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Our Father's Kingdom: The Church and the Nations

by Douglas Layton, George, Jr. Otis

Buy the book: Douglas Layton. Our Father's Kingdom: The Church and the Nations

Release Date: December, 2000

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: Douglas Layton. Our Father's Kingdom: The Church and the Nations


Nothing less than revolutionary

In the book above, Douglas Layton reminds us of an old paradigm that has been largely forgotten in the churches today. When most read Christ's words in the Great Commission, they read, "Go, therefore, make disciples," and stop short of the full meaning of His command. Assuming that this merely refers to individuals, they miss that Christ has commanded His church to make the NATIONS His disciples, baptizing NATIONS, and teaching NATIONS. Because of this tragic oversight, Layton explains, the impact of Christ's people today is minimal. We may be planting churches and evangelizing individuals, but the churches influence stops short of impacting entire nations. Layton seeks to remedy this situation, and stir the reader into a more complete evangelistic campaign.

Chapter 1 surveys the state of the nations and shows that, while the condition of them is largely deplorable (including America), there is still hope. He writes, "Billy Graham once said that, if God did not destroy America, He would have to apologize to Sodom. I believe, if He does destroy America in its current state, He will have to apologize for not giving it the same chance He gave Sodom" (p. 36).

Chapter 2 introduces the new (actually old) paradigm of winning whole nations. Layton argues that Christ's kingdom is intended not only for the individual or for the church but over every sphere of life (e.g., government and law, the arts and sports, education, business, economics, science and technology, the media, and the family). He quotes A.T. Robertson, who reprimands those who retreat from society and consume themselves with the "Rapture": "Those who expect His coming to be very soon should leave that to the Father and push on the campaign for world conquest" (p. 50).

In the third chapter, Layton asks the million dollar question, Can nations actually be won to Christ? He answers, "If communists and Muslims can take nations -- so can our God!" (p. 63). He reminds us that there have been (and now are) nations that were Christian, and how we can learn from the devil's nation winning strategies. He does this by examining the powerful permeation Islam has made.

I could continue to give a survey of each chapter, but I will stop and simply say that there are very few books that deserve multiple readings, and this is one of them. If not once a year, every Christian should read it at least once in his/her lifetime. I agree with P. Andrew Sandlin, who wrote on the back cover that this book is "the most revolutionary book on the topic of Christian mission written in the last one hundred years." Layton combines a stirring appeal to have a more complete Christianizing campaign that will stop at nothing less than seeing Christ as Lord over every facet of life with personal examples of what God can do with a person who is willing.

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