How to Inherit the Earth: Submitting Ourselves to a Servant Savior, By Scott A. Bessenecker

How to Inherit the Earth

Submitting Ourselves to a Servant Savior

by Scott A. Bessenecker

How to Inherit the Earth
  • Length: 159 pages
  • Published: November 09, 2009
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3728
  • ISBN: 9780830837281

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Ambition isn't bad; it just does bad things.

In a culture that too often prizes leadership uncritically and unreflectively, a faith that calls us to take up crosses, lay down lives and otherwise submit ourselves to something outside ourselves simply sounds like a bad idea. Nevertheless, this is the faith that we find Jesus talking about.

Scott Bessenecker has learned from new friar communities, from the history of Christianity and from the mouth of Jesus that there's something wonderfully subversive about saying no to ourselves every now and then, something that could even change the world.

"In an age of narcissistic entitlement, Scott's humble but straightforward reflections challenge a leadership-enamored church to discover the grace in service and submission. You'll be challenged and inspired by this fantastic contribution to the conversation on servant leadership. Honest and confessional, How to Inherit the Earth is great read."

Christopher L. Heuertz, international director of Word Made Flesh and author of Simple Spirituality and Friendship at the Margins

"Bessenecker casts out some demons from the Pentagon and Wall Street. He names some popular idols like security and independence, and calls us to a simple faith rooted in our love of God and neighbor, which means interdependence and vulnerability and all sorts of countercultural values. Scott offers a simple and scandalous invitation into the upside-down kingdom of God. This kingdom is about a God who blesses the meek in a world that admires aggression. It is about a God who blesses the peacemakers in a world that blesses the warriors. It is about a God who blesses the poor, not just the middle class, a God who casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly, who fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty. Bessenecker offers a message that drips with Jesus--and the kingdom vision is just as offensive and revolutionary and fascinating and timely today as it was thousands of years ago. Beware . . . it could get you in a little trouble or cost you your job--but it will certainly set you free."

Shane Claiborne, author, activist, recovering sinner (

"Many Christian writers bounce from theme to theme, looking for one that will generate big sales, and so their work never ventures far from the surface. Scott Bessenecker is not one of them. In both his life and his writing, he keeps pursuing the same question: What does it mean to follow Jesus in a broken world full of needy people? His answers keep going deeper and deeper . . . and farther and farther away from the material values and power politics that have come to dominate the evangelical community in North America. I don't know how many books he'll sell this time, but then, I don't know how many books his Teacher would be selling these days either. What I do know is that, in the right hands, this is the kind of book that can make someone dangerous to the status quo."

Bart Campolo, urban minister

"This one is truly one of the best. Bessenecker has written How to Inherit the Earth in a way that makes one feel they're hearing Jesus' Gospel for the first time."

Bart Campolo, The Catholic Lighthouse, February 2010

"Bessenecker paints a picture of God's people who value peacemaking, service, submission, self-control and simple living. Bessenecker ultimately offers a thoughtful discussion of what it means to be authentically Christian, writing from biblical foundations, historic Christianity and years of experience with friar communities. Eight brief chapters covering the attributes of meekness, submission, repentance, following, obedience and leadership make for a quick, yet penetrating read."

Mark Cannister, YouthWorker Journal (, May/June 2010


1 Subverting MONOPOLY(TM) Through Meekness
2 Meekness and the Death of Pride
3 Submission in Our Leadership-Infatuated Culture
4 Repentance and the Death of Personal Wealth
5 Following and the Death of Comparison
6 Slavery and the Death of Entitlement
7 Obedience and the Death of Independence
8 Meekness and the Need for True Leadership
Conclusion: How to Inherit the Earth


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Scott A. Bessenecker

Scott Bessenecker is associate director for missions for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and author of several books, including The New Friars: The Emerging Movement Serving the World's Poor. He sends more than two thousand students each year on short-term mission experiences in a number of urban poor locations around the world. Scott's blog, The Least of These, is at