group blogging project: the naked gospel

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. director of family ministry at st. edward's episcopal church. president of fistbump media, llc.

September 1, 2009

the-naked-gospelJESUS + NOTHING

This is exactly what the new book by Andrew Farley can be summarized as. The title alone is one that catches your eye… The Naked Gospel: The truth you may never hear in church. Wow! That is a pretty bold statement to make right on the cover, and that is exactly what Farley delivers!

From the back cover of the book…

Jesus plus nothing. 100% natural. No additives. It’s the truth you may never hear in church. The Naked Gospel is a chapter-by-chapter assault on the churchy jargon and double talk of our day. It puts forth a message that is simple but life-changing. With a fresh take on Scripture and unapologetic style, The Naked Gospel will challenge you to re-examine everything you thought you already knew.

Each day for just over a week, several amazing people will be gathering here to share their thoughts on this book. Each of the contributors in this exciting lineup from around the U.S. (and Canada) will give us their take on one of the chapters. This is definitely a series that you will not want to miss!

The chapter schedule along with who will be sharing on each chapter is as follows:

  1. obsessive-Christianity disorder (9/8) – Ken Leonard (A True Believer’s Blog)
  2. religion is a headache (9/9) – Tim Borntreger (@timborntreger)
  3. crossing the line (9/10) – Chris Neufeld (Twisted Christian)
  4. burning matryoshkas (9/11) – Bryant Neal (Camak Baptist Church)
  5. cheating on Jesus (9/12) – Ken Elsner (Ken Elsner 34.8)
  6. we don’t marry dead people (9/13) – Andi Shaw (@andishaw)
  7. ego assult (9/14) – Don F Perkins (Shizuka Mura)

So stay tuned for some great discussion, and please feel free to jump into the comments and share your thoughts! In the meantime, here are a few things that you can do right now…

  • Buy the book. It will be a much better experience for you if you follow along in your own copy of the book.
  • Download the FREE copy of the eBook!
  • Subscribe to updates. Get the latest posts in this series in your email inbox or favorite feed reader. This is the best way to keep up with everything!
  • Tweet it up! Follow @bibledude and retweet updates from this event. If you want to share your own tweets, make sure that you use the #nakedgospel hashtag.


  1. carl

    Dear Andrew

    The reason I
    am writing this letter is because of your teaching I heard today on your
    website. I have been listening to your teaching now for about 2 months. This
    can about as a result of your book “God Without Religion” which I had received
    from a good friend. I enjoyed your book very much, very refreshing. Your whole
    teaching on the New Covenant was based on the book of Hebrews which was written
    to Israel not the Gentiles so I don’t see how you can apply it to Gentiles.  

    I, like
    yourself, was once bound up with the laws of religion and the church but by the
    grace of God he showed me the way out, that the truth will set you free. I
    believe you are standing on the edge of the forest, you can see the light but
    you are not fully in the light. You just need to take a few more steps and you
    will be out and fully in the light and the rest that Christ talked about. I ask
    that you read this with your present filters off and don’t just throw it aside.
    But take the time to really read it with the Spirit that is in you.

    If I came to
    you and asked if I was under the Law (the Old Covenant) as a Gentile you would
    say, let’s look in the Old Testament and see who God gave the Law and the Old Covenant
    to. After looking, we would see it was given to Israel and Judah. Now using the
    same logic, if I asked you if I was under the New Covenant, you would say let’s
    look in the Old Testament and see. After looking we would see, no it too was
    with Israel and Judah. Now if we go to the New Testament to see if there was any
    change as to who were parties in this New Covenant we would look and find Paul
    in Hebrews repeating what was in the Old Testament. Now if Paul was aware that
    God made a change and was now including Gentiles in this New Covenant I think
    he would have made mention of that when he was speaking to the Hebrews in
    Hebrews, but he didn’t mention it because there was no change. Based on this
    information I would conclude we Gentiles are not part of the New Covenant
    unless we join ourselves to Israel then we would be. This is just what was
    happening in the Acts period when Paul was preaching to both the Jew and the Gentile,
    however he always went to the Jew first then to the Gentile. The reason the Gentiles
    were being brought in at that time was to bring Israel to jealousy so that they
    would turn to God for salvation under the New Covenant. Now had Israel as a
    nation turned and repented then at that time Christ would have return. (Hos_5:15) May God bless you in your continued walk with Him.  

