Sunday, December 30, 2012

Read pages from Heaven on Earth

At Amazon, you can now read the opening pages of my book HEAVEN ON EARTH. Many extra pages can be read also by selecting the "Surprise Me" icon. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are offering a 48% discount off retail.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Deeper Discount

Amazon is now offering Heaven on Earth at a whopping 45% discount on all pre-orders.

Friday, December 14, 2012

TRAGEDY IN NEW TOWN: AN OPPORTUNITY TO MINISTER

The tragedy at New Town, CT is a ministry opportunity for the church to minister to its extended community. Only the church can address the issues of life and death from a christian perspective. 

You might consider opening the doors of your church tomorrow or Sunday evening for a community meeting where people can voice their fears and concerns and express their heart-felt emotions. Then take a few minutes to teach them what the Bible says about the issue. 

What to teach:

1. We were created from earth, for the earth, and to rule over the earth eternally.

2. Evil entered this realm and death resulted.

3. The world is a chaotic and potentially dangerous place.

4. Jesus himself experienced a violent death.

5. God raised Jesus from the grave, breaking death's power.

6. All who die in Christ will likewise be raised and God's kingdom established on earth. This is the believer's hope.

7. Until then evil continues to stalk earth and seeks to motivate people to kill and live destructively. Hence, the massacre.
 
8. The church is called to minister to those who fear death and to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, calling people to Christ.

* Note:  Talk about heaven is not especially helpful, since it carries the idea that salvation is nothing more than the soul's release from the body--a concept more in line with Greek philosophy than the Bible. This ultimately, if not immediately, leads to theological confusion rather than to clarity.

In light of the tragedy, many in your community will be offering advice. Won't you stand up and speak on behalf of God?

Healing and the Kingdom

God provided OT believers with many benefits, including divine health and healing when needed. Take Moses, for example, who “was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished” (Deuteronomy 34:7). This means, he didn’t need eyeglasses or Viagra. He had the strength of a young man!

To ancient Israel God promises, “I will take sickness away from the midst of you” (Exodus 23:26). Did he keep his promise? Ask Miriam how her leprosy was healed (Numbers 21:1-15); or Hannah how her barrenness was reversed (1 Samuel 1:9-20); or the two widows how their sons were raised from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:18-37); or Naaman how the miracle waters cured his leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-14); or the dead man how his limp body came back to life when it touched Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:21); or King Hezekiah how he was given fifteen more years of life after being at death’s door (2 Chronicles 32:24-26); or the multitudes how they were cured of venomous snake bites when they glanced up at a pole (Numbers 21:4-9).

The Psalmist writes:

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
     forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases (Psalm 103:2-3).

The Psalmist says that both forgiveness and healing are part of the benefit package for OT saints. Don't you wish we still lived under the old covenant??!!

[I devote an entire chapter to healing as a kingdom blessing in HEAVEN ON EARTH. It is a very provocative chapter! Pre-order today at Amazon at a 42% discount]

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"WE'VE A STORY TO TELL TO THE NATIONS!"

The Church has a story to tell. It begins with creation, includes the call for humans to rule the earth under God, their yielding to another voice, which subverts their rule, God's reclamation of the world through a New Man who faithfully obeys the true Voice, is murdered and raised from the dead to form a new humanity that pledges allegiance to God and take s his message to the world. Unfortunately, God's people in America often and mistakenly seek to find their identity in the American story rather in God's story. God's story is older and bigger than the American story. It's timeline reaches back to the Garden of Eden and extends forward to God's kingdom on earth. Therefore, which story is more important? That's the one we must proclaim!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Peter Davids Review Endorsement of HEAVEN ON EARTH

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

Far-sighted Christians Wanted

Great quote from A. W. Tozer: "There is a glorious catholicity of the saints, a mystic brotherhood of the farsighted, who have long been straining their eyes to catch a glimpse of the King in His beauty in the land that is very far off. With great joy and deep humility I claim membership in that brotherhood. This is the oldest and largest church in the world; it is the church of the Cross-smitten, of the God-enamoured. "So as the years go on, I am coming to care less and less about any man's denominational ties. Let a man have a faraway look in his eyes, let him bow his head and whisper the ever-blessed name of Jesus, and he is my brother, whatever his name may be. And whether he will admit it or not. If by some bit of unfortunate education he may believe his church to be the only one, and consign me to perdition because I am not in it, I will still own him a member of the family of God if I find in his life the marks of the Cross and in his eyes the long look that reveals the man of faith."

