In this episode of the Ministry Minded Podcast, I am thrilled to be joined by fellow blogger and budding theologian, Blake Long, to talk about his upcoming book — Gospel Smugness — and the important role tone plays when testifying about God’s grace. An unfortunate development within evangelicalism is its tendency to follow the trends of society, only a few years behind the curve. But one trend that the Church has kept right in pace along with the culture is in the areas of divisiveness and polarity. We are conditioned to believe that those who think oppositely than we do are our enemies. We vilify those who are different based on the self-assured reasoning that we are on “the right side of history.” Be that as it may, we’ve excused an approach to the furtherance of the gospel that is vastly different than the one modeled for us in the Scriptures, forgetting that from the very lips of Christ himself, we are told that his was a ministry of redemption, not condemnation. (Jn 3:17) The world is already condemned, and the gospel is already offensive — we don’t need to make it more so. In the words of Charles Spurgeon, we just need to let loose the gospel’s “lion-like majesty”:
The Word of God can take care of itself, and will do so if we preach it, and cease defending it. See you that lion. They have caged him for his preservation; shut him up behind iron bars to secure him from his foes! See how a band of armed men have gathered together to protect the lion. What a clatter they make with their swords and spears! These mighty men are intent upon defending a lion. O fools, and slow of heart! Open that door! Let the lord of the forest come forth free. Who will dare to encounter him? What does he want with your guardian care? Let the pure gospel go forth in all its lion-like majesty, and it will soon clear its own way and ease itself of its adversaries.
It is my prayer that you will be encouraged and uplifted by this conversation between Blake and I. May the topics and themes touched on speak to your heart and soul. Soli Deo Gloria. Amen.
“The Gospel Is Offensive, But You Shouldn’t Be,” Blake Long
“Christian, Be a Peacemaker,” Blake Long
“A Call for Theological Triage and Christian Maturity,” Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr
“Documentary Hypothesis, Delitzsch, and the atrophy of orthodoxy,” article by yours truly
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Blake lives in Ada, Oklahoma with his wife Shale and daughter Jovi. He works for a local nonprofit foundation but is earnestly praying for God’s direction in his life as he pursues vocational ministry. Blake holds an MTS degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) and has had his writing featured on several publications, including Challies.com, Monergism, ChurchLeaders, Servants of Grace, and The Majesty’s Men. He is currently working on a book, entitled, Gospel Smugness, in which he aims to discuss the ways in which we “make the already-offensive gospel more offensive by our behavior.” You can find him on Twitter and on Instagram.
Intro music: “Explorers (Instrumental Version)” by The Midnight, The Midnight Music LLC, 2018.