Skip to main content

REVIEW: Pursuing a heavenly vision (Stewart Keiller)

Charismatics can have a reputation for being theologically-lite but Stewart's pokey office in the recesses of the vast Art Deco cinema that Bath City Church own was stacked with serious books, including a desk lined with an an ESV study Bible and a Grudem Systematic Theology etc. Some stereotypes just need breaking.

That said, what Stewart gives us in this book isn't dense theology but a well rooted call to action. He's not showing all his working but he is taking texts seriously.

"This isn't really a 'how to have a vision' book, it is a 'poke' to live life a different way... a provocation...[to] cause the army of the people of God to get up, move out! ...We are a people who have got a mission and mandate from the King of kings..."

This book is a punchy rallying call to the church to be who she is. To take seriously what the Bible says, and to live in the heavenly reality that Jesus and the apostles knew.

In his chapter on Open Heaven he observes how Stephen saw heaven torn open, how Jesus said the same of himself, and raises expectation that this should be normal for the church - an outpost of heaven on earth. He calls for an expectation for signs and wonders but above all "The real deal is conversions. The real sign of an open heaven is multiple conversions - people literally propelled into faith and the kingdom...  I am not interested in increasing numbers on the basis of selling them a life-after-death insurance policy; no we are called to 'make disciples'... believers with guts and passion." (p53-54)

This call to action is rooted in the reality of who we are in Christ. The chapter Staying on track is a refreshing reminder of this... "As the Father's adopted kids, we have the privilege of gaining access to him whenever we want." This book isn't clever or full of caveats and expectation-lowering-exceptions, it's straight-forward evangelical taking the Bible seriously stuff.

Stewart Keiller is leader of Bath City Church which was the church I was a member of as a student between 1997-2000. I also worked for him for a few months during the dotcom boom, lodged with his family, and he gave me a free copy of this book when I caught up with him this week.


Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…