The Upside Down Kingdom

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Book Review and Critique – 1

The Upside Down Kingdom.
Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition,
(Herald Press, Waterloo, Ont., Canada), 2011.(256 pages)
Author: Kraybill, Donald B.

Summary of main idea
The book is about the upside down kingdom Jesus ushered Christians into, inviting us to look deeply into Christ’s message, to see the radical life He was calling us to and how He was not only countercultural in His day but also in our own. Concern for the poor, oppressed and the alien is essential to true spirituality and the gospel.

Three strengths
First, it is informative, engaging, smooth, each chapter moves easily into the next. Second, it carries a challenging, life-changing message and claims of the gospel which calls us to put others first before we think about our own comfort zones. Third, it has useful discussion questions and comprehensive notes for each chapter to facilitate group study (pp.257-280)

Three weaknesses
First, the author’s assertion that “Jesus’ temptation, isn’t to gobble down boulders of bread to relieve a forty-day fast” (p.71) and his subsequent remarks, go far beyond what is in the Bible (Matt.4). Second, some chapters could have been combined such as 2-4; 8-9. Third, too much space is spent on distinction of ‘agape’ love (ch.9) at the expense of sound exegesis.

“We live in a future already bursting upon us. We’re the ones who turn the world upside down because we know there is another King named Jesus. As children of the Most High, we welcome the reign of God in our corporate lives each day.” (Kraybill, 2011:256)

Article by Rev. Dr. Philip Ang Keng Yong
Zion Methodist Church, Sibu

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