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Revangelical: Becoming the Good News People…

Revangelical: Becoming the Good News People We're Meant to Be

by Lance Ford

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A call for Evangelical Christians to reconsider the traditions and cultural baggage of some of their heritage, becoming "revangelical," people who have stopped to be again "gospeled" by the NT.

The author uses his own story as a catalyst for the book: raised in an Evangelical church, strayed, came back, entered ministry, did his thing, but started to recognize how judgmental and non-loving and not like Jesus he was. Such defines the posture of the book: Evangelicals are now the butt of jokes because they seem like clueless cultural fossils and don't look much like Jesus. Hence the need for "revangelicals."

The chapters are conveniently alliterative: recalibrate, repent, recommit, reconcile, represent, renew, restore, reunite, reposition. As mentioned he describes his own story and how he needed to change the way he looked at the Gospel, himself, and especially those with whom he disagreed. He encourages Evangelicals to shift perspective and stop assuming they are the majority/the majority will agree with them. He encourages Evangelicals to have friends and relationships outside of Evangelical circles. They should reflect Jesus in their life. Then he gets into critiques of many of the "conservative" Evangelical positions from a more "progressive" bent: challenging capitalism's excess and thus a wholesale embrace of it, rebuking denigration and stereotyping of the poor and the denial of inequality in society, and a call for examination of the heart in terms of acceptance of and even advancement of war, violence, etc. in contrast to the more pacifistic position of Christ.

The reviewer would not call himself Evangelical since he has many critiques of many of the "planks" of Evangelical theology but would likely be lumped into the "Evangelical" category by most in society. The reviewer also has seen many such tendencies among his own people; he tends to agree with the author but is not the best at putting many of the principles into practice.

As the substance goes the work is good and has things worth considering. The idea of being "revangelical" is fully explained and makes sense in that context but in general seems like a declaration of victory in the midst of defeat, as if one has to move past being "evangelical" to take the Gospel seriously (which the reviewer agrees with but for entirely different reasons). What does it say about modern American Evangelicalism if a good chunk of its constituency needs to actually hear the Gospel message for what it is?

You'll either love this book or hate it; where one falls on partisan and sectarian divides will decide which it will be. It's a good reminder of why it's important to be "gospeled" by the true unvarnished Gospel of Christ in the first place, and why Christians do well to be vigilant against compromising the Gospel to advance socio-political or economic agendas or philosophies, even those that seem somewhat aligned with God's purposes (Colossians 2:1-10).

**--book received as part of early review program ( )
  deusvitae | Nov 13, 2014 |
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up and began reading Lance Ford’s Revangelical. The back cover calls upon Christians to be re-evangelized and suggests that they rediscover “what it means to live the Good News.”

This book is way more than just a cute title; in fact, after reading the book in its entirety, I’ll gladly join the ranks and would love to be called a Revangelical. Part primer on what the Gospel really is and part scolding to those who have made it something different, Lance Ford calls us to a hope-filled existence of taking back the “Good News” and living it.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes and bold statements from the book (quotes I wanted to shout Amen! after reading):

“Maybe it’s time to replace the ‘sinner’s prayer’ with a ‘follower’s prayer’ . . . not merely turning around, but also moving in the right direction.” Amen!

“When evangelicals allow their politics and policies to be shaped by talking heads and talk show hosts, the gospel train runs off the rails.” Amen!

“I find no evidence there has been ever been a legitimately Christian nation, and I find it hard to imagine God ever expected there to be one.” Amen!

“Our identity as Americans must bow to our identity as citizens of a higher realm.” Amen!

“How can evangelicals be so vocal, energized, and stirred up on issues and yet take positions so feebly informed by the gospel of Jesus?” Amen!

On the impact of Jesus’ friendships with unchurchy people: “We don’t really believe Jesus was an actual friend to ‘those people’ . . . surely he didn’t really like them and enjoy their company. From our twenty-first-century evangelical perspective, we figure Jesus was probably just nice to them so he could get them to come to church.” Ouch! and Amen!

‘The principle of incarnation means that Christ followers must draw close to those whom God desires to redeem.” Amen!

“Biblical justice for the poor and for immigrants is not communism or socialism. Biblical justice is the righteousness of Jesus.” Amen!

So if you haven’t figured it out yet, I loved this book! I hope that many pastors will thoroughly read each page and walk away boldly proclaiming the kingdom Gospel. Thank you Lance Ford for not cowering and for publishing the “Good News” the way it should be proclaimed. Tyndale House Publishers provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review of which I freely give. ( )
  Steve_Hinkle | Nov 4, 2014 |
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When you hear the word evangelical, do you think "good news"? That's what the word means, and it's what we are meant to be. Yet the surrounding culture often views us as exactly the opposite. Calling yourself an evangelical too often means you are seen through a negative stereotype; people are apprehensive when they hear that an evangelical family has moved into the neighborhood. But is this the way it has to be? What would it look like if evangelical Christians were joyfully living out the gospel in such a way that the culture had no choice but to recognize us as Good News people? Revangelical is a call to realign your heart with the things that most concerned Jesus-a bold message to get the Good News of the gospel of Jesus back into our heads, hearts, mouths, and feet. Full of stories of evangelicals who are living out the Good News and changing the world, Revangelical will inspire and equip us to relearn the heart of the gospel and to become the people God has called us to be.… (more)

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