I received this ebook from Crossway to review; I do not have to give a positive review.
Jeff is honest, sharing problems that he had in his own life where he would find that he needed to speak the Gospel into his own life, both as a young man and as a young pastor, that's appealing.
He also shared a story about a disconnect in his own wife's heart and head towards the Gospel, its a very moving yet sensitive story- hopefully he got her permission to share, although I am sure he did.
Show and Tell, in this section he talked about Displaying the Gospel, if this section was earlier in the book I might have been worried that it was ‘always share the gospel sometimes use words’, but coming towards the close it was clear where this section was going yet also proved the point how slow we are to get it. Vanderstelt says we should be different in living out the gospel as a metaphor, redeemed, rescued, advocate etc. He tells us he shared this concept in a church and a lady came up after and said how her cul-de-sac was such that no-one spoke to each other and she and her husband spoke to everyone including the man who no-one liked. After hearing Vanderstelt share on Displaying the Gospel and our needing then to share the Gospel she came up to him and said when she has been asked why she was kind to the grumpy old man she said, “it doesn’t take much to be kind” this was a twist I didn’t see coming. She didn’t get it, he shocked me I thought she was going to give her testimony of how she ‘displayed the gospel and then shared the gospel’. This for me proved the necessity of another book on this vital subject. It was also a highlight of the book that where I found it predictable in places there were some definite curve balls.
I liked that he was honest, he shares about a friend of his who wasn’t a believer but comes along to the group. He mentioned her again, and still not a believer. I like that, because in spite of the title of the book he isn’t trying to sell us a brand, or a formula he is trying to get us to love Jesus and through that love be able and willing to share it.
What I really like about this book is that it is centred on how to live out the Gospel in our daily lives. Whilst there are quite a few books out there on this type of subject the narrative sections reveal that it is often the case that many people in churches, and many churches don’t get this, even evangelical churches. The Gospel is as much for Christians as it is for non-Christians.
It took me awhile to get into this book, the title was a bit gimmicky and even though I liked where he was going I struggled with Vanderstelt’s trying to sell what I believe to be biblical Christianity as ‘Gospel Fluency’. Also in places it was a bit repetitive but I suppose if something is worth saying once its worthy saying again and it definitely is worth saying . The book is aimed at an American audience and I wondered how some of the ideas he suggests for within a group setting would pan out in a home group in the UK.
If you're not filled with a desire to live with the Gospel as the centre of all you do, or if you are but are wondering how to impact people around you with the Good News of Jesus this book might be a big help.