Skip to main content

The Gospel Fluency Handbook






Gospel Fluency Handbook by Jeff Vanderstelt and Ben Connelly

Two pastors get together to write a book about a much needed topic, and what happens is a stunning display of God's grace for all to view.  Pastors Jeff Vanderstelt and Ben Connelly, part of the Soma Family of churches have put together a resource to guide people from unbelief to belief by resting on the central concept of the gospel.  Yet, this book although packing a punch theologically is very practical in all the ways someone new to the church would have so many questions that need good answers. 

We all at times have an unwilling heart that wants to believe God's word at times and at others to go the road of the religion of me.  There are aspects of everyone's life that we don't believe God.  The authors writes, "There are spaces where we don't trust his word and don't believe that what he accomplished in Jesus Christ is enough to deal with our past or what we are facing in this moment or the next."  Becoming more like Jesus means being rooted in the gospel for all of our life's problems, including the devastating things families go through.  We are on an even plane with other people who are struggling with believing God and the good news for every area of life, and this is good news, because God's Word addresses these issues, for all of life.

Jeff and Ben get at the heart of everyday faith when they look at the Good News to Me in Week 3, Reading 1.  What we love or who we love pores out of us in our conversations.  They write, "Another reason I talk about Jesus is that I've found you not only talk about what you love, but you also love what you talk about.  Sometimes our love grows cold.  Our hearts lose affection.  We forget what we have, so we drift from what we love."  Talking about our love for Jesus gives us freedom to focus on Him and not our specific problems that gnaw at our emotions and heart like a knife.  Further, our talk about Jesus engenders others to see how beautiful He is and how they might desire life found in loving Jesus.  This doesn't mean that we never talk about the deep trials of life or even the sins that so easily entangle us but this gives us the opportunity to share how God's Spirit moved us out of this time of great frustration.

This is a great handbook, the questions, the easy to read format and engaging one's mind and heart at both times all find their place in this book.

Thanks to LitFuse Publicity Group and Saturate Publishing for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Comments

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…

The Paraclete Poetry Anthology, Edited by Mark S. Burrows

Bringing words to life on a page is hard work, and no work is harder than poetry.  Poets take the visceral, the mundane, and the disjointed and frayed things of life and put them on their head.  This new anthology of poetry put out by Paraclete Press and edited by Mark S. Burrows, takes the best poetry of today and brings together old and new poems from these gifted creators.  You find poems from Scott Cairs, SAID, Phyllis Tickle, and others.  The collection stems the span of 2005-2016 and includes both religious poems and themes, as well as themes covering a broad swath of topics.

One of the beauties of this collection is the array of poems that the anthology includes in its pages.  One poem in particular stuck with me as read through the collection.  Anna Kamienska is a wonderful Polish poet who interacts with the wider lens of faith while looking carefully at the world we live in.  She says in her poem named Gratitude, (44)

A tempest threw a rainbow in my face
so that I wanted to…