Monday, November 5, 2012
Blog Tour Review of CONTEND by Aaron Armstrong
Photo Credit: Cruciform Press
Rating: 5 out of 5
In recent years there’s been a call by some of Christianity’s most well-known leaders to get back to a precise understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ as presented by the Bible. In too many instances, churches and the teaching contained within them have been diluted by an incomplete and sometimes absent understanding of the gospel. Aaron Armstrong in his new book from Cruciform Press CONTEND suggests that a proper and complete understanding of the gospel is vital for churches and Christians in general because God’s glory is at stake, as well as the eternal destiny of the many souls of those who are just waiting to be rescued by the gospel. Dilution of and absence of the gospel in a Christian community are serious matters, and Armstrong points to a verse in the book of Jude that calls believers to “contend” for the gospel.
Contending is a fight against anything that threatens what is most important to us. This begs the question, “How important is the gospel message to me?” How important is it to our Christian communities? How important is it that God wants this message communicated to everyone in a desire to rescue them and reconcile them to himself? Sadly, I think most of us would discover that the gospel’s message and proclamation are things we say are important to us, but our actions would prove otherwise.
The call of CONTEND is to rightly understand the gospel and to grow in our love for it and our Lord who provided it. The gospel is the most vitally important piece of information we carry, and its accuracy should be protected. Armstrong addresses church leaders in correcting false teaching and feeding the congregation with the gospel message. In addressing the congregation, Armstrong calls believers to build up their faith by actively cultivating their relationship with Jesus through Bible study and prayer and staying purposefully connected to the faith community of the church.
The call back to the gospel in recent years is a great thing, and CONTEND is a battle cry for believers to fight for the gospel of Jesus because it is vitally important to us. We embrace the gospel because it reveals who God is and it rescues people out of darkness and into God’s kingdom. God’s glory and the people God loves enough to give his life for should be incredibly valuable to us, and we must contend against anything that threatens to silence the gospel message. CONTEND is a clear and practical guide for believers to do this.
Review copy provided by Cruciform Press