In the middle of me currently reading 4 books, next to my night stand sits another pile of books to be read once I finish my 4. (I consider 4 at a time my max reading) : )
One evening I just happened to pick up One.Life, by Scot McKnight that had been sitting there for a year. I started reading from the back chapters and from that moment I decided I wanted to read this book right now. I powered through the book in a couple days and considered it an easy read. But just because it was an easy ready doesn’t mean it was easy on the heart. This book carries lots of conviction and challenges to the Christian life that many of us are accustomed to hearing.
In my life I have been doing a lot of wrestling, over this life, the Christian life, over theology, and the church.
My heart just is not satisfied and I am on a quest for truth to find out what it was that Jesus really said.
Because what the Church in America is selling, I am not buying.
This book confirmed a lot of my promptings and also clarified some questions I had….it made me see where the root of wrestling of my faith is stemming from.
For me, two main themes jumped out at me through this book, kingdom and heaven on earth.
Scot, starts by laying the groundwork of a kingdom and from there he lays out how Jesus is calling us to the kingdom life…which this was so exciting to me, yet frustrating as I read. Frustrating because here I am 29, been in several churches, gone to Bible school and Bible College and NEVER ever was I taught Jesus words on kingdom living in the Bible. (which Scot relates too in the book as his same experience growing up) Though my husband has preached on it and the church we belong to now has preached on this, I never have fully understood it for myself and that is where this book broke the flood gates open for me.
Here are a few of Scots explanations from the book….
“By kingdom, Jesus mean, God’s Dream society on earth spreading out from the land of Israel to encompass the whole world. In terms of today, Jesus was was ultimately talking about the Church as the partial and imperfect manifestation of the kingdom of God…”
“The Lord’s prayer, Jesus most important prayer for expressing his mission, says this, ‘May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ That line is proceeded by this one: ‘May your KINGDOM come.’ These two requests are to be read together : God’s kingdom coming means God’s will being done on EARTH–in a society, and this kingdom society is what the Church is called to embody.”
I think Western people who call themselves Christians do not have a kingdom mind-set, yet, we are called to be kingdom-minded Christians. We are very do and don’t driven, rules, lists… etc. We are separatists who have become judgmental and full of moralism. We are good moralists sitting around waiting for heaven, which makes being a Christian BORING. BEING a Christian following a moral code makes us dead and being dead on earth is just boring. What is the point? But if we were actually following Jesus as he speaks in the Bible, empowered by the Holy Spirit? We wouldn’t be bored, we would be alive. Fully living on this earth.
The other theme, Heaven on Earth, the chapter on eternity answered a lot of questions I have had about coming back to a new earth in eternity. I won’t go into depth on this here but I encourage you to read his words in chapter 12 where he does lay out why and what that looks like….it was very intriguing to me. He stirred even more questions in my head that I am doing further reading and studying on this thought.
He ends the chapter with this,
“Heaven is a person’s awareness and overwhelming delight in being absolutely present in the utter presence of God. That is, the New Heavens and the New Earth is the final state of living with God in God’s world as God made it to be.”
One.Life I highly recommend. But I warn you, be prepared to confront your heart with the truths of scripture.
I think Scot gives a very balanced and straight look at what following Jesus in our daily life should look like. You can sense his passion through his writing (which I loved because I love passionate writers 🙂 )
The only “negative,” and I use that term loosely, is that some of his analogies seem to be geared toward college aged kids. Which makes sense since he is a professor at North Park University in Chicago, so I get that it’s his niche. It was the only thing that I didn’t love about the book.
If you do pick up this book I would love to hear from you your thoughts so keep me posted! : ) Come back and leave your comments when you finish!