: What is Kingdom Theology and why does it matter? The publication of the book has been pushed out a bit as the Vineyard International Publishing folks asked me to shorten the length a bit. Accordingly I am currently working on editing down the material (a process made slower by having to work on school papers). I have, thankfully, received some great feedback on the manuscript with two awesome theologians giving me suggestions to make it better (Dr. Peter Fitch @ St. Stephen University and Dr. Derek Morphew @ Vineyard Institute). A few local pastors have also written recommendations for the material. These I have posted below to whet your appetite for the book. What I love about Josh’s book is the way he melds powerful truth with an easy reading style. This makes the theology accessible to all without losing any of the impact of what it means to live “in the now, but not yet”. Historical truth, accurate theology and practical application makes this a handbook for people who want to “do” Christianity. –Kevin Thienes, Pastor of Prayer Ministries, Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Boise. Josh’s The Here and Not Yet is an absolutely outstanding work on the theology of the kingdom and corresponding practices. Not only does he lay the necessary biblical-theological framework, Josh demonstrates how the kingdom applies in every area of life. I highly recommend this to fellow pastors and churches alike! –Luke T. Geraty, Lead Pastor of...