This is a spiral bound paradigm shifter... A Review of The Gospel Fluency Handbook
Somehow, I have far too often treated knowing and living the Gospel how I approached going through high school. I had a great time, but it wasn’t something I took all that seriously. High school was fun. High school had some great moments. High school didn’t change my life.
I’ve tried the Gospel as an elective, which required little and got little. Remember those days when you tried to find the easiest class requiring the least amount of thought and effort? There have been times when it felt like just another thing in my life. It turns out that is a revealer of unbelief in my heart.
I have treated the Gospel as an exercise, where I would go to my “gospel gym”, sweat for a bit, then back to eating what I wanted. If I could just pack on a bit more spiritual muscle then it would all make sense or I would be a better person. Unbelief.
I’ve attempted to approach the Gospel as some core-curriculum to be studied then put on the shelf, diagramed and dissected. I have piled up a significant number of facts and verb tenses, but too often missed the relevance and beauty of this good news. More unbelief.
I have tried to turn the Gospel into a pep rally, bringing massive amounts of energy and enthusiasm, but not much more. No one needs a pep rally gospel of cheerleaders and silly games. There have been times when I’ve even approached the Gospel like a sport, training and sweating to perfect my technique. Unbelief building upon more unbelief.
And I have been in full time ministry since college... Sad. I know. Yet, my experience and my gut tell me there are plenty more, with stories just like mine, out there who don’t even realize they can so easily just go through the motions.
The gospel, of course, changes everything. The Good News of Jesus Christ and what He has done, is doing, and promises to do is not an elective or a sport, but rather the life-rescuing good news of the King who has come and will come again.
Approaching the Gospel as a language to become fluent in, to speak with ease, applying to all of life, to recognize my areas of unbelief and to address them with grace and truth, well that was like seeing with kaleidoscopic vision.
My first reaction as I started this handbook was, “This might change a few things.” and it has. This handbook is such an easy read which packs an unbelievable punch. Whether you are familiar with the book or you are coming to the Handbook fresh, this guide offers so much for the soul. The Gospel Fluency Handbook is more than a collection of facts, more than a few exercises, and certainly more than a pat on the back. The Gospel Fluency Handbook is a spiral bound paradigm shifter.
This Handbook is thoughtful and brief, challenging and accessible, while also being thoroughly enjoyable. One word of caution though: This is coaching. And just like my high school coaches who push their team further than they think they are capable, The Gospel Fluency Handbook is likely to push you in areas you would rather avoid. It is for your good and ultimately for the glory of God, but not always fun in the moment.
Get this handbook. Work through it with some people who will love you enough to tell you the hard things. Take a week or two and then do it again. Get some water. Wipe the sweat away and then apply what you have learned to the everyday places of your life.
Note: I received a pre-release copy from the publisher for the purpose of review. This did nothing to shape my feelings on the Handbook. (That was the Holy Spirit convicting me.)