Renowned cold case detective, Christian apologist, and bestselling author J. Warner Wallace (a.k.a. Jim Wallace) interviews Frank Viola on his signature book, Insurgence: Reclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Frank, I’ve study quite a few of your books and we’ve talked on occasion in the previous, but some of my readers could not be familiar with you. Can you inform them a small about you?
Let’s see. I grew up in New York exactly where I pitched in Tiny League, major the league in strikeouts. My boyhood dream was to come to be a significant league pitcher. Throughout my freshman year, I moved to Florida and pitched in higher college.
Speedy forward to my early 20s. A single day, I turned on the Television and saw some guy named “Frank Viola” pitching for the Minnesota Twins!
I had to pinch myself! That “Frank Viola” became the globe renowned MLB baseball player and I became the starving author. 😉
Jesting aside, I’ve written more than 30 books, all of which are for Christians who know there’s got to be anything much more to Jesus, the Scriptures, and the Christian life that they’ve been exposed to. Therefore, my ministry is referred to as “The Deeper Journey.”
What motivated you to write Insurgence: Reclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom?
About 10 years ago, I had a burden on my heart to see what the Scripture had to say about the kingdom of God. So I started to appear at the topic from Genesis to Revelation, not by means of a systematic theological lens, but by means of a narrative lens.
I specifically place a concentrate on a phrase made use of all through the Gospels and Acts. The phrase was “the gospel of the kingdom.”
What I found astounded me, deeply challenged me, and riveted me. It altered the way I viewed the Lord, His perform, and the gospel.
I also compared what I had located to what I was seeing all more than social media more than the final decade. My observation was: Most Christians merely repeat the speaking points of either the Progressive Left or the Conservative Proper. And Jesus Christ and His kingdom are left out in the cold.
Out of the social media feed the heart speaks.
When I stepped back from what I found, it dawned on me that we had lost the earth-shaking, jarring, titanic gospel of the kingdom that shook the globe in the 1st century.
In the Summer time of 2017, I spoke in a conference exactly where I unveiled the gospel of the kingdom in eight messages. The weekend was electric. People’s lives have been transformed and we had spontaneous baptisms in response to the messages.
Every individual who was baptized produced a public profession of their selection to break all ties with the globe method and give their complete and full allegiance to Jesus Christ and the option civilization that the New Testament calls “the kingdom of God.”
I then place it all into a book, looking for to present the gospel of the kingdom from Genesis to Revelation as clear as I could, placing it basic terms and in an uncomplicated-to-study format.
The Insurgence has begun … do not miss it.
In your book, you argue that we – as a church – have lost the dynamic, titanic, living gospel that Jesus, Paul, and the other apostles preached. How would you briefly define that ancient gospel message?
We are Westerners, so we are the sons and daughters of Aristotle. As such, we like to compartmentalize truth into neat and tidy definitions.
The danger in undertaking that is two-fold: (1) particular spiritual realities – like the kingdom and the gospel of the kingdom — can not be defined with out losing their energy and draining their glory, and (two) for quite a few Westerners, we wrongly equate hearing a definition with possessing the reality of it.
The New Testament makes use of the phrase “kingdom of God” more than 80 occasions, and but it never ever defines it. As an alternative, it illustrates it. Jesus would normally say, “The kingdom of God is like …” And Paul would reverse that pattern and inform us what the kingdom of God was not. Instance, “The kingdom of God is not meat or drink …”
So in like manner, I can inform you what the gospel of the kingdom is not. It is not going to heaven, it is not indicators and wonders, it is not attempting make the globe a much better spot, and it is not about social justice or receiving conservative laws passed.
The gospel of the kingdom is the most potent message in the New Testament, and I do my very best to unveil it in the book in a extremely readable way.
What has our existing Christian culture adopted currently that has replaced the ancient gospel you have described?
The options which have replaced the gospel of the kingdom are as follows:
The gospel of legalism on the one particular hand (God’s holy. You are not. Attempt tougher),
The gospel of libertinism on the other (You are below grace. God understands that you are mere mortal, so it does not actually matter what you do in your private life).
Worship at the altar of Nationalism on the one particular hand,
Worship at the altar of Globalism on the other.
Worship to the god of Capitalism on the one particular hand,
Worship to the god of Socialism on the other.
Allegiance to the speaking points of the Conservative Proper,
Allegiance to the speaking points of the Progressive Left.
None of the above have any actual points of make contact with with the gospel of the Kingdom.
Jesus stood outdoors each the Progressive Left of His day (the Sadducees) and the Conservative Proper of His day (the Pharisees).
His gospel and His message transcended – and collided – with each. And they also subverted allegiance to Rome and its emperor.
Why did you contact your book Insurgence? What are you suggesting by this title?
The New Testament calls Jesus an insurgent (I go into this in the book). He was an enemy of the State, accused of treason. The gospel of the kingdom sounds like treason, even although it is not. Acts 17 tends to make this clear. Listen to this description of the apostles and their message:
“They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is one more king, one particular referred to as Jesus.”
