WHAT'S THIS BOOK ABOUT?
By Charlie Stuart
This book is about a reformation in the Protestant Church in America, particularly the denominations that identify with the term “evangelical” (hereafter referred to as “the church” for brevity’s sake). This reformation centers around the definition of the word “gospel” as used in the church.
When someone is asked what the “Gospel of Christ” is, the usual answer by the church, pastors and believers revolves around what we call the “Salvation Gospel.”
This means the path to eternal salvation is attained by belief in God and His Son, Jesus; that Jesus lived and was killed as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of each person; that Jesus rose from the grave through God’s love and power and appeared to many; that Jesus, now the Christ, ascended to heaven; and that we can join Him in eternity, after our life on earth ends, by accepting the free gift of salvation offered as atonement for our sins, which separate us from the righteousness of God.
I have nothing to add to this definition and completely believe it for my eternal salvation.
We believe there is an “other gospel,” also called the “forgotten gospel,” that Jesus established very early in His ministry, and this is where the reformation comes into play. Through His words and deeds He encouraged all His followers to establish the kingdom of God on earth. His model prayer included these words: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
But, over time this “other gospel” receded so far in church doctrine that even mentioning it today is often disavowed with “saved by faith alone and not by works” arguments. At the same time the evangelical protestant denominations focused very few resources, energy and messaging on the “other gospel.”
This brings me back to what this book is about — challenging local churches to embrace the Church the JESUS Way movement by aligning significant portions of their resources, people, messages, training, teaching, budget…toward the “other gospel.”
So, there you have it. Now, what can you do about it?
First, if you are someone who already embraces this concept as vital for the church to embrace…please read the book, and add your voice to the movement.
Second, if you are interested in learning more about what this can mean in your life and the life of your church…please read the book, and let me know what you think.
Third, if you don’t like what you’re hearing or think this idea is contrary to biblical teaching…please read the book with a discerning, critical eye, and then let me know what you think.
The protestant evangelical denominational church in America is dying, slowly but surely. The future demands a new way of being and doing church. The coming wave of younger believers and those yearning for what the kingdom of God can do for them are already voting with their feet by avoiding the traditional denominations; and in their search are finding what they’re seeking in the rapidly growing non-denominational churches flooding the nation.
My hope, my prayer, is that the thousands of local churches who are chained to a gospel for dying and ignoring the gospel for living get a glimpse through this book of what Jesus intended His followers to do with their lives and through those in neighborhoods and communities.
If you want to know more, or just talk, please contact me. Thanks for reading. Blessings and peace as you take up Jesus’ prayer and challenge of “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
p.s. Paperback copies of the book are available for purchase here. There is bulk pricing for 5 or more copies.