Christians tend to be know for what they are against, Mike Glenn in his book, The Gospel of Yes, reminds us there is a better way to know God and to live out transformed lives.
Turns out God’s favorite word is not “No”, but “Yes!”. Seeing God in such positive light brings out the best in us. You and I were created to live for, not against. As Mike says, “Defining your life by what you oppose makes your life small and it can fuel anger and bitterness.”
If this book were a fill in the blank test, and you needed to guess the answer. Just write yes. Over and over again Mike Glenn does a tremendous job of portraying the Christian faith in such a positive way. Chapter titles from the Yes of Creation to the Yes of the Cross to the Yes of You emphasizes this new lens to see God’s hand at work.
Even better then the chapter titles are the tag lines that go with the Yes titles:
The “Yes” of the Cross: God’s greatest “yes” was also the most costly.
The Mess before the “Yes”: Who we used to be doesn’t determine who we can become.
The “Yes” of You: Only God can tell you who you really are
The “Yes” of Simplicity: God’s “yes” makes us stewards of the earth, not just one small corner.
God’s yes is ultimately found in following the Biblical directive to follow Christ, not oppose the world. It’s one thing to say one is against poverty, God’s yes reminds me that He (and I) are for helping those who are poor.
One of my favorite lines in the book is when Mike writes, “I have a pet peeve with most theology books. They start at the wrong places.” The challenge is they start with indepth look at long theological words about God. Mike thinks (and I agree) the place to start is Jesus’ resurrection: the ultimate yes.
You may be wondering what about all those biblical “no’s” like the 10 Commandments? What if we have seen them through the wrong lens? We have emphasized the “no”, we have missed the “yes.” As Mike puts it, “So let’s get this straight. God is against murder, stealing, lying, adultery, and being jealous of what your neighbor has. Is anyone for these things?” The Ten Commandments then serve as “guardrails for a positive way to live — the best way to live.”
My favorite part of the book is Mike’s image for Jesus’ Great Commandment. Mike sees Jesus setting up a triangle of love God, love your neighbor, love yourself. Take away one side, the other two fall. In the Great Commandment Jesus links together all three. Mike describes the impact this way, “With our lives filled with God’s presence, we are free to love others without expectation or need of anything in return. We don’t have to manipulate people into acting like the kind of people we think we need. We are free to allow our neighbors to be who they are.”
The Gospel of Yes also includes a 7 session study guide to go over the 15 chapters. The guide makes this a great resource for small groups as well as personal use.
I give The Gospel of Yes, 5 out of 5 stars. I appreciated that the emphasis on what we are for, even more what God is for in our relationship with Him. I received a free Advanced Reading Copy from WaterBrook Press and was not required to give a positive review. My thanks to Mike and to WaterBrook for proving a great book to read and even more to live.