Skip to main content

The Gospel of Yes

The Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn

This book was a puzzle to me because I really think there are some good truths here alongside some confusing points.  By framing the tenor of the book through the ‘gospel of yes,’ Glenn gives the reader a many examples of what he means by this very statement.  Early on in the book, Glenn writes that “When you accept the “yes” of Christ’s redemptive grace and respond with the “yes” of faith, everything finds its rightful place.  Your life finds order, meaning, and its rightful fit in your community” (23).   As Christ said yes in submitting himself to the Father’s will joyfully, so we as Christians say yes to God’s grace in salvation and work that out in the context of a believing community.  What I did like about this initial chapter is his focus on finding our rest in the things that we stand behind, support and put our energy into.  Often, Christians are known for what they oppose rather than what they support.  Part of this might be the way Christians frame their voice in our culture.  For instance, if someone is against abortion this is often seen as an anti-abortionist stance.  Flipping the other side of the coin, we might be more inclined to be heard if we frame our thoughts as promoting the sacredness of life at any age, in any form from birth to death.  To put in concretely, to be pro-life is not a position that limits itself to the time of conception but to all aspects of life. 

Mike Glenn goes to great lengths to promote a way of living the Christian life that moves away from the avoidance of sin, the attitude of fleeing things that seem to have a hold on us.  Too long “The church taught us we’re worms, and the world does its part by telling us about all the things we are not” (40).  I think what Glenn is getting at is that the church has too long been a source of fear driven motivation.  Promoting holiness by implementing fear doesn’t work very well in building the kind of Christian life that churches desire.  I do think there is a healthier way of promoting discipleship in the church than bringing about dread in the hearts and lives of our people.  Yet, I do think Glenn tips the scales too far in this chapter.  We are to promote holiness by resting in God’s yes in providing Christ as our identity, Savior and hope while also doing battle with sin, avoiding it through the power of the Spirit.  If you want to quit smoking, you have to replace the act of taking up a cigarette with a healthy activity.  But, you have to avoid those areas that will tempt you to smoke (gas station, smoking restaurant, pool hall) also.  The vision of the Christian life is positive obedience to Christ through good works and an avoidance or fleeing from sin and its destructive power. 

Mike’s chapter on authentic relationships is excellent.  He unpacks the understanding of God’s love not out of sense of need but out of a sense of generosity.  He writes, “Loving people will drive you to love God more” (157).  As we love people in a compassionate merciful way, we see the needs of others and respond in a gracious manner.  We also see that God’s love has no end, thus, our love should be shed on others without end.  Although we cannot fulfill the needs of every person we come into contact with, the outpouring of God’s love in our hearts become overwhelmingly evident in our care for them.  Mike goes onto talk about how a marriage would look if we loved with a type of love that expects nothing back.  If we don’t expect a response we are motivated not by controlling someone else but to see them blessed in a huge way.

I really like the last few chapters of this book.  Although the concept of Yes and the interpretation of some passages was not what I’d hoped for, many of the things were uplifting here.  I hope people are blessed and encouraged by this book.

Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah Blogging for Books for the review copy of this book in exchange for review.


Popular posts from this blog

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …