James Rockwood

Jesus Follower, Author, Husband.

The purpose of this site and the books I am writing is to promote an overall new Christian narrative.  This narrative is fundamentally different from the traditional Christian message of “personal salvation”.  This narrative (or gospel) is derived from the original message Jesus, Himself taught while He was on the earth. This message is: the “kingdom of God”!  If you go into the gospels of Matthew and John you’ll find Jesus making reference to the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven or other “kingdom” allusions time and again.  Open your bible anywhere in Matthew and start reading; you won’t get more than a sentence or two along before you’ll see Jesus making one emphatic statement or other and bringing His point home with a comparison to the kingdom.  “The kingdom of heaven is like…” in fact, He uses the term kingdom somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 times. In the same way, if you if count how many times He uses either the term “saved” or “salvation” it’s only 7 times.

I have been wrestling with this question of why the “personal salvation” gospel is so much more prevalent than the “kingdom of God” gospel for twenty years.  I have come to the conclusion that “salvation” is a much simpler and more effective marketing strategy. And as unbelievable as this sounds, this marketing strategy began almost immediately upon Jesus’s death and subsequent resurrection from the dead and eventual ascension into heaven.  I get into the whys and hows around this topic in my series of books which begins with “Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone”.

I am currently working on the third book in the series (which will be available for purchase this spring) entitled: “Intuiting the Omega Stone”.  In this book I talk about why the kingdom gospel is so necessary in this time of global crises.  Throughout the series I tried to emphasize the idea that it’s never too late to get involved with building the kingdom of God.  We also talk at length about the sorts of people who are working within this kingdom construct; a tapestry of souls drawn together into a variety of programs and strategies designed to heal and/or advance humanity in one way or other. These people are generally NOT “Christians” or even religious; they are the ones whom Jesus referred to as, “hungering and thirsting after righteousness” or who “…are persecuted because of righteousness”.  They are the “peacemakers”! Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God!” [Matt 5:9 NIV]

I began Working On this concept while I was still an active minister in the Community of Christ church. I began having fundamental questions about the message I was called to preach and practice.  My personal conversion experience was of a highly charged spiritual nature.  This happen for me back in the early seventies in a period in our culture which came as a part of the “hippie” movement.  This specific tenor of this movement has been referred to as the Jesus Movement in many ways I feel that Jesus was calling me into a relationship with Him rather than to simply to become a member of His church.

As I mentioned, this happened 50 years ago and my conversion experience was spiritually impactful.  With this under my belt my early years were filled with countless memorable church experiences.  My soul was thirsty and my mind was hungry to learn as much as I could about the God I had met in my conversion experience.  I had questions.  Thankfully, the denomination I was affiliated with wasn’t threatened by questions; in fact it encouraged members to put their faith to the test.  This was my experience in the early days of my tenure in this denomination.  And as I and asked questions the holy ghost seemed to impress my mind with th some answers but more often with even more questions.  These additional questions weren’t upsetting or didn’t seem to pose consternation.  They seem to beckon to me to keep moving forward toward some great and wonderful unknown.  Toward the kingdom of God.  I realized that as the questions and observations began piling it would, perhaps be prudent to start writing my thoughts and feelings down or what is referred to as journaling.  I was teaching and attending many religious-based study groups and workshops and after a prolonged season of working this approach I began realizing that instead of finding resolutions or gaining compatriots in my efforts, even more questions seemed to be stirring inside of me and along with this came a sense of isolation.  This isolation wasn’t from God it was from the church fellowship at large.

During my tenure of acting as a minister I did have experiences which I’ve come to understand have been spiritual markers I could use which have helped me along the path to this present understanding. I came to trust these markers and value them more highly than the standard religious resources of doctrines, priesthood authorities and traditional Christian practices. I didn’t rebel against these standard practices per se; but when there proved to be a conflict or a choice between my personal spiritual compass or the doctrinal/textbook response, I would invariably go with my spiritual compass and my ever-growing library of personal spiritual markers.