[the naked gospel] introduction

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. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

September 7, 2009

authentic christianitySometimes we need to get our world rocked.

As I’ve read through Andrew Farley’s The Naked Gospel, that is exactly what has been happening to me. I’ve often found myself reading through the pages of this book asking myself whether or not I agree with what Farley is trying to tell me. In fact, Farley anticipates this type of response by giving the reader ‘fair warning’ in the introduction to the book…

You might throw this book down in disgust; you might pick it back up again in curiosity; you might shake your head in frustration as you wonder, “How could I have missed this before?” or “Is this guy crazy?”

The Naked Gospel presents some ideas that many mainstream Christians may not agree with. But the thing that I love about this book is how Farley uses great exegesis of the Scriptures to back up his points. He uses a great deal of Scripture, and presents the appropriate historical context the help the reader really understand what the passages mean. This is something that is much needed in the church today!

I’ve regularly caught myself questioning whether I agreed with Farley or not, but I’ve also recognized that it is difficult to argue against what he presents. This book will make you rethink what you believe about things like salvation, sin, and what it means to be a Christian. But be careful! If you start believing what Farley has to say, some people might start labeling you as a heretic or something crazy like that… 

Farley’s is not the first book to attempt to define an authentic Christianity.

The naked gospel [is] discovering what was the gospel which our Lord and his apostles preached; what additions and alterations latter ages have made in it; what advantages and damages have thereupon ensued.
                                                                                                                        — Arthur Bury, 1691

Arthur Bury’s book titled The Naked Gospel was burned by the church of his day.

I do not expect you to agree with everything that the author has to share, but I do ask you to join in a respectful conversation over some important theology that could just change your life. May this book challenge the way you think. May you consider the Truth of the New Covenant. May the idea of Jesus plus nothing strengthen your relationship with your Creator. Amen!

 

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20 Comments

  1. Dean Caraway

    The book is described as the truth you may never hear in church. Which is probably true when speaking about most chuches. I wouldn't describe it as chapter-by-chapter assault on the church but, I can see why some might draw that conclusion. It does give a fresh look at Bible Scripture, but if you're looking for all worship and praise you're probably better off with another read.

    Interesting post, bibledude.

    thanks,
    urbanminister
    Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/urbanminister
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    http://urbanminister.me

    Reply
  2. BibleDude

    I don't think that this book is intended to be a chapter-by-chapter assult on the church, but it does challenge 'traditional' Christian thinking, and I think that is a good thing.

    As far as worship and praise is concerned, this is not a book that is really about that anyway. BUT I certainly can see how getting some of Farley's points in this book might lead one to a greater intimacy with God…. which is worship!

    I appreciate you stopping by Dean! I look forward to hearing what you think as others post their thoughts here on each chapter of the book!

    Reply
  3. andrewfarley

    the book doesn't address churches or church practices in any way. it's just about our personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the truth that sets us free to enjoy the New. the book may cause some to wrestle, not with their church, but with their own personal belief system, in a way they may never have before.

    what do I do when the Scripture is right there in front of me and it says the opposite of what I've been believing lately? now, that's fun. and that's what The Naked Gospel is all about.

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      I love it when the author of the book comments like this! I think that what you just shared is an important perspective that people should have when reading through the book and/or this blog project!

      Like I pointed out… It has certainly challenged my thinking, and I believe that is a very good thing that we all need to have happen every once in a while. Great book dude! I’m hoping that this blog project gets LOTS of discussion going around what you’ve written!

      Reply
    • paul

      This is a Godsend! For me.

      Reply
  4. BibleDude

    I love it when the author of the book comments like this! I think that what you just shared is an important perspective that people should have when reading through the book and/or this blog project!

    Like I pointed out… It has certainly challenged my thinking, and I believe that is a very good thing that we all need to have happen every once in a while. Great book dude! I'm hoping that this blog project gets LOTS of discussion going around what you've written!

    Reply
  5. mikesgateway

    I'll check it out. But, there is an Emergent movement that isn't based in Truth, but based rather in a slight alteration of it that makes it more palatable to everyone. Not sure who the author is, I'll research more before I engage the book. I do like that he used a solid exegesis to back up points…

    Hope you are doing well Bibledude.

    Mikesgateway

    Reply
  6. BibleDude

    The one thing that I really appreciate about this book is that it makes you think… AND that he uses solid interpretation practices. As we work through this project, I'm not asking people to agree with the author, but I do ask people to let this discussion make them think.

    I think that in this book, Andrew Farley seems to be giving us the straight truth, and not conjuring up something for the sake of making people (or himself) feel good. The Truth brings freedom, and that's what the Truth in this book does…

    I encourage you to follow along with this project over the next week or so and get into this discussion!

