Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Living in the Overlap by Steve Schaefer

From the authors Website:


I spent years as a Christian being largely clueless about what Jesus taught concerning the kingdom of God. But when I began to study the subject seriously, I realized it provides a valuable key to successful living.

When some of my friends expressed similar challenges understanding this important topic, I thought it might be helpful to write a book that would share both the biblical background concerning the kingdom and some of its practical implications for our lives.

Here’s a description of the book:

How should we deal with our doubts?

What should we keep in mind when we pray for healing?

How can we share the gospel more effectively?

Steve Schaefer contends that when we understand Jesus’ central message—the kingdom of God—we are better equipped to handle such issues. The Old Testament prophets predicted the coming of God’s end-time kingdom. But the New Testament reveals a surprising twist--the kingdom arrives in two stages. The first stage arrived with Jesus’ first coming. The second stage will arrive at his second coming. So what happens in between?

Living in the Overlap clarifies a topic that many Christians find mysterious, exploring the challenges and benefits of living in a kingdom that is both “already” and “not yet.”

As Schaefer says, “We who live in the overlap are amphibious creatures, navigating two worlds simultaneously as we begin our transition from one to the other. We are Jed Clampetts, tasting the splendors of Beverly Hills without having lost our Ozark accents or our fondness for fried possum and crow gizzards. Like Jed, we should not expect a seamless transition.”

A unique feature of the book is The Kingdom Dartboard, a full-color chart that illustrates 18 major characteristics of the kingdom of God as predicted by the Old Testament prophets. The chart may be downloaded from this website for non-profit educational purposes or personal study.

Living in the Overlap offers strategies for successful kingdom living, tackling issues such as:
•Praying for healing

•Walking by faith

•Dealing with temptation

•Being used by God

•Loving others

If you desire a deeper understanding of Jesus’ kingdom message, and if you want to explore the kingdom’s implications for your life today, let this provocative and enlightening book be your guide.


Living for the Kingdom

A Profile of Steve Schaefer

by Jeanette Hanscome

Because of his fascination with Scripture and its message, Steve Schaefer has repeatedly explored the land of the Bible. His experiences include hot-air ballooning over eerie Cappadocian rock formations in Turkey, trekking through the ancient “rose red” city of Petra in Jordan, sloshing through Hezekiah’s serpentine aqueduct in Israel, and scaling Jebel Musa (traditionally identified as Mount Sinai) in Egypt. But he now invites readers to embark on a different kind of biblical adventure in his new book, Living in the Overlap: How Jesus’ Kingdom Proclamation Can Transform Your World.

He grew up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus as his Savior at age ten. His family attended a small Baptist church in Pennsylvania. But when he got involved with the Christian youth group Campus Life in high school, he met kids whose love for Jesus blew him away. Their faith in God helped them cope with everything from taking tests to losing loved ones. He began to want what they had.

Shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day of his sophomore year he made a decision that changed his life.

“I watched the ball drop in Times Square on television as we rang in the new year, and I felt that this was a time for a new beginning,” he says. “I got out my Bible and came to John 8:36 which says, ‘So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free’ (LB). I wanted the freedom I had seen in my Christian friends. So I got on my knees and told God I wanted him to be in the driver’s seat of my life.” That began his adult life of faith.

After high school, Schaefer attended Oral Roberts University where he majored in Communication Arts and minored in Theological and Historical Studies. One of his textbooks, George Eldon Ladd’s classic A Theology of the New Testament, introduced him to the Bible’s teaching about the kingdom of God as an “already” and “not yet” reality, sparking a lifelong fascination with the subject.

After graduation he began a career as a television producer and production manager, initially working in Christian television, and eventually working on productions such as the Emmy winning CBS Schoolbreak Special Never Say Goodbye, the ABC Afterschool Special Terrible Things My Mother Told Me, the Family Channel sitcom Big Brother Jake, and the Australian-based drama Snowy River: The McGregor Saga.

But he continued with his theological studies, earning an M.A. from Regent University’s School of Divinity, where his studies deepened his understanding of Scripture’s kingdom theme, a theme he feels is frequently misunderstood.

“The kingdom of God was Jesus’ central message but two important things about it seldom get the attention they deserve,” he says. “First, people often overlook the Old Testament background, the fact that there are eighteen key kingdom characteristics predicted by the Old Testament prophets. And second, people often overlook the New Testament teaching that the kingdom arrives in two stages. Stage One arrived with Jesus’ first coming. That’s when people could begin to experience the kingdom benefits predicted in the Old Testament. Stage Two will arrive at Jesus’ second coming when all the kingdom benefits will be experienced in their fullness. This has major implications for those of us living between the two comings of Jesus.”

Why is there a lack of familiarity with Jesus’ kingdom message? Schaefer suggests that part of the problem is that many people lack an understanding of Scripture’s big picture. The kingdom of God was not just the central theme of Jesus’ teaching; it’s a theme that permeates the Bible’s entire story. The better we grasp the big picture, the better we can appreciate the Bible’s teaching about the kingdom. And this in turn provides a focus and balance to our own spiritual journeys.

His book outlines the Old Testament prophecies about the kingdom, then shows the already/not-yet fulfillment revealed in the New Testament. He then discusses the benefits and challenges of living in a kingdom that is both here and still coming. He believes that when we grasp Christ’s kingdom message we are better equipped to deal with doubts, share the gospel more effectively, understand divine healing, and become the kind of Christians God can truly use.

Schaefer has pursued graduate level studies at Jerusalem University College in Israel. He loves to read and is an inveterate traveler, having spent time on every continent except one. “When the first Barnes & Noble opens in Antarctica, I’ll be there,” he says.

A popular speaker and teacher, he currently works as a Managing Producer in the International Programming department of CBN WorldReach, a ministry that produces evangelistic television programs and conducts humanitarian activities around the world.

My Take:  This book is very informative and interesting.  Mr Schaefer explains what the overlap is and how we can get the most out of living in it.  I especially liked the chapters that gave practical advice on topics such as Walking by Faith and Being used by God.  I liked the Dartboard diagram and will be using it further in my study of this topic.  (you can download your own dartboad at the author's website.   
If you are interested in ordering the book click on the cover below
Living in the Overlap: How Jesus' Kingdom Proclamation Can Transform Your World

(I am an Amazon Associate)

I received a review coy of this book from GlassRoads PR. 

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