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)

A Hawkish Shepherding Metaphor

This morning I was reflecting on what a good time of prayer and Bible reading I had. It shaped my mood and freed me to love my kids well as we prepared for the day.

Then, as I made lunches for the little ones, a hawk lands on our patio outside the kitchen window with a Eurasian Ringed Dove in its talons.

You expect our hawks to be after vermin, the mice and rats going from the fields to the fruit trees. But here a hawk decided on a heartier meal for the morning. Perhaps the dove was hunted because it was sick and already weak, already vulnerable to attack.

I made eye contact with the hawk (its a thing) as I yelled through the window for it go away, essentially saying “not today hawk! Not it my yard!” Quickly then I ran outside and came upon not only the hawk but two crows vying for the dove. They fled at my presence and the dove shook off the attack and flew ten feet to our fence. There he rested but we noticed that blood was dripping on the fence and ground. He was wounded and losing a lot of blood for a small bird.

Now I know this won’t land me any invites to hunting trips but you have to know that I prayed for the bird, very specifically that Jesus would stop the bleeding. I attempted my best Dr. Doolittle voice and told the dove he was welcome to stay and rest as long as he needed.

He stayed on that fence for well over thirty minutes… as the hawk stayed in a nearby tree waiting… hoping for another chance at the prize. Our family left for school out of the front door as to not disturb the dove and we prayed and hoped for the best.

When I returned from walking to school the dove was gone from the fence but the evidence of the ordeal remained. I think he was on the power line across the street, hopefully gaining strength. He will still die, someday. But not in my yard, under my “care.”

Thinking of this wild experience I can’t help but think of shepherding in the church. The call to protect one another and specifically how the elders of the church are to keep watch for the hawks and protect the doves. Or wolves and sheep if you prefer.

The key is that we don’t befriend the hawks but get in their way. We stay close enough to the doves that we can proclaim truth where lies fester. Where we can minister with our presence and time. Where we can pray for healing and care for them. Blood may be drawn but we are stubborn to say that no one will die in our yard.

Of course our strength for this work, for the call of shepherding comes from outside of us. Because the good shepherd witnessed the hawk of darkness with talons deep in his prey. But instead of shooing him away to wait for another kill, our shepherd, Jesus gave himself in the place of the doves, in our place. The hawk drove his talons deep, blood was drawn and poured out to death. But that death is a victory. Because the hawk is forever defeated. His talons no longer have power over the flock of Christ.

So on we go, looking out, protecting, restoring and caring for those we are called to in the name and power of Jesus.

Find yourself these kind of shepherds. Join this kind of flock.

Fulfilled in 2020

As we enter into a new year, we have begun a new reading plan to journey through the Bible. This morning in the first installment one word and theme jumped out to me. Fulfilled.

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing…” Ezra 1:1 (ESV)

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet…” Matthew 1:22 (ESV)

Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David…” Acts 1:16 (ESV)

God is in the business of fulfilling his promise, his word. This is how the Old Testament enriches us. We know that his word does not return empty but is accomplished. Ultimately the promise of Immanuel is fulfilled making all the other promises part of the the anticipation for a Savior. Jesus has come and he has fulfilled the law for us that by grace we would be children of God. All of God’s promises are yes and amen in Christ.

In light then of the New Testament we live boldly knowing that what God has declared will be fulfilled. He is bringing us all the way home.

As I reflected on this the Spirit brought to mind prophetic promises the Lord has given me and here on the first day of the new year the reminder of his faithfulness to fulfill.

What is it that you are anticipating being fulfilled in Jesus this year? Is it confidence in your identity in him? Restoration of relationships that have been broken? Comfort or the ruling peace of Christ in every corner of life? Ask the Lord to give you an awareness of how he is working fulfillment, rest in the grace of Christ and live. God fulfills.

Worthwhile December 27, 2019

The end of the year is here. I didn’t quite reach my reading goal. My weight isn’t what I would prefer. I haven’t scaled unconquerable mountains. But we persist. Trusting in Jesus. His purpose prevails.

A couple of reminders of that truth for your weekend reading.


First up the real abundant life. Rankin Wilbourne wrote for TGC on suffering as an experience of abundant life. It is quite the opposite of what you might here from many religious leaders, but I think he is right.

“Jesus, the perfect image of God and the perfect human being, shows us that a fully human life must include suffering, and that we can only become the man or woman God intends us to be through suffering. Jesus, who was without sin and never did anything to deserve his Father’s displeasure, was made “perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10). The author of Hebrews dares to say that Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8), and that this is part of what makes him our compassionate high priest (Heb. 4:15), able to help us in our time of need. If Jesus, the perfect child, had to learn how to trust and obey through suffering, how much more necessary is it for you and me?”

It takes a long time to be familiar with suffering, and maybe longer to see it as part of the maturing process in Christ. May we be quick to see it in the new year.

Read the whole thing here.


And maybe a few days late but nevertheless important, let’s not neglect the genealogies.

Jennie Pollock exhorts us to read and hear and be encouraged.

“Why on earth would God want to start the New Testament, the story of the new covenant, the bit that most people nowadays are likely to start with, if they’re going to read a Bible at all, with a genealogy? Who wants to read a long stream of unpronounceable names of total strangers before the story starts? Is it like the title cards at the beginning of old movies? Important information to those concerned, but just an opportunity to make yourself comfortable and arrange your snacks for the rest of us? …When those scriptures were read out, for hundreds of years, the descendants of those individuals would have been listening eagerly for their family names, feeling an intimate connection to the story.”

Oh friend you are tied to the story!

“For Christians then, the New Testament starts not with echoes of Genesis, not with the breaking of a 400 year silence, not with the fulfillment of prophecies, but with us. It sets us right in the narrative, reminding us of who we are and where we fit, rooting us in the story, and the story in us.”

Read the whole thing.


Thank you for checking in one last time in 2019. In the new year I am planning some more sharing of great ideas and efforts to be a redemptive expression in our world. If you come across any, send them my way!

May you be blessed as we turn the calendar and may you see more of Jesus in 2020!