Take a look at this hot mess that someone might call a ‘book review’:
For so long, the gospel of God has been assumed in our churches. We now stand on the cusp of the gospel being denied from those who grew up in church and yet was never taught the fullness of the gospel and the full council of the Bible. Nevermind, the true gospel being scoffed at from the unbeliever–we know that would happen. We now have the gospel assumed or even worse yet, taught something that is the gospel is not: namely, Jesus is a good example, Jesus is just a Lord, Jesus provides wealth, health and prosperity or we have to take the part of God and make all things right by him by transforming our world.
By God’s providence and will, we now see a small yet vocal group of Western churches boldly proclaiming the gospel (the rest of the world like China or all throughout Africa is years ahead in proclamation of the gospel). This is wonderful. In turn, many other churches are catching wind and claim to proclaim the gospel as well.
What I have experienced is the word gospel being tossed around but I yearn for teachers, preachers and saints to dive right in and explain the gospel of God. More than that, when pressed to explain the gospel, I see too many other Christians with their deer-in-highlights expressions as if to say, “please don’t pick me to answer that question.” I don’t say that to criticize the saints but to extend grace to them because those who are called to office have not done a great job equipping them to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16).
We haven’t done a great job before. Instead of kicking ourselves of sucking, now is the time to turn the ship around. Martin Luther makes the call, “Beat the gospel into their heads continually.” First, we must clearly and simply answer the question:
What is the gospel?
Those who are called to equip, answer this question and teach the answer to the saints. To the saints, go forth and proclaim this Truth of truths to the captives, the blind, the deaf, the sick and the dead that is there is One who has brought freedom, sight, sound, health and life!
Buy this book. Study the verses well. Led by the Holy Spirit, repackage and teach this well. Buy a case and give it away.
With His blood, He has saved me
By His power, He has raised me.
To God be the glory
For the things he has done
Perhaps if I was a studied theologian. Perhaps if I was a seasoned pastor. Perhaps if I beheld a crown of silver upon my head, I could get away with saying some of the things here.
I would go as far as calling myself a pompous ass (rightfully so):
— Joseph Louthan (@JLLouthan) November 17, 2014
Perhaps I was a bit harsh on myself. Truth be told, I was deeply embarrassed for this and anything else I have written with the same tone. You know the one: comes from a semblance of authority but oneself without any authority.
I am embarrassed for being a Mr. Know-It-All. I am embarrassed for telling other people what to do and I am not even in a position to do it myself.
I could have come with a lot more humility and a lot less arrogance.
I am embarrassed.
I am sorry if anything I have ever wrote or said ever hurt you.
I am sorry.