“What We Talk About When We Talk About God” (Chp. 5)
By: Rob Bell
Gospel is the shocking, provocative, revolutionary, subversive, counterintuitive good news that in your moments of greatest
and falling short,
God meets you there-
right exactly there-
in that place, and announces,
I am on your side.
Gospel insists that God doesn’t wait for us to get ourselves polished, shined, proper, and without blemish. God comes to us and meets us and blesses us while we are still in the middle of the mess we created.
Gospel isn’t us getting it together so that we can have God’s favor; gospel is us finding God exactly in the moment of our greatest not-togetherness.
Gospel is grace, and grace is a gift. You don’t earn a gift; you simply receive it. You don’t make it happen; you wake up to what has already happened.
Gospel isn’t doing enough good to be worthy; it’s your eyes being opened to your unworthiness and to Jesus’s insistence that that was never the way it worked in the first place.
Being a good person, then, naturally flows not from trying to get on God’s good side but from your realization that God has been on your side the whole time.
Gospel calls you to a major change in thinking, a giant shift in understanding, a massive leap in how you see yourself, otherwise, you’re stuck in the same old points program, trying to earn what is already yours.
What do you think about when you think about the “good news”? What makes the news good? When you think about the good news, do you feel the need to share that news with other people? If so, why do you feel that need? If not, why do you think you do not feel the need to share it? What, about Jesus’ story, do you feel is “good news”? Is there any bad news mixed into the story, or is it all good news? If you wanted to sit someone down to tell him or her about the good news, what would you say?