Static: Tune Out the Christian Noise and Experience the Real Message of Jesus
Someone once said, ““It will serve the church if we spend the next 15-20 years asking the question, ‘what is the gospel?’” A statement like this sounds offensive at first for those of us who think we know the gospel. But the more I think about it, the more I think that this statement may be right.
This past week I listened again to a message by Tim Keller on the gospel. Keller quotes Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones as saying that the apostle Paul gives over fifty gospels in a nutshell. If the gospel is that rich and layered, encompasses the whole biblical story, then it makes sense to spend a bit of time making sure we haven’t settled for a truncated version.
That’s why I’m loving Ron Martoia’s new book Static. Ron is a provocative thinker who has finally written a book challenging us to understand the gospel message as never before.
It became obvious to me that much of what I had unquestioningly adopted as “gospel truth” contained all sorts of anomalies, unexplained loose ends, and far too many trite and thin explanations. The Bible, as I had come to understand it, even in the context of earning a biblical studies degree at a Christian university, didn’t seem to sing with the richness and depth I thought would be consistent with the heart of God, the Creator of the universe…
Just hit the pause button for a moment, take a deep breath, and let’s reflect. We’re talking about things we all hold near and dear, so this isn’t a journey where emotions are absent. But remember what is at stake…We are trying to figure out how to communicate clearly and in non-hostile ways the most important story in human history. Even more, we are trying to make sure we tell the real story – and the full story – not a CliffsNotes version that leaves out important, plot-altering details, or a Reader’s Digest excerpt. We are trying to invite people into the greatest story ever told, a story that can help them make sense of their personal stories, alter their life’s trajectory, and find a destiny and connection in loving God and loving others.
This is a dangerous book because it makes you rethink assumptions you may have held for a long time. I think it’s an important book because of the stakes:
Christians by the thousands are hopping from church to church or leaving the institutional church altogether, disappointed, disillusioned, and disheartened because their understanding of the gospel and repentance has not delivered the dramatic life change they were led to believe would happen. Further, their disappointment makes “sharing their faith” even more difficult because it seems they are making promises they can’t deliver on, and neither can the church.
I’ll be blogging some sections of the book this week. Static is scheduled for release this April.