Book Review: Living Kingdom

The cover of Living Kingdom.

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Living Kingdom: Fresh Perspectives on the Parables of Jesus
Edited by Jarrod Stackelroth

We all know that Jesus was a big fan of parables, which are simple stories used to impart a spiritual lesson. But the parables that Jesus taught often left listeners—and even His own disciples—very confused. Living Kingdom aims to take readers on a journey through the parables that Jesus taught and bring a little more understanding, especially for our modern-day context.

Each chapter focuses on an individual parable (or set of linked parables) and has been written by different authors living in the South Pacific. The authors write from their experience, relating the parables to their own unique interests and hobbies, which brings the stories to life in different ways and provides readers with even richer teaching than any single author could. For example, we learn about graffiti art, see the world through the eyes of an administrative assistant, and hear from numerous ministry professionals serving in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. The layout of the book is great, with each chapter including the Bible reference for each parable and a variety of questions to prompt reflection and discussion on the key themes.

Living Kingdom would be an excellent resource for small groups and Bible studies, as well as for personal or family devotional time. The questions for each chapter prompt deep reflection and are designed for discussion with others, allowing you to get to know those you are studying with at a deeper level. If you’re shy or afraid to open up, you can also choose how open you are willing to be, so as not to scare off those who might be new to your Bible-study group.

By telling parables, Jesus aimed to make the wisdom of God easily understood and accessible by everyone. The Living Kingdom book expands upon this by making the parables easily understood in our current context. Perfect for seasoned or new Christians, Living Kingdom is a must-add to your bookshelf—and those of your friends!

Living Kingdom is available from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand, or online.

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