The philosophical underpinnings of Christianity point the way to a community where each one competes to show maximum honor and respect to the others. The Bible describes a rule of life that values individuals as carriers of the image of God and the church gathered as a place to be refueled for maximum impact when scattered. Biblical Christians made the world better wherever and whenever they showed up.
If we could pull this off, it seems as if every church in North America would have to launch building or church planting programs to accommodate the masses lined up at their doors. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and in
Irresistible Faith: Becoming the Kind of Christian the World Can’t Resist, author and pastor Scott Sauls invites readers to mind the gap between the life of faith described in the Bible and the one that gets practiced here on the ground in the 21st century. With so much at stake, and so much good that could be done, Sauls describes what it means to abide in an “irresistible Christ” (1) and to live in such a way that we do not contradict his teachings at every turn.
What Does Irresistible Faith Look Like?
1. Draw close to Christ by taking his righteousness. Think his thoughts after him by immersing our brains in Scripture and allowing God’s Word to shape our understanding of suffering and the objects of our affections.
2. Live in intimate community with other believers in which members speak life-giving words over one another. This transparent living invites mutual correction based in a spirit of loving concern Sauls refers to as “soul surgery.” (79) This is the essence of true gospel living for all of us, for we are “desperately in ruins and graciously redeemed.” (91) Martin Luther said it well:
“We are saved by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.” (94)
3. Carry all this gloriously generated grace out into the world. Share it with the poor. Broadcast it through our words and our worship, our work and our play, and let the overflow leave transformed lives in its wake.
We Can Do Better Than This!
We bury the winsomeness of our Savior beneath tactics designed to preserve and heighten our comfort and our control. Fear keeps us inside our fortresses, making decisions based in self-preservation.
We can do better than this! Empowered by the Spirit, our lives and our love serve as ambassadors for a faith that “leaves people, places, and things better than they found them.”
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.
Committed to redeeming the resistible church,
I reviewed Scott Saul’s first book back in 2015 —Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides. Also, Scott’s church has pioneered The Nashville Institute for Faith and Work, an organization the aims to equip, connect, and mobilize Christians to integrate their faith and their work for the flourishing of Nashville and beyond. Click here for more on the ways they’re sharing irresistible faith in their areas of influence.
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