Book Review: A Kingdom Called Desire
By: Rick McKinley Publisher: Zondervan ISBN: 9780310285434
A Kingdom Called Desire: Confronted by the Love of a Risen King is written by Rick McKinley, pastor of Imago Dei Church in Portland, Oregon. Rick is the author of two other books (that I am aware of), Jesus in the Margins and This Beautiful Mess. From the back cover, the book claims that it is about “uncovering and fulfilling your deepest desires.” It states that A Kingdom Called Desire will help you: Uncover your core desires; discover the freedom of living honestly before God, allow God’s desires to shape your life; and, see how your own unique personality, gifts, and experiences can be used by Jesus in his Kingdom. Those are some lofty claims… most, maybe all, of them are true.
In a nutshell, this book is about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is about redemption, deliverance, reconciliation, restoration, and living life to the fullest… on this side of eternity. There is nothing new (that I could find) in this presentation of the Gospel, but I was impressed at how comprehensive the presentation was and how well it was shared in a conversational manner. I did not get the impression that I was being preached to, nor did I get the sense of evangelical proselytizing being an agenda with the book. I found a solid, down-to-earth, practical, and systematic conversation about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in terms of the message He preached regarding the Kingdom of God. I think, if this was the goal, McKinley nailed it solidly.
I think the book is perfect for a number of readers, but might not be a fit for everyone. As I said, there is nothing new here regardless of how sterling the presentation. Having said that, some readers might get bored; at times, I found the book becoming a little long in tooth and pedantic. That should not be interpreted as a negative by any means, but only a caution that the book seemed specifically tuned for a certain audience. No surprise here, most books are aimed at specific demographic and this one seems to be as well.
I can’t speak for the author, but I might recommend it for persons new to their faith in Jesus Christ. I think it would provide a great platform for a “new believers” class. Each chapter ends with a few “formation questions” that can help to facilitate discussion for a small group gathering. On the other end of the scale, the book might serve as a “training guide” for new leaders or teachers who may not have formal education or training in Biblical studies. I think the Gospel message shared in A Kingdom Called Desire is so well done that it can be utilized in a fairly broad way. Another recommendation might be for the person who has had a negative church experience in their past; perhaps the presentation of the Gospel they received wasn’t accurate… A Kingdom might be just the tool to help them gain a fresh vision of what Jesus intended.
It is not difficult reading and doesn’t get bogged down with a lot theological terms; as I said, it will appeal to a large demographic, but it might not be for everyone. Personally, I won’t have a problem recommending it for many situations and I’m glad I had the opportunity to review it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan Publishing to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”