Monday, November 26, 2012

READ TO LEARN

In a previous life I was not the nicest person. For example, I did not read books written by those of other persuasions that I might learn, grow, or get a new theological perspective on a subject. Rather, as a self-ordained “discerner of spirits” and “cult buster,” I read only to ferret out doctrinal error and to find fault. This seems opposite of Jesus’ admonition to treat others as I would want them to treat me. A few people have read my book “The Effective Invitation” with one object in mind—to criticize. It wasn’t fun. For the remainder of my time on earth, I am committed to being a life-long learner, not a life-long critic.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Galleys

I are busy reading the galleys for HEAVEN ON EARTH (Harvest House). Gene Skinner, my editor, has done an excellent job! He has improved immensely my sentence structure (which I thought was pretty good to start with), making my book highly readable for the masses. I am excited at the book's potential impact. I am glad also that Amazon is offering a deep discount on all pre-orders.

Monday, October 29, 2012

From Opening Chapter of HEAVEN ON EARTH

For over a decade, I have been consumed by the kingdom of God. It has become my passion. . . . In my opinion, there is nothing of more importance than correctly understanding the kingdom. It is the overarching theme of the entire Bible and the great umbrella under which all other subjects are subsumed. My goal is to introduce you to the kingdom of God in such a manner that you too will become captivated by it. If I succeed in my mission, you will never be the same. Are you ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime? The journey begins in a garden (Genesis 1:1) and ends in paradise (Revelation 22:21). Along the way, we will meet many interesting characters and discover great treasures. Be forewarned, however, the trip is not for the faint-of-heart. We will encounter various obstacles—potholes, detours, twist and turns—that have the potential of disrupting and slowing down our progress toward the goal. But, do not despair. The road signs are plentiful and our maps are reliable. If we take our time to navigate carefully, we can reach our destination. If we succeed, our knowledge of the kingdom of God will be crisp and clear. Best of all, we will discover how to tap into the kingdom’s riches and to enjoy them here and now.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

According to the four Gospel writers, Jesus’ public ministry began with the appearance of John the Baptist, prophet extraordinaire, who called for Israel’s leaders and her people to turn from their self-centered ways and toward the God of their forefathers. John’s message was simple and direct: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). Notice, first John called upon his audience to do something: “Repent!” They were to obey this command then and there without delay. Thus the message was relevant for them. Second, John gave them a reason for this action: “for (because) the kingdom of God is at hand.” He did not say, “The Kingdom of God is 2,000 years away” or “The kingdom is being delayed indefinitely.” Yet, many popular Bible teachers and commentaries hold that the kingdom is entirely in the future. If that were the case, John missed the mark by a county mile and his message had no application for his audience. What do you think?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Brian McLaren Endorses HEAVEN ON EARTH

R. 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 brianmclaren.net

Sunday, October 21, 2012

John H. Armstrong Endorses "Heaven on Earth"

"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

Friday, October 12, 2012

MORE ENDORSEMENTS FOR "HEAVEN ON EARTH'

Among those who have already agreed to endorse my book “Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now” are NT scholar Peter Davids (HBU), Christian thinker John Armstrong, and church plant expert Ed Stetzer. Those presently reading the manuscript include theologian Stanley Hauerwas (Duke), religious historian Randall Balmer (Dartmouth), and popular writer Shane Claiborne.

