RISKY GOSPEL – Owen Strachan (2013)

owenWhen is the last time you took a risk – something really risky; something adventuresome, something costly?  Whatever the reason is, many people have failed to step up to the plate.  Hoards of Christ-followers have failed to live up to their calling before almighty God.

Owen Strachan’s newest book helps Christians reach for something greater; something that is all-together God-honoring.  The subtitle captures the essence of the book – Abandoning Fear and Building Something Awesome.  In Risky Gospel, the author urges readers to live according to God’s design.  For “God doesn’t want his people to be fearful, but faithful.”  Strachan rightly argues that believers are called to live boldly for God, to demonstrate courageous faith, even in the midst of suffering and adversity.

Strachan is the executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.  As such, he makes a strong case for complementarianism and sets forth a winsome case for building families according to the Scriptural mandate, a vigorous Christian life that is led by godly men and supported and encouraged by godly women.

The author encourages readers to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit who empowers them to live in the way that God intends.  This power is fueled by the gospel and is available to every Christ-follower.  And it is expressed  in our homes, in our careers, in our communities, and in our gospel witness.

Strachan urges readers to risk everything they have for the glory of God.  Please recognize, this has nothing to do with self-effort.  Rather, it has everything to do with the gospel, which is summarized beautifully by Dr. Strachan: “Gospel risk, then, is grounded in an unshakable foundation: God.  It is possible through divine grace, secured through the cross of Christ and activated in our lives by the resurrection of Christ.  Sin is defeated; Satan has lost; the law is kept; we are counted righteous in the heavenly courtroom, all because of Jesus.  Now we are freed and empowered by the Spirit to count the cost, forsake all the paltry pleasures of this world, and life a life of faith.”

There is so much to commend here.  The author writes simply without being simplistic.  He writes in a popular style that will appeal to a younger audience.  It is very obvious from the start, that this author is plugged into contemporary culture and understands the hot-buttons of the younger generation.   References to popular musicians and current television programs bear this out.  Yet at the same time, Strachan is introducing readers to the Puritans and inviting them to join him in a rigorous study of systematic theology.

One review of the book maintains that Risky Gospel is uninspiring.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While the book should target a younger audience, this does not negate the bold reality and challenge the Strachan presents.  This is good stuff.  This is gospel stuff.  God is honored by this kind of writing.

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