Jan 3 2011

The Gospel Uncensored Study Guide now available!

The Gospel Uncensored Study Guide is designed for individual use, or as a 10-week small group study, and it’s available as a free PDF file book, available at TheGospelUncensored.com.

The full-page format is formatted for standard 8.5 x 11 paper. The small format file is formatted as 5.5 x 8.5, which is more easily viewed on smart phones or e-readers. You can either click on the links below to view the files, or right-click on the links and choose “save as” or “save link as” to save the file to your computer.

I am going to try to have real e-book format documents up in the next few days, once I work out a few bugs. For now, you can get the pdf files here:

The Gospel Uncensored Study Guide – small format

The Gospel Uncensored Study Guide – full page format


Oct 2 2010

New at The Gospel Uncensored

Gospel Certainty

I’ve had the following quotation by Martin Luther open on my desktop for the past couple of weeks, thanks to my friend Steve:

“Let us thank God, therefore, that we have been delivered from this monster of uncertainty and that now we can believe for a certainty that the Holy Spirit is crying and issuing that sigh too deep for words in our hearts.

And this is our foundation:

The gospel commands us to look, not at our own good deeds or perfection, but at God as he promises, and at Christ himself, the Mediator…

Read more here.


Jul 14 2010

Forgiveness is an Investment

(cross-posted here)

A great post today from Molly Friesen at Route 5:9, Forgiveness is an Investment: What it Costs. She’s blogging through Paul Tripp’s book on marriage, What Did You Expect. This, and Linda’s prior post,  The Dark “Benefits” of Unforgiveness, are worth reading. I’m guessing Tripp’s book is, too.

It’s interesting that so many legalists forget about the rule of forgiveness, which is a key element in Jesus’ teaching. He even went so far as to say that if we don’t forgive, our Heavenly Father won’t forgive us, either.  Seriously – it’s at the end of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:

12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Now, you can try to take the position that this “is more of a guideline than a rule,” but Jesus doesn’t seem to give much leeway here.

So how does this fit into a theology of radical grace?

It fits quite well, actually, with a proper understanding of forgiveness.  As many of us were taught in Sunday School, Jesus dies for the sins of the world.

1 John 2:2: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.  (NIV)

Jesus’ sacrifice was not made for us individually; forgiveness was truly once and for all.  If we refuse to acknowledge and participate in this forgiveness for someone who has wronged us, we are simply refusing to participate in God’s forgiveness. Being forgiven means we agree that everyone is forgiven. Refusing to forgive someone means we are closing our heart, not that God is withholding anything from us.

Now, do we forgive perfectly?  I seriously doubt it. I don’t think I do, even if it is my intent. But, God’s grace–God’s power made real in our lives–is sufficient for that, too.

We have been set free, not to sin, but so we can live–and forgive–freely.


May 27 2010

It’s at the publisher!

(cross-posted from TheGospelUncensored.com)

Well, what seemed like a cycle of endless editing and rewrites has finally ended, and the manuscript, for better or worse, is at the publisher!  They tell me it looks great, and now are waiting for me to submit cover artwork, which I’ve asked my son (who else?) to work on.

I’m really looking forward to actually being able to hold it in my hands. And perhaps selling a few copies.

In the next day or two I will post a free excerpt. I’m looking forward to your responses!

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Also, I’ve started a Facebook page for the book, so visit there and sign up!