Robby Gallaty has provided the church with a great introductory and practical book on biblical theology and the kingdom of God with his new book, Here and Now. While you may want to do some further research on the kingdom of God with books such as Kingdom of God by John Bright, Presence of the Future by George Eldon Ladd, or God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants by Gentry and Wellum, Robby’s book is accessible and entry-level, providing scholars and laymen with a good, all-around, solid resource. His purpose is to ask and answer the question, “Now that we are saved from sin, what are we actually saved for?”
He provides extensive background in parts 1 and 2, dealing with Jesus, temple, priesthood, the Old Testament view of kingdom, and the church’s view. After establishing a solid foundation of what and when the kingdom is (correctly portraying it as both now and not yet), he moves to practical steps in part 3, kingdom conduct and kingdom living for today. Although parts 1 and 2 are in-depth and can be “heady waters,” Gallaty’s writing is thorough and clear. The practical steps of part 3 can be implemented by individuals, families and churches. The kingdom of God is not just a future event, but is impacting for today, as he concludes, “With a present tense understanding of the kingdom, in place of just a future one, we should view our lives and ministry differently. Our role as Christians is not a passive one where we sit idly by and watch, but a participatory one of advancing the kingdom by pushing back the darkness with life. The great commission summons all of us to become gospel coworkers. Our marching orders are the teachings of the sermon on the mount. Will the road be difficult? You bet. Remember, Jesus wasn’t crucified for following the ways of the world. He lived counter-culturally, and so should we. Kingdom living should never be boring or mundane, for every day is a new adventure. Every day we should arise and ask God to fill us with his Spirit in order to accomplish his purposes through our lives. We should pray God sized prayers and leave the results to him.”
I received a copy of this book for free, for the purpose of review. I was not obligated to provide a positive review.