11JanNEW BOOK: The Biblical Gospel: Its Significance and Impact in Spiritual Renewal

  • Category:Around the Diocese
  • Written By:jthoma

The Biblical Gospel: Its Significance and Impact in Spiritual Renewal
By the Rev. Dr. Reid Hensarling
WestBow Press, 2012

Buy it on Amazon.com:

The Rev. Dr. Reid Hensarling, Associate Rector at All Saints' Episcopal Church, Lakeland, has spent 35 years studying and teaching the Scriptures and preaching about Jesus Christ and spiritual renewal. He has served several Episcopal congregations over the past 12 years. Fr. Hensarling holds a Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Divinity from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, and a Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.

Fr. Reid’s new book, The Biblical Gospel: Its Significance and Impact in Spiritual Renewal, explores the only sure solution to the ongoing problems of our world -- the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ.

People are presented with a variety of “cures” for modern societal and personal ills, from the religious, political, and economic realms. But The Biblical Gospel points out that only the absolute truth of the gospel of Christ has the message that ultimately answers the most pressing questions and serious concerns of the human soul. The book is concerned with encouraging and helping church leaders bring spiritual renewal to their people through the biblical gospel.

“Parishioners frequently come to me seeking answers to a multitude of psychological and spiritual problems,” Fr. Reid says in the introduction. “Beset by so many competing forces, their questions seem impossible to answer.”

The answer is that the gospel contains the ultimate answers.

Chapter 1 builds a strong case for the theological and scriptural basis of the gospel and the importance of the Bible. It shows how a limited number of biblical figures were used by the Lord to bring spiritual renewal to their people. Chapter two describes the profound transformation that the proclamation of the gospel had upon sixteenth-century England. The pernicious dangers of our current postmodern culture are examined in chapter three, along with the only effective solution-the proclamation and reception of the biblical gospel. Chapter four proposes a model for growth and transformation in Christ through the renewal of the clergy and laity.

The book concludes that mankind's only hope for eternal security and truth is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ, as presented through the pages of the Bible. The book illustrates that regardless of time, place, or nationality, the gospel declaration alone has the power to change human beings from lives of sin and rebellion against God and one another to lives filled with love and devotion to Jesus Christ and others.

This book is designed to draw significant attention and interest to the churches' obligation and critical calling by God to present the Holy Scriptures in a loving and truthful way to congregations that will bring lasting change to the body of Christ. Only the gospel has the ability to renew and transform people from a life of sin and rebellion against God to a life of love, devotion, and service to Christ. Lives start to change and people begin to think, live, and act more like Christ. The promises and truths of the gospel bring to the believer eternal security, lasting peace, and unspeakable joy. What an extraordinary additive to everyday living!

The faithful pastor is entrusted with God's Word to preach and teach absolute truth, which upon reception by the people brings repentance, forgiveness, salvation, and freedom. Ministers who are obedient to the gospel bring tremendous blessing and hope to their flocks. God's people are transformed and renewed and the kingdom of God is extended into a world desperately needing love and truth.

Warm Reception

All Saints' parishioner John Sauer was so impressed with the book that he took 15 pages of notes that have been developed into a course at the parish's instructional center. The course will be Wednesday nights, 7 to 8:30 p.m., May 8 through June 26.

"The introduction begins by clearly stating the "problem" in our post-modern world and the basis for why Father Reid was called by the Holy Spirit to write this incredible book," Mr Sauer said. "It is filled with reminders and historical facts and lessons that are designed to enlighten the reader who believes in and follows with his whole heart the Lord Jesus Christ. I was reminded of the seriousness that God has placed on his holy Word and the impact that the truth can have in transforming our lives. I know this first hand since God and our amazing church family have done this for me. Therefore, I know that I am obligated to defend the Gospel and share it responsibly with everyone that is willing to listen. There are also stark consequences if the doctrine is changed or perverted by man. To me this book serves as a manual of sorts, whose purpose is to remind the believer that they must be gospel centered in their own lives and therefore prepared to do battle in a society that is full of competing religions and worldly revelations vying for man's attention and his willingness to exchange God's biblical truths for an updated view of theology."

What other are saying (from Amazon reviews):

Joe Thoma:
The Biblical Gospel: Its Significance and Impact in Spiritual Renewal, reminds us all of why we are here and what we should be doing. The significance of this book should be recognized in its origin: Fr. Reid serves at one of the most dynamic, growing and spirit-filled congregations in the Diocese of Central Florida.As Fr. Reid points out, many All Saints parishioners have reassessed the priorities in their lives because of a propagation of the gospel, as have I.

D. Lester:
What this book meant to me was at a time of uncertainty and confusion in my mind of my spiritual journey, you spelled out the problem, you showed this problem is nothing new but has existed since Old Testament days, you showed me why we have nothing to be ashamed of as Anglicans/Episcopalians, Warned of us of Satan's tactics and identified the enemy. And then gave us the tools to fight the battles and win the war that rages behind the scenes for the hearts and souls of men. The Gospel is THE answer. The line is drawn those who would render the Bible obsolete or those who will stand for the Word of God, The Gospel, which is our only hope for transformation and renewal. Great and inspiring writing.

Martha D. Linder:
This book is what John Wesley would have written for the twenty-first century! Just like Rick Warren's, "The Purpose-Driven Life," there is really nothing NEW in the book, but it is written compellingly with the message that if people are serious about wanting to know God, please God, and enjoy God, being immersed in the Bible is an absolute necessity. Reid Hensarling's book makes clear that serious study of the Bible is the only way to grow spiritually. He also shows the dangers of modernity and post-modernity not only on the culture but also on the church. Just as in Wesley's day, the church of today is too often swayed by the spirit of the age and the attempt to use man's ways to please congregations. If this book were required in all Episcopal seminaries, perhaps the future clergy could redeem a church that has lost its way.

Monica Lester:
This is a book I thought I would simply pick up, read rather quickly, write a paragraph or two to respond about what I already expected would be a good book, as I knew the author and what the gospel means to him; a book I looked forward to reading as I knew I would hear the voice of the author as I read it and I did. Yes, Fr. Reid's voice was there as the messenger reminding me of God's truth, but there was another voice present as I read this book, the voice of the Holy Spirit reminding me of His love for us and asking, what does The Biblical Gospel mean to me? This book brings awareness to each of us that call ourselves a Christian; and it caused me to ask myself, what am I willing to do to stand up for God and His most Holy Word? I pray that as others read this book, they too will ask themselves that question and I pray for God to make His presence known to them in a way that will change their lives forever for the glory of His name. Thank you Fr. Reid for writing this book! 

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License."