Book Review

Worth Reading: The Gospel According to Satan

While it has been prominently placed at the number 1 spot in the “Satanist” category of Amazon, Satan is not happy about this book. Jared C. Wilson’s latest, The Gospel According to Satan: Eight Lies About God That Sound Like The Truth, is worth reading and I think will be a tremendous help to the church.

Wilson has provided another volume that brings us to Christ and opens life to real freedom. I think this book acts like a booster shot for word-centered, gospel life. Satan loves to twist truth into bondage and the finished work of Christ is what breaks us free and gives us feet to stand. Because it is written!

Each chapter is devoted to a different lie we are prone to believing. They are: God just wants you to be happy; You only live once; You need to live your truth; Your feelings are reality; Your life is what you make it; You need to let go and let God; The cross is not about wrath; and God helps those who help themselves.

Of course some of these things sound okay, maybe we even have a coffee mug with the lie printed on it! But when it comes to our flourishing and faith in Jesus, it is important that we don’t miss THE TRUTH and what we are actually called to in Christ.

Wilson is a winsome writer and this work is easily understandable and will resonate with you. The book is a great tool to help sharpen us and keep us on the path to maturity in Christ. I recommend you check it out, pick it up, download it and start reading.

Here are some choice quotes:

“Sin isn’t purely about the malfunction; it’s essentially about the faulty wiring… In that regard, grace is not simply about pardoning sinful behavior; it’s also about rewiring the sinners themselves. The grace the Bible talks about is power not just for justification but also for transformation.” (p. 7)

“Joy is the music that plays when our hearts are tuned to the frequency of God’s glory and our connection to it. Joy is the heart’s settled and worshipful contentment in our justification with God. Joy is the conviction that, no matter the sadness of our circumstances or the weakness of our bodies, we are secure in the sovereign God who loves us.” (p. 21)

“We must not think only of seizing the day but, in the day to day, taking hold of eternity.” (p. 40)

“When power becomes your god, you’ll do as much biblical gymnastics as it takes to get it or keep it.” (p. 59)

“Ignoring your feelings isn’t the answer. Facts may not care about your feelings, but Jesus does. Which is why his Word says so much about them.” (p. 73)

“Meekness is weakness weaponized against the spirit of the age and the spirit of the Antichrist…” (p. 107)

“If Satan cannot keep you from salvation, he will do his best to undermine and obscure the gospel that saved you by making you either overconfident in yourself or underconfident in God. Both dispositions make the gospel look small and consequently may prevent more people from believing.” (p. 125)

“In pursuit of a view of the atonement that is less bloody, less dark, less offensive, we may be stumbling upon one that is less effectual, less powerful, less… well, atoning.” (p. 139)

“So come needy. Come empty-handed. Turn out your pockets. Beat your chest, if you have to, and tear your clothes. Scrape the boils off your skin, if that’s what you need to do. But whatever you do, do not come to the fruit of Christ’s righteousness seeking a bargain. Do not barter, do not buy, but beg… The blessing is for those who are poor in spirit, not rich. If you will bring the empty hand of faith, however trembling, to the infinitely holy Lord of the universe, he will fill it with the immeasurable riches of himself. There is no other way. God is actively looking to save those who cannot save themselves.” (p. 170)

Book Review

The Story of Everything

downloadEverything in your life is meaningful and is part of a grander story being told. It is the story that God is weaving together and you get to play a part in it, that is if you recognize you are just part not the main character.

Jared Wilson’s recent offering of The Story of Everything: How You, Your Pets, and the Swiss Alps Fit into God’s Plan for the World helps us recognize the story and the value of all the things, the everything, and God’s purpose in them.

Wilson follows the words of the preacher in Ecclesiastes and gives us a clear sense of the weight we could be placing on things in our lives and exactly how meaningful they are in light of the love of the Creator and his care for us.

There is something for everyone in this enjoyable book. For the young woman planning a life after school, to the husband living for things other than his wife and family, for the pastor looking to leave behind a lasting legacy. All will be challenged and comforted by the grace and glory of God as Wilson unpacks it for us.

In reading The Story of Everything we get a taste of God’s intervention and plan in all corners of life by evaluating our existence, pain, relaxation, loves and even how governments do their part. We are left not in a place of desperation but of hope, ultimately in the story and the divine author. Jesus’ work and reign make everything worthwhile and allows us to understand it all the more. And I hope you decide to see yourself in the story.

If you are still forming your reading list for the year I can highly recommend The Story of Everything. 

Here are a few choice quotes from the book:

“The world is broken, yes, but God has a plan. And God’s plan has always included making sense of all the incomprehensible events that disrupt our own.”

“Grace is the secret of the universe. And the reason grace is the secret of the universe is because it brings to creation the very thing that creation has been craving since everything went haywire.”

“It can be a scary proposition, but we ought to face the very real possibility that, whatever God is doing with the universe and as much as he loves us, we are not the main point.”

“We can expect, in fact, that all our animal friends will join us in the new heavens and new earth. Since grace is true, we can assume this includes snakes. And even cats, I guess.”

“We resolve to be honorable citizens in this world because we are citizens of another, and we resolve to boldly speak truth to power because we must obey God rather than men, and we resolve to know nothing except Christ and him crucified, because he is the hope of the politically idolatrous world.”

“When we say things like “this world is not my home,” we should not mean that this world is not the place God has called us to live out his kingdom. I mean, here we are. Where else are we going to live? The biblical forecast of the new heavens and new earth shows us that this world is our home—at least, the transformed version of it that is still to come.”

“Some Christians believe in America so much that it is clear where their belief really lies: America. But it is Christ who is King, it is Christ who is God, it is Christ who is our only hope. And God’s plan for the world, America included, is to saturate every nook and cranny, every deep sea trench, and every highest mountain peak with the radiance of his glory. Let that be our dream.”

“At the cross of Christ, the wrath of God owed to sinners is absorbed, satisfied, and set aside for all eternity. Dead and done with. His anger is gone; his love remains and it endures. The loving-kindness of our Lord is everlasting. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies are new every morning.”

“Our sex is so awkward, really. It is a great grace that God has given it to us but a great grace that we can be so bad at something that is still so helpful for the building up of our marriages, the health of our families, the endurance and stability of the marital institution in society, the joy even of our churches, and the glory of Christ Jesus. If we will put a stake in the heart of our self-sovereignty and embrace the gracious yoke of God’s sovereign story.”

“For those found at this appointed time clothed in the righteousness of Christ—meaning, they have placed their faith in Jesus’s perfect obedience, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection for their salvation—they will pass that test of judgment into the joys of heaven, the spiritual place where the triune God lives in all his visible, manifest splendor.”