I’m trying to decide if I should tell you what this book is about. Everyone says that’s what you’re supposed to do in an introduction. After all, if I don’t tell you what the book is about, how will you know if you should keep reading? But, here’s the problem. If I tell you what the book is about, I’m afraid that you’ll think it’s really about something else. After a few chapters, you’ll realize what’s going on and get frustrated with me for tricking you into reading my book. Even though we’ve never met, you’ll think I’m a jerk, and tell people bad things about me. Word will spread and soon people everywhere will hate me. