The Fifth Gospel presents a vision of whole-life Christianity, the kind that spreads and deepens as it ages.
Who doesn't want that? We have a generation of young people coming along, who want to follow Jesus closely.
They will determine the face of the Church in coming years, and they need to find a solid footing for their faith.
They need a foundation based on the consistent grace of God, not on "spiritual highs."
They need to know the One who remains when everything else falls down.
And they need a way to share Him with the world that breaks the stereotype.
Unfortunately, most older people I know think of Christianity in terms of the ornate, ritualistic church of their youth, or the private-jet-owning celebrity preacher.
Most young people I know couldn't picture a real world, working class, genuine believer. For the young people, daily life has nothing to do with "religion."
What both the old and the young need are some Fifth Gospel Christians in their lives. A Fifth Gospel Christian believes that life is itself a testimony, and that everyone around them is reading their testimony all day long.
"Wait a minute," you may be asking. "Is this about selling Jesus by our lint-free clothes and our big coffee hour smiles? Are the card-carrying Ragamuffins going to be asked to shape up?"
No. Fear not. How would hiding brokenness and weakness make us better witnesses? If the God we serve is a Healer and Redeemer, then how can we be afraid of our own sickness and wandering hearts?
Bobby Conway describes a Fifth Gospel Christian as one who practices relational living, one who oozes joy, one who cuts down the idols that steal their love away from God and other people, one who is glad to be a fool for Christ, and one who knows that the fruit they produce is a work of the Holy Spirit.
Doesn't that sound good? Consider this book your primer.
To be a Fifth Gospel Christian will be a life time work. It will require sustainable spiritual practices, dedication to the ones around us, and an intentional abiding in Jesus.
Thank you Harvest House for my review copy.