There are hundreds of millions of Christians in America. Sadly, you would not think that by simply walking the streets and watching the actions of people. It seems as if the Americanized version of Christianity is more off-putting than it is pleasant. Scott Sauls has penned a book to help us correct this trajectory and make our faith irresistible.
A Starting Point
In order to fully understand what it means to have an irresistible faith, we need a starting point. Early on in the introduction Sauls makes a statement that many will find provocative. He states, “To be on the side of Jesus is to be on the side of the world and its flourishing.” (p. xxiv) Now, I know that many will say that we ought not to love this world and I believe Sauls would agree. This is not what he is saying.
“I love everything that Scott Sauls writes.”Christine Caine
What he is saying is “Just as a healthy tree can’t help but produce fruit, and as a lit candle can’t help but produce light, well-informed followers of Christ can’t help but become positive contributors to the places they live, work, and play.” This earth should be better because we are here. If not, maybe we are not obeying Scripture after all.
A Daily Action
If you have found this review, I would think that you are a Christ follower. As such, we know that Christ compels us to take up our cross on a daily basis and follow after him. There has to be a daily decision. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to do his work in us on a daily basis.
“God’s breathed-out Word will have no impact upon us until God breathes life into us.” (p. 27) was a quote that spoke to me. I can come to Scripture as much as I want and read it expecting to hear guidance for my life, but if the Holy Spirit does not breath life into me then it is all for nothing. Instead of simply reading the Bible to read the Bible we must praise God for the times that the Holy Spirit illuminates our path. Hopefully this is happening in your life on a daily basis.
Dealing With Sin
Sin is a taboo word in the year 2019. No one wants to call it sin. We prefer to use words like accident, misstep, or an oops. Even if you are not comfortable with calling it sin (and you should be), we know we need to deal with it. It plagues our society and our individual lives. To this point Sauls says, “As a smelly dog needs a bath and as a sinful King David and apostle Peter needed correction, so do we need the truth spoken in love when we are giving off the stench of sin.” (p. 84)
We need people willing to call our hands when it comes to sin. We know it stinks, but sometimes when we are in the midst of it we simply cannot smell it. Yes, we must be the ones that are willing to speak the truth, but we cannot lose sight of the grace that is offered. After all, “God’s grace flows downhill to the low places, not uphill to the pompous and put-together places.” (p. 92)
A Grave Thought
I hold some very deep convictions. There are certain doctrinal principles that I hold with a firm, closed hand. I won’t go into detail here, but do know that there are some ideals that I will not compromise on in this life.
“An important call to resist the urge to lobby and position ourselves, but rather to be driven by gospel-powered love.”Raechel Myers, founder and CEO of She Reads Truth
This does not mean that I need to be a jerk about these things when these issues are raised (even by someone who does not call themselves a Christ follower). “If the doctrinal skeleton is the only thing or even the main thing people can see when they look at our faith, it means either our faith is malnourished and sick, or it is dead.” (p. 123) I recognize that it is easy to expose my skeleton to others. It’s the thing that supports the rest of my beliefs. The problem is that if I am more concerned about being right than giving grace or proving a point than I am about working to improve my neighborhood, then maybe my faith is on life support or dead.
I cannot recommend Irresistible Faith enough. It has the potential to radically change your perspective on what it means to live your faith out in this chaotic world. When things do not always look like I would like, I have to consider whether or not my faith is attractive. I do not mean that to sound like life ought to be all peaches and sunshine, but rather that I have to consider what part I play in my situations.
My faith needs to be one that people will find attractive. If I repel more people than I attract, what good am I to the Kingdom of God? I am convinced if more people of faith gave thought to what their faith looks and smells our world would be different.
- Ann Voskamp on Irresistible Faith
- Irresistible Faith on Scott Sauls’ Website
- Irresistible Faith on Thomas Nelson
- What Seminary Didn’t Teach Scott Sauls, The Gospel Coalition
- Irresistible Faith Book Trailer
Official Book Description
What if Christians became the best advertisement for Jesus?
Jesus said his followers would be a light to the world and a city on a hill–a warmly inviting, neighbor-loving, grace- and truth-filled destination for all. He envisioned his followers as life-giving neighbors, bosses, employees, and friends, the kind of people who return insults with kindness and persecution with prayers. Rooted in biblical convictions, they would extend love, empathy, and care to one another as well as to those who don’t share their beliefs. Over time their movement would become irresistible to every nation, tribe, and tongue. Irresistible Faith is a blueprint for pursuing this vision in our current moment, of redeemed individuals and a renewed community working for a restored world. This is a way of being that gives a tired, cynical world good reason to pause and reconsider Christianity–and to start wishing it was true.
“I miss the kind of church Scott describes in this book, and I don’t think I am alone.”Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz and Building a StoryBrand
Cover image provided by MockUpShots.com.
I received this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. The words are my own and have not been influenced in any way outside of the written manuscript.