This is that by Martin J. Young
From Genesis to Revelation and back, we are shown signs of the Kingdom of God in the Scriptures with new and imaginative Biblical insights along the way. Can we see more such signs in our own communities?
This is that
By Martin J. Young (Senior Leader, Rising Brook Community Church, Stafford)
Malcom Down Publishing Ltd
Reviewed by Helen Wordsworth
Those of us who have climbed mountains know that at the top awaits a most glorious panorama, providing that is, that the weather is good and clear. Sometimes when we look at our view of the Kingdom of God there are clouds around that hide the bigger picture.
This is that takes us, as it were, on a journey up a mountain on a clear day. We can not only see things differently from that height, but we also get a 360 degree panorama. We are taken from Genesis to Revelation and back, being shown signs of the Kingdom of God in the Scriptures. Not only are we treated to new and imaginative Biblical insights along the way; these are peppered with references to everyday life, sometimes at its most basic.
The author takes us through five broad themes of the Kingdom of heaven: Creation, Kingdom Culture, Gospel, Organisation, and Signs. There are moments of wonder, certainly, as we consider God’s plan for humanity. This is welcome reading at a time when the news we hear each day is so troubling.
But if we are looking for numerous references to the work of other theologians on the subject, we will not find many. Most of the footnotes are scripture references, with many from the Old Testament. And if we expect there to be more of a focus on Jesus’ death and resurrection, then we will be somewhat disappointed. Some of the culturally focused comments will take us by surprise in their juxtaposition with deeper reflections, and we may just detect a slight tendency towards a British male approach.
The first two chapters of Genesis form a very strong foundation for the whole book. Some might say, perhaps a little too solid. But we are given new perspectives on those familiar creation words. And the emphasis on Shalom as the culture of the Kingdom is so relevant in today’s world. There is much about the life and Kingdom teaching of Jesus, and we will find interesting thoughts on the Biblical ways by which God’s household is managed.
It is the author’s hope and intention that we should be helped to see more signs of the Kingdom in our own communities and in our everyday living. Reading this book and climbing this mountain may provide a way to do that.
The Revd Dr Helen Wordsworth was a Regional Minister in both the Heart of England and Central Baptist Associations, and founder of Parish Nursing Ministries UK. She now helps with a church plant in France, and advises on Parish nursing internationally.