I thought I’d give you the introduction to my book, to whet your appetite. It’s like hypnosis (You are getting veeery, veeeeery interested in my booooook……..). But seriously. I feel like God wants this thing to go big, to help a generation discover intimacy with God in a powerful way.
Bone-headed disciple that I am, I arm-wrestled with this confounded manuscript for eight years before figuring out why I couldn’t seem to pin it to the table.
It’s a book about the Kingdom of heaven.
See, when Jesus taught about his Kingdom, he shunned traditional outlines. He never hammered out a distended seminary thesis or punched out a three-point sermon. When it came to teaching the Kingdom, Jesus’ methods were imperially simple. He either demonstrated his power—actually doing what he wanted people to see—or he captured their imaginations with subversive stories that got under their skin and forced them to chew on the truth a bite at a time. He used parables.
And that’s why my idea would only work as a story. God wanted me to write a parable stuffed with unforgettably delectable images.
Very shortly after kicking myself—repeatedly—I scrapped eight years of work and started over. The story wrote itself in about two weeks. Honestly, I’m excited to see where it all leads, which is why I didn’t invent some iconic ‘Everyman’ character you can relate to. It’s about me, Brad Huebert. The protagonist is myself. In fact, many of the revelations I experience in the story represent real moments of profound struggle and triumph in my own life. I’m hoping that as I write, I’ll keep changing—and that as you watch me change, you’ll find yourself changing too.
My advice? Read this more than once, because there’s a lot to chew on. I think this tale would lend itself well to a small group setting where you can flesh out what it might mean for day-to-day living together. And yes, this book is actually supposed to change the way you live your life. I believe it will do just that, if you let it.
One last thing: Since I’m the one writing the story, I’m going to take the liberty of indulging myself on one minor point: messing with my name and my family to make the story fit. Brad is a decent name, I suppose, but between you and me, I’ve always wanted a more epic title to hang my hat on.
So then: From this point onward, you will know me as … Ivan. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Sounds medieval. It’s been said that people who view their life through an epic lens tend to find it more fulfilling. I totally agree, so that’s where I’m going to take you. Or rather, that’s where Ivan is going to take you.
The best thing about telling the truth with a story is that I can actually show you what I think Jesus means and gives and does without pages and pages of explanation. I can lead you by the hand and unveil the world as it might look if you could press through the clammy threshold of flesh to see with the eyes of faith. And maybe, just maybe, as we do that together, our eyes really will be opened and nothing will ever be the same for either of us.
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Uh huh. Spread the word.