    First I must
    say, you are one of the first teachers who has come so close to the full truth
    about pure grace. The only thing you have not escaped from about religion and
    the church is the New Covenant. You are still under the belief that that is how
    the world receives salvation and it is not. It is by pure grace and pure grace
    alone that the world is to receive salvation, until the millennium when Israel (This
    is the fulfilment of Jer 31:31-34) at Christ’s return will once again be under
    the New Covenant (Jer 31:33 “after those days”). With the setting aside of
    Israel and the New Covenant happened at Acts 28: 23-28.

    You do an
    excellent job when you explain 1 John 1: 1-9, and the reason you do is because
    you look at the contexts and rightly divide who John is talking to. I don’t need
    to go through the whole teaching on these verses as you know it well. You do
    the same with other parts of scripture and rightly divide the difference
    between when Paul is speaking to the saved and unsaved. The reason for this is
    because you understand your identity so there is no confusion for you and you
    teach very well on this subject of identity as well.

    Where you
    seem to stop using your knowledge of who you are and rightly dividing the word
    and see the context and who it is that is being spoken to is when you come to
    the New Covenant. For some reason you change how you look at the book of
    Hebrews, and no longer identify who the book is to but instead just except that
    it is to both Jew and Gentile.

    So let’s
    start at the beginning. In the Old Testament, God made a Covenant with Israel
    and with them only (see Exodus 20). Now if a Gentile wanted to worship the
    God of Israel, they had to agree to submit to the same Laws. As we all know,
    Israel failed so God said that He would make a New Covenant with them … now who
    is them? Israel. See Jer 31: 31-34

    Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of

    Jer 31:32 Not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers in the
    day that I took them by the hand to
    bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my Covenant they brake, although I
    was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

    Jer 31:33 But this shall be the Covenant
    that I will make with the house of Israel; After those
    days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write
    it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man
    his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least
    of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their
    iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.


    Notice who this New Covenant is with. Israel and the house of Judah,
    the same people who were parties to the first Covenant (Old Covenant), not any Gentiles
    except those who had chosen to join themselves to Israel or Judah by coming
    under the Laws of the Old Covenant. Notice He says “after those days” – what
    days is he talking about, those days between the setting aside of Israel and
    the New Covenant until the return of Christ.

    (Setting aside, see Acts 28:23-28, also see (Hos_5:15  I will go and return to my place, till they
    acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction (the
    tribulation) they will seek me early.   Then comes the fulfilment of Jer 31: 31-34)


    Now if we go to the book of Hebrews, again we have to figure out who
    is the writer of Hebrews talking to, Israel and Judah or Israel, Judah and the Gentiles?
    I say it is Israel and Judah. Who did God take by the hand, (the Gentiles or
    Israel), that being the case then this New Covenant has to do with them
    (Israel, Judah) and not the Gentiles.


    Heb 8:7 For if that first Covenant had
    been faultless then should no place have been sought for the second.

    8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days
    come, saith the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant
    with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: (Jesus made this New
    Covenant at the Lords supper and there were no Gentiles present just the 12 who
    represented Israel and Judah only)

    Heb 8:9 Not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers in the
    day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because
    they continued not in my Covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

    Heb 8:10 For this is the Covenant that I will
    make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will
    put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to
    them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

    Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his
    brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the


    I agree that this New Covenant came into effect when Jesus died on the
    cross as Hebrews teaches. Now once again, let’s have a look at Jesus making
    this New Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah.


    Luk 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This
    cup is the
    New testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (who is the you?)


    Mar 14:24 And he said unto them, (who is the them?) This
    is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many.


    Now this is the New Covenant that Jesus is talking about here. As we
    all know, you cannot be a party to a Covenant unless you are there. So the 12
    apostles were there to represent Israel and Judah and who was there to
    represent the Gentiles? No one, so they could not be a party to this New Covenant!
    Now let’s look a little further along the time line of Paul’s teaching and go
    to Ephesians. Keep in mind here that Paul is now a prisoner to the Gentiles,
    not the Jews, as he says earlier.


    Who is this “for by grace are ye saved”?
    It is not the Jews. Otherwise Paul would have said “for by grace are we saved”. 
    “that ye being in time past Gentiles”
    again he is talking to Gentiles, not Jews.