The Insurgence, then, is the recovery of the titanic, earth-shaking, subversive gospel of the kingdom that got Jesus, John the Baptist, and the apostles in hot water.
It is a spiritual revolution against the globe method that Jesus, John, and Paul speak against, and an utter and total allegiance to Jesus Christ and His option civilization referred to as “the kingdom of God.”
Lastly, what has been the response to your book so far?
The responses have been beyond what I anticipated. Individual revivals (even from quite a few pastors), changed lives, addictions broken, full allegiance to Christ, and so forth.
Right here are a handful of testimonials from Christian leaders:
I am discovering this book to be singularly distinctive amongst the thousands I personal. The timing of this book for me personally has the Lord’s fingerprints all more than it. In quite a few techniques, it has encouraged. But it has also devastated me. Really honestly, I’m undone in quite a few techniques.
The Lord has made use of the book to highlight and clarify problems of worldliness in my personal life. Some of these problems have been apparent to me and I have preferred liberation. Some have been much more subterranean and the Light has invaded. For 3 weeks now, I have been seriously mulling the notion that I must get baptized once more mainly because of the light dispensed by this book. And I strategy on it. I want to. I was not conscious as a new believer of the totality of what getting in Christ meant. A single can not say that following reading Insurgence.
I am encouraged that such “a word” was permitted to concern to the Physique of Christ mainly because it can only imply that the Lord is prepared to do anything. Anything I have been longing for each personally and for the Physique. I do not really feel that it will be a sweeping worldwide phenomena worldwide (the very best and truest moves of God never ever are) but I do consider it can impact pockets of believers globally. That will be adequate to please His heart.
This book threads a pretty precarious needle exactly where other individuals have attempted and missed the mark. It is nearly not possible to create a book like this with out some measure of legalism creeping in. But, the tightrope wire is effectively crossed in Insurgence. This is a book that will smoke out the libertine and legalist hiding in plain sight in every of our hearts.
My prayer for myself is: “Lord please do not let this word go wasted in my life. Have mercy, I am desperate! It is an appointed hour in my life. Please do not let this be one more fantastic book that moved me merely even though I was reading it and for a week two beyond that. DO Anything in my heart! Anything permanent. Anything irrevocable. Anything eternal. Anything that brings pleasure to your heart. Anything that meets your need to have in this hour. Anything that moves the boundary markers of your Kingdom forward! Anything that is completely in synch with your Eternal Goal!”
As a pastor, I study a lot of books. Nonetheless, sometimes in our Christian life, we come across a book that brings us to our knees. This book has brought about a revival in my personal life, although each web page has been a spiritual battle. Frank brings his transparent and biblically saturated style when once more to the Christian globe calling on all Christians to reclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom. As a Christian, I strongly urge you to invest in your spiritual life and comply with Frank on a substantially-necessary journey. As a pastor, I strongly warn you that this book will have dire worldview altering consequences to your spiritual stroll. “Pagan Christianity” could have disturbed the waters of the evangelical globe, but “Insurgence” will capsize the boats of the contemporary Christian church. If you miss this book, then you will be missing an astounding blessing. I assure that you will be challenged in a way that you never ever have just before. If you are content material with casual Christianity then this book is not for you. If you, on the other hand, need a deeper stroll with the Lord, then this book will come to be an Ebenezer in your spiritual journey.
Frank Viola’s most current book, “Insurgence: Reclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom” is a game changer! I want to be transparent. I am an African-American male and a pastor. I have struggled with the “divide” in the Physique of Christ when it comes to race, economics, and so forth. There have been occasions when I have been discouraged and disappointed with other Christians. I carried the flag of “social justice”. I carried the flag of “conservatism evangelical politics”. I carried the “charismatic” flag. I carried the flag of “isolationism”. I carried each flag, BUT CHRIST! I am a Pastor in the city of Philadelphia. I have been to seminary and I completed my doctoral perform. I say all of that to say that this BOOK HAS RADICALLY CHANGED MY LIFE, MY VISION, AND MY Viewpoint OF CHRISTIANITY! Frank says on web page 13, “My hope in writing this book is that its message will provide you from each other version of the gospel except the gospel of the kingdom- a gospel that has been practically lost to us today”. Brother Frank! Your hope and prayer was accomplished by the inner functioning of the Holy Spirit upon my heart, applying the words that the Lord gave you in this book!
“I have written about fifty books, study hundreds—maybe thousands IN MY 83 years. “INSURGENCE” IS THE A single BOOK YOU Have to Study! It is every little thing I think, stated substantially much better than I am graced to say it. You ask me what I think. I will respond: “What he stated!” To all of my beloved mates and fellows who are diligently laboring for reformation, restoration and revival: “Your efforts will be unfruitful apart from the kingdom foundation clearly laid out in Frank Viola’s new book.” Throughout the whole time of reading this book my spirit has been vibrating like a tuning fork that has just been struck!”