Friday, May 31, 2013

The Best Book I have read this Millennium

"Heaven on Earth" -- The BEST Book I have read this Millennium

A Review by Wade Burleson

I do not know and have never met author Alan Streett. I was given this book 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 anything I've received from modern theological works. For me, Alan Streett has hit the proverbial homerun in terms of writing a book that can be devoured like ice cream, but satisfies like steak. I could not put the book down. I've already ordered over a dozen and am giving them away as gifts. Our men's groups are using this book for their small group study, and we are introducing it to women small groups next month. I would like to briefly give the top seven reasons why I am naming this the best 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 have style without substance, but Dr. Streett has managed to bring a reading style into an astonishing depth of substance that is uncommon for this generation.

(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.

(4). Heaven on Earth gives the reader an ability to understand that 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 the love of the King while living in His kingdom on earth NOW transforms the reader from a church going religious person waiting for heaven into a Christ-honoring relational person transforming the church.

(5). Heaven on Earth takes the phrases "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven" and makes them so stunning in meaning, they turn out be phrases often repeated by the reader in his Christian walk.

(6). Heaven on Earth convinces Christians that the King is to be personally heard NOW, so that the reign of Christ in the life of a believer becomes the focus of Christianity. In short, Heaven on Earth creates a desire in the reader to be an ambassador for his or her King--not theoretically, but practically.

(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, you read Heaven on Earth and it is like the powerful presence of the King of Kings begins to take up residence--I mean REALLY takes up residence--in the little piece of earth of the person (the earth vessel or clay jar) who reads it. The treasure of the gospel becomes truly a treasure within.

In short, 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 early 1900's and early 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. Dr. R. Alan Streett, Professor of Biblical Exegesis at Criswell College in Dallas, Texas has done it.

Buy the book. You will NOT be disappointed.

No comments: