Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals
By Trevin Wax, Foreword by Ed Stetzer
Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals
By Trevin Wax, Foreword by Ed Stetzer
Christians are too often guilty of pledging their allegiance to the influential principalities and powers of this age rather than to Christ alone. In Holy Subversion, Trevin Wax challenges such behavior by urging a return to the subversive lifestyle of the earliest Christians. Their proclamation and demonstration that "Jesus is Lord" directly opposed the Caesar worship of their day.
Today, Christians in the West must choose between Jesus and our "Caesars": self, success, money, leisure, sex, power. What would it look like, asks Wax, if today's church reclaimed the communal, subversive nature of the gospel, intentionally undermining all contenders for our devotion? How would the message that "Jesus is Lord" change our thinking about our jobs, our families, and our church participation? Here this gifted pastor-theologian offers help in taking our faith public, dethroning modern-day Caesars, honoring the Lordship of Christ, and understanding the church as the ultimate counterculture-an embodiment of Christ's supremacy over all.
"Trevin Wax faithfully sounds the call for world-changing, Christ-exalting Christian practice. By unmasking contemporary 'Caesars,' he reveals real dangers and points to pitfalls of which many believers are completely unaware. This book serves as a helpful reminder and competent guide to draw out the implications of true allegiance to Jesus Christ."
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"How should God's American people put the lordship of Jesus Christ on display in their lives? Wax's searching answer is biblical, basic, businesslike, and blunt."
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College
"Trevin Wax passionately tackles some of the most dangerous idols in our culture, and, unfortunately, in our own lives. Especially relevant now is his reminder to us of the way money can capture us and force us into submission. Not only in days of economic stress, but also in those of economic prosperity, we must be aware of money's alluring trap and learn how to turn this resource into something that may be used for the kingdom. With judicious insights and clear writing on a number of issues, Wax challenges us to live subversively against the powers of this world."
Johnny Hunt, Former President, The Southern Baptist Convention; Senior Vice President of Evangelism and Leadership, North American Mission Board
"Christianity is all about paradox. We lose our lives to gain them. We find life in crucifixion. We serve in order to reign. In his book, Holy Subversion, Trevin Wax takes up the question of how to be both a rebel—against the false authorities of this time—while simultaneously being submissive—to the divine authority of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This book is a helpful warning against both nihilism and cynicism."
Russell Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
"Simple yet succinct, Holy Subversion exposes the idols of modernity and provides the biblical arsenal needed for their complete destruction. Trevin Wax provides medicine for the heart in this short, powerful study. Read it and be blessed."
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Trevin Wax provides good advice on how to turn away from the idols of success, money, leisure, sex, and power."
Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, WORLD Magazine
"Using a definition of subversion as 'pushing something back down into its proper place,' Trevin Wax seeks to subvert the idols of our society—self, success, money, leisure, sex, and power—in a theologically responsible and challengingly practical way. These false gods must be thrust back into their proper place, and that subversion is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ—the message about the crucified and resurrected God-man who is Lord over all bogus lords—equips us to do. Wax wonders, 'What would it look like today if we reclaimed the subversive nature of Christian discipleship?' Read this fine book if you wish to live as the true Savior and Lord Jesus Christ would have you live."
Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Elder, Sojourn Community Church; author, Sojourners and Strangers; Roman Catholic Theology and Practice; and Historical Theology
"The Apostle John warns us to 'keep ourselves from idols.' Trevin Wax, in this incisive, convicting, and elegantly written book, considers the false gods that insidiously corrupt our lives. I was reminded afresh what it means to confess that Jesus is Lord and that glorifying God expresses itself in the concrete realities of daily life. What a joy to read a book that is theologically faithful and practically compelling."
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"In Holy Subversion, Trevin Wax issues a wide-ranging invitation for believers to rethink what it means to be a Christ-follower in a culture that offers rival ways of thinking and living at every turn. Those who wrestle with this timely and biblically-based challenge will be called to nothing less than whole-hearted faithfulness in all areas of life."
David S. Dockery, Chancellor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
"In the midst of much debate and uncertainly about the kingdom of God in the world today, Wax makes it clear that Jesus' kingdom challenges our allegiances. Wax looks at issues of idolatry and strongholds that, one by one, show us how the gospel of the kingdom requires a new loyalty. Holy Subversion is a helpful and challenging book."
Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism, Wheaton College
"There is the sense that something is wrong in the church, very wrong, and most prognosticators have been telling us what we need to do get back on track. Trevin Wax takes a different approach, a more radical approach—he calls us to come face to face with the 'Caesars' in our life. Only once we have understood the dire effect of these allegiances, as Wax shows, can we then hope to subvert the kingdoms vying for our localities. Holy Subversion makes clear the contours of the sacred revolution which is ours to undertake."
Nicholas Perrin, Dean, Wheaton College Graduate School
"Today we live in a land of self-made men who love to worship the creators of their success. Sadly, this very same attitude has crept into the church. Quite rightly then, Trevin Wax challenges us to see what it means to confess Jesus Christ as Lord: to embrace and rejoice in the sovereignty of Jesus Christ over all things. But this book is not about the doctrine of Jesus' lordship; it is about how you live out Jesus' lordship in every sphere of your life. In an age where there are many 'gods' and many 'lords' biding for our allegiance, Trevin Wax calls the church to throw down these idols and to order their lives according to the story, symbols, and values of the Lord Jesus Christ. He encourages us to get our knees dirty by bowing to Christ and to get our hands dirty by serving him. This is a book that every serious follower of Jesus should read and heed."
Michael F. Bird, Academic Dean and Lecturer in Theology, Ridley College, Melbourne
"Trevin Wax deftly uses Scripture and his cross-cultural experience in Romania to convict North American Christians of the subtle ways that we conform to our culture's idols. His tough love inspires us to surrender to Jesus' ownership of the world, and his bold plan for change shows us how. This book forces each of us to reconsider the most important question of our lives: whether Caesar or Jesus is Lord."
Mike Wittmer, Professor of Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary; author of Heaven Is a Place on Earth and Don't Stop Believing
"In Holy Subversion, Trevin Wax engages both the church and the world with clarity and conviction. With great insight into the heart of the apostolic gospel, Wax highlights the profound impact of early Christians' complete allegiance to Jesus of Nazareth as Savior and Lord over all aspects of personal life and society. True Christianity, contends the author, dethrones the Caesar of our day and enthrones Jesus Christ as the only Savior and Lord over all life. This is a timely and prophetic book for our generation. I highly recommend it to pastors, evangelists, missionaries, Sunday-school teachers, and all believers in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, according to the inspired and infallible Word of God, represents the foundation for the author's call to contemporary Christians to the 'Ephesians Road,' that is, to live and labor with undivided loyalty for the glory of the one and only Master of time and eternity, Jesus Christ."
Paul Negrut, President, Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania
"In this book, Trevin Wax returns us to a God-centeredness displayed in the Scriptures. He reminds us that faithfulness is more important than success, humility more desirous than fame, and that Christian unity can be achieved even in the face of great diversity. I highly recommend this for anyone seeking an authentic relationship with the God who transforms our lives, our passions, and our world."
Christian T. George, Curator, The Spurgeon Library; Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; editor, The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon
"Trevin Wax delivers a sober challenge for the church to live up to her lofty calling. By God's grace, may Christians heed his warning and follow the narrow path prepared by Jesus. Perhaps we will then see the fruit of the Spirit's transforming power in our midst."
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Blind Spots
"The bridge between the biblical world and ours is a two-way path. Most travelers start from the Here-and-Now world and, equipped with the tools of exegesis, step back in space-time into the There-and-Then world. Trevin Wax makes a bold proposal for a journey in the opposite direction. What would it be like if the biblical authors were to step into our own world? How would Moses, David, Paul, or even Jesus proclaim God's message if they were living today? The author's creative and persuasive proposal invites the readers to ponder what they might plausibly hear if the biblical imperative against idolatry were given to us today."
Radu Gheorghita, Professor of New Testament, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
"This book reads like a series of very good sermons. There is pastoral wisdom, balance, and conviction in these pages. Trevin Wax helps us remember what really matters."
Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, Christ Covenant Church, Matthews, North Carolina