Risky Gospel

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 in Books

I recently received a preview copy of Owen Strachan’s soon-to-be-released book Risky Gospel, subtitled Abandon Fear and Build Something Awesome. As you might have gathered, it is a book about how fear, anxiety, and busyness rob us of living by faith for the glory of our awesome God. Or, as Strachan puts it in the thesis for the book, “His unending presence and love given so that we can live a purposeful life devoted to promoting the gospel in whatever roles we’re called to play for the glory of God” [18]. This book is a jarring reminder of our calling as Christ followers to live boldly in the world wherever God has placed us for the sake of His name. There is no place for what Strachan coins “decaf faith.” How can this be accomplished, according to Strachan?

Simply, we are called to live a life of risk. If the gospel has taken root in our lives, then it will be demonstrated in every facet of our lives. It is a call to abandon the thought that God wants us to live in the comfort zone at all times, an idea that under girds the idea that God wants you to have your best life now. This idea in fact undermines the biblical gospel and authentic faith. The gospel is risky because life is risky. Circumstances are often difficult and the reality is life can be hard – and we catch ourselves wishing it was easy.

Enter Risky Gospel  Each chapter is filled with illustrations from real life and a faith lived out of gospel-centeredness. After demonstrating that the gospel is the foundation for all of life in Chapter 1, each subsequent chapter draws upon biblical narratives and texts to challenge the believer in every area of gospel living. Chapter 2, Risky Faith, and the parable of the talents (a fresh interpretation); Chapter 3, Risky Identity, and the rich, young ruler contrasted with the riches and the promises we have in union with Christ. Having laid the foundation in chapters 1-3, Strachan moves to building on the solid foundation of Christ empowered by the Spirit. Chapter 4, Risky Spirituality, various texts calling us to holiness and to dealing with sin; Chapter 5, Risky Families; Chapter 6, Risky Work and the Christian vocation and work ethic; Chapter 7, Risky Church, and the importance of covenant community (FYI – this is under attack today!!!); Chapter 8, Risky Evangelism and the necessity of bold witness; Chapter 9, Risky Citizenship and the call to be salt and light; And Chapter 10 — and Chapter 10, Risky Failure and the call to suffering.

This is a book about gospel-oriented, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered living. It is a book about life’s struggles as we seek to live in His world by His grace and for His glory — because He is the God of, in, and over our circumstances. You will value from the genuineness by which Strachan unpacks each of these facets of gospel living.

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