Archives For Lisa Sharon Harper

 

God’s Vision for Shalom

 
 A Review of

The Very Good Gospel:
How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right
Lisa Sharon Harper

Hardback: WaterBrook, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by Kate Blakely
 
 

This review originally appeared in
our Fall 2016 print magazine

*** Get a FREE digital copy of this issue.

 
Lisa Sharon Harper’s The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right is the book for which I have been waiting. In a world desperately in need of some truly good news, the church’s responses are often lacking. The gospel must respond meaningfully to the deadly and debilitating forces that erupt around us. Yet the gospel so often proclaimed is, as Harper terms it, thin. This thin gospel succinctly describes salvation as an individual’s restored relationship with God. The end goal of this salvation is equally simple: to be saved means to secure one’s place in heaven after death. Harper weaves together her experiences with church and life, theological and biblical insights, and current cultural and statistical data in order to thicken our understanding of salvation and gospel. What emerges is a truly holistic depiction of God’s cosmic salvation. Harper enriches the message and work of the gospel by focusing attention on the Hebrew word shalom, roughly translated as “peace.” God’s salvation, in which shalom is the reality, includes all aspects of life. Shalom, Harper reminds us, is inherently relational. True peace, salvation, has to do with the actual and concrete reconciliation of all things with their Creator and each other.

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I wrote brief reviews of the following books that were released in the last couple of weeks:

by C. Christopher Smith, editor of The Englewood Review of Books

 

The Very Good Gospel:
How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right

Lisa Sharon Harper
* * * * * (out of 5 stars)

A rich depiction of the flourishing life God intends for creation!

Many Christians, especially in the Evangelical tradition, are quick to identify with the gospel (i.e., good news) of Jesus. But why exactly is it good news that God’s kingdom is coming on earth as it is in heaven? This is the question that Lisa Sharon Harper sets out to answer in her superb new book THE VERY GOOD GOSPEL. Focusing on the scriptural concept of shalom, a Hebrew word that is often translated as “peace,” but is much broader than our typical understanding of peace, Harper explores the fullness of the shalom that God intends for creation and why it is indeed good news. The very good news is that God desires us to have shalom with God, shalom with ourselves, shalom between the genders, shalom with all creation, shalom for broken families, shalom in the midst of racial injustice, shalom between nations, and more.

This is a very accessible book (and it includes reflection exercises to help readers engage with it), and it provides one of the richest depictions of the flourishing life God intends for creation. Lisa Sharon Harper will undoubtedly stir our imaginations with her case for why the gospel is extraordinary news!
 
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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right

Lisa Sharon Harper

Watch the book trailer video

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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