Jun 25, 2013
Five Questions with Dr. R. Alan Streett on the Kingdom of God
Dr. R. Alan Street graciously agreed to answer five questions about his new book Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now. Dr. Streett is Senior Research Professor of Biblical Exegesis at the Criswell College.
Question: How did Heaven on Earth come about?
Over the past ten years, I have been immersed in a study of the kingdom of God. I have read every major work and nearly every minor work on the topic. As I pondered the issues I believe I came to develop a theology of the kingdom, which I articulated in class and in private discussions with friends and colleagues. Bob Hawkins, owner of Harvest House publishing, was the first to suggest that I write a book. The rest is history, as they say.
Question: What is the main thesis of the book?
Through the person and work of Christ, God inaugurated the kingdom on earth. It has not arrived in its fullness, but it can be entered and experienced today.
Question: What surprised you most during the writing of this book?
Since all my research was completed and I knew the materials like the back of my hand, I decided to simply sit down and start typing. I was surprised at times how the words flowed onto the page. During certain portions of the book, I could sense God’s presence. I am not a mystic, but I knew something special was happening. Over the past few weeks people have written to tell me how they have been changed by the book.
Question: What do you hope to accomplish through this book?
Although the kingdom began with Jesus, it will not be consummated until he returns. Between the “already” and “not yet” aspects of the kingdom, we have a job to do. Hence, “Heaven on Earth” challenges believers to take seriously their responsibilities on earth as kingdom citizens. Likewise, it calls for believers to enjoy the blessings of the kingdom. Hence the book seeks to be missional and transformational. My desire is to produce kingdom-focused believers and kingdom-focused churches.
Question: What other resources on the kingdom of God would you recommend?
I will mention only a few among the hundreds of excellent works on the kingdom of God:
Beasley-Murray, G. R. Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986.
Cullmann, Oscar. Christ and Time. Trans. by Floyd V. Filson. London: SCM, 1951.
Ladd, George Eldon. The Presence of the Future. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974.
McLaren, Brian. The Secret Message of Jesus. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2006.
Pate, C. Marvin. The End of the Age Has Come: The Theology of Paul. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.
Wright, N. T. How God Became King. New York: HarperOne, 2012.
Readers can access a sample from Heaven on Earth here.