I just finished reading The Gospel According to Jesus by Chris Seay and I thought it was fantastic. Tackling issues that face the Church and Christians today; surveys indicate that 84 percent of Christians have a misunderstanding of the true meaning of the word righteousness. Referring to God's restoration of our sinfulness and not personal piety or some code of moral purity, pastor Chris Seay offers that Jesus came to breathe life and light into the depths of all darkness.
Chris starts out the book with Chapter 1 called Righteousness or Righteousness? Digging into Matthew 6:33 "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too" Chris unpacks what "His righteousness" means as well as, through research from the Barna Group, what our culture today views as "His righteousness". I thought this was great and also challenging as I took time to really think about what how I would define "His righteousness".
The next chapter, Kingdom Without a King, he challenges us to really examine what "kingdoms" we are surrounding ourselves with and who is the King of those kingdoms.
Chapter 3: What Is the Gospel? Chris examines that question, what is the gospel? Once we know what the gospel is, he then asks, what do we do now?
Chapter 4: Imago Dei. In this chapter, Chris looks at how we are all made in the image of God. Knowing that, he asks how are we living in community with each other...with others who are also made in God's image.
Chapter 5: We Fell, but Can We Get Up? I thought this chapter was excellent. Chris talks about how, a lot of us have an obsession with sin avoidance and how that has not actually helped us avoid sin. He does a great job of unpacking how we, as Christians, should reflect the image of God and compared it to holding up a mirror. Because of sin, that mirror becomes bent and distorted and we end up not reflecting God but we end up looking at ourselves...selfishly. He also does a great job of explaining how we should shift of focus from sin avoidance to recenter ourselves on Christ!
Chapter 6: Set Your Heart, this chapter continues on and unpacks worship and bringing Jesus back to the center.
Chapter 7: Justification: Rise or Fall? This chapter digs into justification and righteousness
Chapter 8: Shalom, the Fruit of Justice. This chapter starts to unpack what it might look like to live out righteousness, to live a life through a restored, liberated heart made possible through Jesus.
Chapter 9: The Ten Commandments of a Shalom Life, Chris wraps up the book with 10 practical ways to start applying in my own life. This is a great conclusion to an outstanding book. He unpacks what practices have worked for him and how we can live for God's kingdom and His righteousness.
Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book happened at the end of each chapter. Each chapter concluded with a conversation with people in Chris Seay's life, other authors, pastors, etc. and they discussed the topics addressed in the chapter. It was a great insight to how these different topics can and have been applied. He talks with Gabe Lyons, Shane Claiborne, Rick McKinley, Alan Hirsch, Mark Batterson and Dan Kimball and through these conversations I think it helps to see the gospel according to Jesus more clearly.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it. Through the Biblical references, through his own stories and through his conversations with others, he really got me thinking about what the message and gospel of Jesus really means and does that message shape my daily life.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opionions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."