Archive for the 'Kingdom Thoughts' Category

An open letter to my friends unsure about God

I recently wrote this open letter to my spiritually unsure/seeking/agnostic friends who follow my primary blog at www.rebelpilgrim.blogspot.com. After writing it, I realized that many of the themes embedded in Between Two Kingdoms resonated throughout. Here is the entire original post below:

I have lots of friends all over the world who read this blog. Many are self-identified Christians, but some are not. I often wonder what my I-have-more-questions-about-God-than-answers friends think about my more God-centered posts. I thought I would write a post tonight for them. (I’m talking about my actual real-life friends who read this – not cyber eavesdroppers. You all know who you are. We’ve talked about this stuff at 2 a.m. in bars across America over the last decade. For whatever reason you are all on my mind tonight.)

First of all, I want you guys to know that I didn’t become your friend to try to convert you. I know you all know that, but it is true. I respect you and your spiritual journey. Nothing is gonna ever change that.

Second, I would want you to know that my faith – though rooted in Jesus and the Christian tradition – likely has some substantial differences to cultural Christianity. If you know me, you have likely sensed that already. This is intentional on my part. I am not trying to be the Christian who shocks people or anything like that. I’m trying to follow Jesus as I understand him. Jesus himself came off as anti-religious a lot, and I sometimes do the same.
Continue reading ‘An open letter to my friends unsure about God’

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Joe Boyd on Between Two Kingdoms

Check out the most recent interview with Between Two Kingdoms author, Joe Boyd:

Jesus’ Main Thing

Jesus had a central message. There was one single reality that prompted all of his teachings. Many have reduced Jesus’ life and words to a message other than his primary one. Some have taken some of his peripheral statements and made them primary.

At the beginning of Matthew’s gospel there is a simple, straight-forward statement that is crucial to observe:

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” – Matthew 4:17 (NIV)

Matthew is about to reveal the single greatest oration humanity has ever heard – The Sermon on the Mount. Before revealing the words of Jesus’ great Kingdom Manifesto, Matthew lets his readers in on the main thesis of the life story of his subject: that from the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry until the end, he will have one central action step spurred by one simple statement of reality:  Repent (the action) because the Kingdom is near (the reality).

It is from this reality that Jesus’ life, ministry, words and miracles are contextualized. It is in the action step of repentance that we are able to receive the reality of the Kingdom coming.

Last year at this time I prepared an online Lenten Bible Study through the Sermon on the Mount. If you would like to work through the study this Lent, it is archived at this link: Sermon on the Mount study.

Think About It.

Between Two Kingdoms is my attempt to condense some rather heady theological learnings into a world that people can explore and play within. My normal pathway to God goes through my brain. Others seem to come to Him through their heart or gut or hands. I don’t know if one way is better than the other. All are important to each of us…and there is nothing worse than a purely academic Christian without passion or action.

At about the same time I finished the first section of BTK I also wrote an essay expressing my emerging beliefs in a more clinical way. In some ways this short essay is the nerdy sister of the more free-spirited novel, but I’d like to present her to you now. Continue reading ‘Think About It.’

Rebel Pilgrims

Between Two Kingdoms deals with the struggle of learning to be at home in places that are unfamiliar. This has been a consistent theme throughout my life. The following post from 2009 records my thoughts after two major uprooting moves in four years – one to Los Angeles, then to Cincinnati. Before that we had lived for ten years in Las Vegas:

For the last eight years I have had a blog called Rebel Pilgrim. When the time came to form my production company in 2005, I gave it the same name.

The phrase “rebel pilgrim” came out of a time in my life about a decade ago when I was looking for a simple way to express my emerging worldview. The “rebel” part of it stems from the idea that we (those of us now engrafted in the story of God and Israel through Christ) are, in fact, rebelling against the “normal” order of the world. We are revolutionaries, often standing against very popular and seemingly good ideals that make the world “work” better. In fact, we rebel against many perfectly sane and practical ideals because of our conviction that the created world is moving toward full redemption. We rebel because we do not settle for sane and practical when “thy Kingdom come” is still on the table. Continue reading ‘Rebel Pilgrims’


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