I just read Bringing Heaven to Earth by Josh Ross and Jonathan Storment. This sentence caught my attention, “What is a Christian’s responsibility to bring to bear God’s will in this corner of the world, so that people throughout Memphis might come to experience a hint of what life is like in heaven?”
Maybe this sentence caught my attention because I live in Memphis. Or maybe it caught my attention because I have seen the power of a believer’s behavior, witness, and ministry in places that would otherwise be dark. Unfortunately, I have also seen the power of a believer’s behavior when one has been inattentive and even apathetic toward the world. Josh Ross and Jonathan Storment have written a book in which they explore the possibilities of the renewing and restoring work of God. This is so important in a world that is broken and dark. The book is a challenge for Christians to be serious about allowing themselves to be used by God.
Unfortunately, the answer to a dark world for some is to attempt to insulate oneself and one’s family. I once had a conversation with a person who said she was trying to figure out a way to surround her family with Christians and only Christians. The family moved to a street where several young couples from church already lived. They had a Christian doctor, lawyer, and dentist, all from their congregation. Their children went to a Christian school. Her husband worked in a firm which consisted, primarily, of Christian people.
There is no problem, of course, with any one of these. It is fine to go to a Christian school. No problem with having a doctor, lawyer, or dentist who is a believer. The problem is that they were trying to insulate themselves from the world instead of penetrating the darkness.
Perhaps much of this is due to fear. I found Chapter 13 to be particularly helpful as the authors address the problem of fear as we live as believers in the world.
The book reminds us that the world is broken and dark and that the work of God’s Kingdom involves restoring and renewing.