The Fifth Gospel: You.

UnknownA book By Bobby Conway

The title is based on a quote by Rodney Smith that goes: “There are five Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Christian, but many people never read the first four.”

The 5th Gospel is a stirring read that calls Christians not just to share the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, but to live it out every day. Written by Bobby Conway, pastor and founder of www.oneminuteapologist.com, this isn’t just a how to book with more methods to teach. He encourages and equips the reader to not say sorry for being a Christian, but give believable reasons why Jesus is real and that what he has done is important.

His manner is winsome and easy to read, as he builds the foundations for what he coins as a “fifth gospel Christian”- not to create classes of Christians, but to challenge and point us each to be a true, visible and bold witness for Christ.

At the end of each chapter a little summary is given, with pointed questions for reflection and discussion if the book were to be read in a group. These are good at refreshing the main point and the challenge that was brought in each chapter.

Without going into too much detail, at the start of the book I found myself wondering: “when are we going to get to the ‘sharing the gospel’ bit”. I soon realised and was reminded that this was the wrong question- as Bobby laid down biblical truths as a foundation for living and witnessing as a Christian. He touches on counting the cost for Christ, facing our idols, finding our ultimate enjoyment in God (for more see Desiring God, John Piper), then talks about suffering and weakness, how this displays the glory of God to the world. The ultimate trump card (love) is described and after countering the idea that we need only ‘live’ as Christians without speaking up he concludes with explaining our need for the Holy Spirit to work with us and in us as we make much of Jesus in our lives.

All in all, this book may very well change your mindset on “evangelism” as you see from the life and gospel of Jesus, Christianity is not just a message to be intellectually argued and agreed with, but it is a relationship with God and way of life.

We need not feel burdened by our failures in ‘sharing Jesus’ but rather if we seek first to love and know him, because we have first been loved and known he will work in and despite our weaknesses for his good and perfect plans.

“Jesus intends for ordinary Christians to live lives that visibly display the Good News of salvation and point others to the only Person who can give them hope for this life as well as the next.”

Will you be that Christian? Will you live as a 5th Gospel Christian?

Review by Rory Weightman

Rory directs our Connect Team and loves to share the good news of Jesus with people. You can get in contact with him by emailing:    connect@reforming.org.au