    Paul then says “ye were without Christ,
    being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the Covenants of promise,” 
    Notice he says they were strangers to the Covenants of promise, as there
    are only two Covenants that he is referring to here (Old and New) and we know
    that in Acts that Gentiles had been saved but how? They joined themselves to
    Israel under the New Covenant just like they did under the Old Covenant. Also
    notice he doesn’t then go on to say “but now you are brought nigh by the New
    Covenant but instead it is by Grace “For by grace are
    ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;
    and that not of yourselves: it is the
    gift of God:

    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
    which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being
    in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which
    is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

    Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were
    without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers
    from the Covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

    Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh
    by the blood of Christ.

    Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the
    middle wall of partition between us;

    Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh
    the enmity, even the law of commandments
    contained in ordinances; for to make in
    himself of twain one New man, so making

    Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross,
    having slain the enmity thereby:

    Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them
    that were nigh.

    Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

    Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens
    with the saints, and of the household of God;


    See  Acts 15:5-29, these verses
    show that Israel was still under the Law but did not have to sacrifice animals
    to cover their sins because Jesus had taken care of that on the cross once and
    for all.


    Notice Acts15:5 “But there rose up certain of the sect of the
    Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was
    needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.” 


    These are believing Pharisees that were saying they had to keep the
    laws and no one, not even Paul jumps in and says hold on guys we are not under
    the laws anymore??? No he says nothing and neither does anyone else???

    Now notice Act 15:10  “Now
    therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples (Gentiles),
    which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?


    Wouldn’t he have said why put a yoke on them that we are no longer


    Now notice Act 15:20  “But that we write unto them, that they
    abstain from pollutions of idols, and from
    fornication, and from things strangled,
    and from blood. 


    So James here is saying that we will not put the yoke on them that we
    have, but only that they adhere to four things. This they (Apostles) could do
    because they were given the authority to bind and to lose.


    Act 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which
    believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

    Act 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this

    Act 15:7  And when there had been much
    disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and
    brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles
    by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

    Act 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the
    Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

    Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by

    Act 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the
    disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    Act 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we
    shall be saved, even as they.

    15:12  Then all
    the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring
    what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

    Act 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

    Act 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to
    take out of them a people for his name.

    Act 15:15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

    Act 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of
    David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I
    will set it up:

    Act 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles,
    upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

    Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

    Act 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among
    the Gentiles are turned to God:

    Act 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of
    idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

    Act 15:21 For Moses of Old time hath in every city them that preach him, being
    read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

    Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to
    send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief
    men among the brethren:

    15:23  And they
    wrote letters by them after this manner;
    The apostles and elders and brethren send
    greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and

    15:24  Forasmuch
    as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with
    words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must
    be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

    Act 15:25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send
    chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

    Act 15:26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus

    Act 15:27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

    Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no
    greater burden than these necessary things;

    Act 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from
    things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye
    shall do well. Fare ye well.


    As you remember in the Old Testament, if a Gentile wanted to worship
    the God of Israel, they had to put themselves under the whole law. But now
    because the Apostles had the authority to bind and lose they could change the
    requirement of what the Gentile had to do to join themselves to Israel, so they
    could worship Israel’s God, hence they could now come under the New Covenant.
    Because that was what Israel was under now. But as you will see in Acts 28,
    that all changed with a setting aside of Israel and the New Covenant, allowing
    the Mystery which had been hidden in God before the foundation of the world.
    Which Paul was given, after Israel and the New Covenant was set aside, to
    preach to the Gentiles. When pure Grace was reveled as to how God was going to
    save the world even though Israel again fail in their job to bring salvation to
    the world. When Christ Jesus returns that is when the New Covenant will come
    back into effect and God will write it on the hearts of Israel and Judah then
    they will do what God had always chosen them to do, bring salvation to the
    world, which they will do throughout the millennium period. 


    Here in Acts 28 is the setting aside of Israel and the New Covenant.


    28:23  And when
    they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified
    the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of
    Moses, and out of the prophets, from
    morning till evening.

    Act 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

    Act 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that
    Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto
    our fathers,

    Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall
    not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

    Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull
    of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I
    should heal them.

    Act 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent
    unto the Gentiles, and that they will
    hear it.


    I think that if you have read all this you will have seen that
    something is not right in your teaching about Gentiles being under the New Covenant.
    There is a lot more information in the Bible that supports this view but have
    not gone into to it at this time. If you desire to learn more regarding this
    topic let me know and I will be happy to provide.


    God Bless



    Carl Collins.

    • @bibledude

      Thanks for the thoughts Carl! I do want to let you know that this isn’t Andrew Farley’s website, and I doubt that he checks this thread regularly. But I can forward the link to your comment here to him in case he would like to respond.


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group blogging project: the naked gospel

by Dan King time to read: 2 min