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    I’ll check it out. But, there is an Emergent movement that isn’t based in Truth, but based rather in a slight alteration of it that makes it more palatable to everyone. Not sure who the author is, I’ll research more before I engage the book. I do like that he used a solid exegesis to back up points…

    Hope you are doing well Bibledude.

    Mikesgateway

    Reply
  8. Andy Logan

    Will have to give it a look. Meanwhile, the book Plugging Into Real Worship is still a best kept secret among Christians

    Reply
  9. Dean Caraway

    As I wrote, I would not describe it as chapter-by-chapter assault on the church either, but some people do. As far as worship and praise go, some Christians expect every mention of God to be unquestioned and can become quite defensive. I just wanted to point out that if a reader is looking for bible verses and feel good, prosperity writing they won't find it in this book. I personally like the ideas.

    Thanks bibledude, keep up the great writing!

    urbanminister
    http://twitter.com/urbanminister

    Reply
  10. BibleDude

    These are some great points! I appreciate your follow-up, and agree that some folks may get defensive reading some of this book. I believe that it is good for Christians to have their thinking challenged every once in a while. Even if one doesn't agree completely, it still forces them to better understand (and defend) what it is that they do believe.

    Thank you @urbanminister! I appreciate you being a part of this conversation!

    Reply
  11. jessegiglio

    Dude, great opening discussion, Iʻm into this book without yet reading a word. Challenging traditional thinking gives us a chance to weigh our beliefs and see if theyʻre full or found wanting.

    Reply
  12. BibleDude

    Amen! I couldn't agree more with your statement, “Challenging traditional thinking gives us a chance to weigh our beliefs…”

    There are things in this book that I'm still not sure what to think about (neither agree nor disagree), but it has done an amazing job of making some great points that I cannot ignore! Great read so far!

    Reply
  13. donfperkins

    Dude, Dean,

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. 2 Cor. 13:5 says “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”

    It reminds me of what singer Keith Green used to say about authenticity: “Just going to church doesnt make you a christian any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger.”

    As members of the body of Christ, Paul reminds us that we should question ourselves with one goal in mind: to see whether we are in the faith. After all, if it was a problem for the Corinthians, it is probably an issue today. Through Paul's writings, we see that he went to great lengths to seperate himself from false doctrine, forget what is behind and focus on “Christ Jesus and Him Crucified.”

    As with anything else, this book has the potential to make us think; to examine ourselves, as you have pointed out. If anyone chooses to be offended or hurt by it, that's unfortunate, but they have chosen according to what's in their hearts. So I pray that the hearts of readers and indeed all who name the name of Christ would be stirred to self examination by this book.

    Don F Perkins

    http://ShizukaMura.blogspot.com

    Reply
  14. colby howell

    I just spent yesterday (Sunday) listening to Drew Farley as the guest pastor in our church and then during a Q&A session following the service. Last night I sat up late reading the first half of his book, The Naked Gospel, with both the NASB and the NIV for referencing.

    So many questions answered, so many sticking points that have made my Christian walk bumpy and unfulfilling explained. I don't know why I should be surprised that so much Bible teaching is taken out of context; the news media couldn't exist without it.

    Personally, I feel free and am actually experiencing some Christian joy this morning. And did I mention relief? Thank you, Dr. Farley!

    Reply
  15. BibleDude

    This is one of the best ways to approach the study fo something like this! I appreciate the desire to dig deep and discover the truth! This book has been a great study for me as well. There is some stuff that I am actually still on the fence with, but one thing that I certainly take away from all of this is the idea that Jesus came so that we could experience freedom, not bondage. And that is probably one of the most powerful truths of Christianity! I'm glad that you are discovering it as well!

    Reply
  16. BibleDude

    This is one of the best ways to approach the study fo something like this! I appreciate the desire to dig deep and discover the truth! This book has been a great study for me as well. There is some stuff that I am actually still on the fence with, but one thing that I certainly take away from all of this is the idea that Jesus came so that we could experience freedom, not bondage. And that is probably one of the most powerful truths of Christianity! I'm glad that you are discovering it as well!

    Reply
  17. Mark in Arizona

    I have read all 3 of his books and found my way to a strange place in my walk of 30 years . The context presented in the books are not taught in the churches today . I found myself on the other side of things I had advocated for , for years . The teaching of body , soul and spirit was one I had never heard , but it was there in Bible the whole time . Farley is an insightful writer , who has challenged my beliefs to the “Core” . It was the best 15 bucks I ever spent for a Christian authored book . Which may not sound like much , but I do have a library of over 500 books on faith . I say get a copy , pray , read , and pray somemore , but most of all enjoy where you are going !

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      Thanks for the great feedback on the book! It’s definitely something that’s not being taught in many churches today, so whether you agree or disagree with the perspective, it’s definitely worth the read!

      Reply

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[the naked gospel] introduction

by Dan King time to read: 2 min
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