I finished Voddie Baucham’s book, Family Shepherds, Calling and Equipping men to lead their homes a few days ago. There are so many great things packed into this small book I would recommend it to anyone. Also, it was a fast read (the book is less than 200 pages)! Its brevity doesn’t mean that it lacks for content. A few things that I liked the most were: a clarification of the gospel, an exposition of the wickedness of feminism, and the challenge to be a spiritual leader in the home. Below I want to share something small from the book.
(BTW, I am so very thankful for my pastor Jeff Noblit, who always knows how to bring balance to spiritual matters. His sermon this past Sunday night was dead-on helping me see things clearly concerning the dangers of what some are espousing in the FIC movement. You can hear the sermon here.)
I love the gospel. It is how I am saved and how God sanctifies me each day as I remember Christ’s provision set forth in the gospel (read A Gospel Primer for Christians for understanding how the gospel relates to Sanctification). One thing that is promulgated in weak pulpits is the idea of living the gospel, rather than speaking the gospel. Just a few weeks ago I had lunch with a gentleman who shared with me an experience where a man was consequently converted because he “experienced” the gospel through others, with no declaration of the gospel (written or spoken). Now, obviously we want to live in a loving and pure way. We don’t want our actions to be a stumbling block so that others don’t want to hear anything we say. But the gospel needs to be proclaimed. Indeed, the gospel must be proclaimed! If souls are going to be saved they must hear the truths of the gospel. The Holy Spirit then does His illuminating work. This is the way that God has designed conversion.
I thought that Baucham illustrated the need for gospel proclamation well in Family Shepherds. The following is an excerpt:
“The Gospel is news, first and foremost. The Greek word (transliterated) evangelion refers to news, an announcement of a message.
Think about it; the gospel is news! Therefore, we don’t “live” the gospel; we proclaim it. We can no more live the gospel than live the nightly news. Imagine saying, “let’s go live out last night’s eleven o’clock news headline story.” That’s sheer foolishness. The event has already happened; it cannot be relived. You can live in the light of the news, or because of the news, but you cannot live the news. And as famous as certain words of St. Francis of Assisi happen to be, he was wrong; we do not “preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words”. Again, imagine the parallel: “Channel 10 News…News so Powerful, We Don’t Use Words!”
I know this flies in the face of contemporary vernacular, but this is no minor distinction. This is the difference between a life that views Christ and his finished work as the central message of Christianity and one that views its own experience as the central message. If Christ’s life is the central message, then I have to tell the news. If my life is the central message, then my living is enough.”
Good stuff, Mark. You’re a good writer. I’ll enjoy reading your blog going forward. I’ll also be trying to get my hands on the book you referenced.
Great, thanks Matt! I mentioned to a friend on fb that I ordered it at http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/voddie-baucham-ministries/ . You may also be able to get it through other outlets.
Mark, this is really good stuff. It has been a while since I have seen you man. Sounds like things are going well with you. It is very encouraging to see a reflection of Christ in your writings. This entry really hit home with me. It is something that has frustrated me for a long time. Too many churches simply try to teach us to live like Christ. I have found it rare in today’s time that we actually hear the Gospel preached in church. Sometimes I feel that churches simply try to pump you up for the week ahead or encourage you after a long week. While this is needed, what is needed more is simply the preaching of the Gospel. We live in a lost and dying world and everyone needs to know that there is Saving Grace available to us. I will continue to read your blogs and thank you for putting these words out there. I would love to catch up sometime. if you are ever in the Birmingham area give me a shout or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow, thanks Anthony! I’m glad we share the same conviction about the Gospel. I’d love to catch up sometime. Maybe it will work out before too long. Are you guys members of a local church in Birmingham?
yeah, we are member of Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover. One of the reasons we fell in love with the Church is that our pastor, Buddy Gray, continually presents the Gospel to us.
That’s great! I’ve heard good things about Hunter Street!