Research and Publications

The Baker Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World Religions, Wayne House, General Editor (Baker Books, forthcoming 2014). I am contributing 55 entries on various cults and cult personalities (50,000 words, approximately 150 pages). The T&T Clark Handbook of Social Identity and the New Testament, Brian Tucker and Coleman Baker, eds. (T & T Clark, forthcoming 2014). I am writing major chapter: “AgapĂ© Feasts as a means of forming Christian Social Identity in Second Peter.” The B & H Worldview Study Bible, David Dockery, General Editor (Broadman & Holman, forthcoming 2014). I am writing three article-length essays on worldview-related topics. Heaven on Earth. Experiencing the Kingdom of God—Here and Now! Harvest House, Eugene, OR (forthcoming, April 2013). Length: 304 pages. Subversive Meals: Eating the Lord’s Supper under Roman Domination during the First Century, Wipf & Stock (forthcoming, January 2013). Length: 356 pages.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

First Endorsement for HEAVEN ON EARTH

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/CEO GuideStone Financial Resources

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Back Cover and Endorsements

The back cover of HEAVEN ON EARTH will include the following copy, plus endorsements from several well-known Christians, including Peter Davids and John Armstrong: The future hope of heaven is pulled into the here-and-now in this illuminating description of the kingdom of God. Popular teacher and author R. Alan Streett exposes half-truths about the kingdom that many believers have unwittingly accepted. He contrasts these with the testimony of Scripture: * Jesus inaugurated the kingdom of God on the earth--it has already begun. As ambassadors of the kingdom, we are to fulfill our responsibilities and enjoy its benefits here and now. * Salvation does not culminate with the soul escaping the body and living forever in heaven. Our bodies will eventually be transformed, and we will live with God on a restored earth. * The church is like an embassy of heaven in a foreign country. In their life together, believers demonstrate kingdom realities to the world. Readers will find hope and direction in this fresh presentation of the historic teaching on the kingdom. “Heaven on Earth” can be pre-ordered: http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Earth-Experiencing-Kingdom-Here/dp/0736949143/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349569888&sr=8-1&keywords=heaven+streett

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Book Moves to New Phase

My manuscript HEAVEN ON EARTH has moved from the editing stage to the gallery stage. This means it is being formatted and printed. I will then read through it, make necessary corrections, and give my approval for final publication. Amazon lists the book as 256 pages, but it is actually 304 pages. You can pre-order book at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=heaven+streett

Monday, October 01, 2012

ISBN # for SUBVERSIVE MEALS

ISBN 978-1-62032-018-1 has been assigned to my book "Subversive Meals: An Analysis of the Lord’s Supper under Roman Domination during the First Century" (Wipf and Stock). It is tentatively scheduled to be published by mid-January 2013 -- just in time for Spring semester.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

John the Baptist and the Apostle Peter

John the Baptist and the Apostle Peter preached the same message except for one distinction. John preached “a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:4). Peter added the Holy Spirit to the mix: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39). Both baptized in water, but only Peter promised the Holy Spirit in addition to forgiveness of sins! The Holy Spirit’s presence was the sign that the kingdom had already arrived. It was God’s eschatological gift to his people. Just as God sent the Holy Spirit upon Jesus at his baptism, so he pours out the Spirit on Jesus’ disciples when they are baptized. As James Dunn writes, “Wherever the Spirit is there is the Kingdom of God.” The question remains, if Peter promised the Holy Spirit to all who were baptized in Jesus’ name, should we do the same?

Saturday, September 08, 2012

The Kingdom has Arrived Already

Jesus concludes his sermon in the Nazareth synagogue with the words, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). This verse offers a clue as to the manner of the kingdom’s arrival. The words, “This scripture is fulfilled" is a reference to Isaiah’s prophecy about the kingdom coming to earth. The specific time of its fulfillment is “Today.” Not tomorrow or next year or in two millennia (as some evangelicals believe). A geographic indicator is given: “in your hearing.” Right there in the midst of the synagogue crowd at Nazareth. When we put the pieces together we see that the kingdom arrived with Jesus as he launched his public ministry. The kingdom of God was no longer a future hope only, but a present reality. As missionary strategist Lesslie Newbigin remarked of the kingdom: “It now had a name and a face—-the name and face of the man from Nazareth.” The waiting period was over. God was initiating his work of salvation on earth.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Is our Gospel Relevant?

