Tuesday, January 29, 2013

thoughts on "gospel amnesia"

Gospel Amnesia is an E-book published by Gospel Centered Discipleship.  I've been reading it over the past week and wanted to share some bits and pieces on why it just may be the next thing you need to read.

In the beginning, I felt like I was reading words that had come straight from my mind and heart.  So much of it resonated with me.  If you've ever felt bored with Jesus or apathetic to phrases like "Jesus loves you," you can relate, too.

Luma takes us through her own journey with minimizing and forgetting the gospel (AKA gospel amnesia).  She states that "Gospel amnesia is a blindness that only the Holy Spirit can convict and only the grace of God can heal."

When the gospel changes from the base of our faith to a basic of our faith, that's when gospel amnesia sets in.  Growing up in church, I remember feeling like this occasionally.  Okay, I've got the gospel down.  What's next?  I wanted to "go deeper," but I was missing the deepest thing.  The gospel isn't meant to be this stand-alone thing that we learn, discuss on Sundays, and forget the rest of the week.  It needs to be intertwined with our relationships, hobbies, and our lives. 

There are many causes and symptoms of gospel amnesia.  One of the causes Luma discusses is the affect of idols.  Simply, an idol is anything that is placed before God.  The tricky part is when these idols are good things.  Memorizing scripture, attending church, and serving others are all great things.  But if they are placed at the utmost importance, they become idols.  It's so easy to be completely filled up with things, becoming totally obsessed with the act of doing them.  Checks on the list, notches on the belt, jewels in the crown.  The gospel can easily be lost.

The symptoms of gospel amnesia are dangerous.  You become numb to the power of the gospel.  You become indifferent.  But the gospel demands a response.  It is either completely false or it is life changing.  It cannot be in the middle.

Focusing on loving Jesus and his love for you is the way out.  Everything else will fall into place.  No need to worry about your religious to-do list and all the bad habits you should be breaking.  Focus on the gospel.  Luma talks about the difference between "heart transformation" and "behavior modification."  Sure, behavior modification will most likely take place, but it should happen as a response to a heart transformation.  Heart first, behavior follows. 

For believers who are struggling, stuck, confused, or find themselves just not caring, I recommend this book.  For non-believers who are curious, I recommend this book.  Maybe it will be the spark you need.  Maybe it will clear up some false information you've conjured up in your head about Jesus and the gospel and your salvation.  I can assure you it will get your wheels turning.

To read more about this book, click here.

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