If the gospel’s goal is simply about getting people into heaven, as many believe, where is its relevance? Most people who hear the gospel will not die for years. Therefore, they will have little incentive to respond immediately. With little or no relevance for the here and now, the logic for evangelism is weakened. It would be like me trying to sell you a front row seat to a New York Yankees game for a date yet to be determined by the ball club between now and 2080! You would not likely purchase ticket. It may be a good deal, but where’s the urgency? Waiting would seem to be more prudent.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Chapter Titles: "Heaven on Earth"

HEAVEN ON EARTH Table of Contents Dedication Acknowledgements 1. Discovering the Kingdom 2. In the Beginning was the Kingdom 3. The Kingdom in the Old Testament Era 4. Rome: The Final Empire 5. God’s Appointed and Anointed King 6. Exorcism: Sign of the Kingdom’s Arrival 7. Kingdom Healings and Miracles 8. AM and FM Christians 9. The Church and Its Worldwide Mission 10. The Final Week 11. The Present Reign of the Exalted Christ 12. I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb 13. The Church as a Colony and Embassy 14. The Kingdom-Focused Church

Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Nature of the Ekklesia

I have spent my time this week writing that the first-century church (ekklesia) should be viewed as a voluntary association. In particular, it is a messianic association. I believe the church/voluntary association linkage is critical to understanding correctly the instructions and descriptions contained in the Epistles to the churches. Once the connection is made, things get much clearer. I also believe this will become the scholarly consensus among NT scholars within the next decade.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Endorsements of Subversive Meals

Here are the four blurbs that will appear on the back cover of my upcoming book Subversive Meals, due out in August 2012:

“Worship is politics. Alan Streett sets the Lord’s Supper in the context of Passover and Jesus’ mealtime teaching to argue astutely that it was an anti-imperial praxis. It contested Roman rule, ideology, and stratified social practice with theological and Christological counter-assertions, and egalitarian social practices. Streett’s insightful argument makes a significant contribution in recasting understandings of the Lord’s Supper.”

Warren Carter, Professor of New Testament,
Brite Divinity School, TCU (Fort Worth, TX)

“The concept behind this book is brilliant, and Streett has given it a thorough and judicious study. This book will serve as a benchmark for future scholarly debates about early Christian meals and anti-imperial rhetoric.”

Dennis E. Smith, LaDonna Kramer Meinders Professor of New Testament,
Phillips Theological Seminary (Tulsa, OK)

“The Passover meal was a celebration of liberation from the ancient Egyptian Empire. So if the Lord's Supper continued the tradition of the Passover celebration, as Streett contends, wasn't it a celebration of liberation from the Roman Empire? Alan Streett has ‘connected the dots’ in a careful step by step analysis and argument. For those loyal to a Lord who transcended Caesar as Lord, the Supper quickly became the central ceremony of their cohesive communities, which collectively formed an alternative, anti-imperial society.”

Richard A. Horsley, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Religion,
University of Massachusetts (Boston, MA)

“Working especially with the New Testament writings of Luke and Paul, Streett demonstrates the surprisingly political significance of the early church’s Lord’s Supper. That is, the Supper had not only to do with the church’s internal life but spoke profoundly of the church’s rejection of Roman imperial ideology and the practices by which it was propagated. The consequences of this study are both historically important and theologically challenging, since Streett’s work participates in the ongoing destruction of the walls that separate theology and practice, and worship and politics.”

Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation,
Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

PreachingToday.Com

Brian Larson, publisher of PreachingToday.com, contacted me and requested to put my FBC Jax Pastor’s Conference message “Applying the Word” on their website. One of his colleagues attended the session and thought it should be made available to a wider audience. It should be up soon. Preaching Today is part of the Christianity Today network.

New Writing Project

I just agreed to write a chapter for the "T & T Clark Handbook to Social Identity and the New Testament" edited by Brian Tucker and Coleman Baker. My topic will be the Agage Feast in 2 Peter/Jude as a means for shaping social identity. The goal is for the book is to be the "go to" guide for social identity discussions for NT scholars. It will be published in late 2013 in time for the national SBL meeting.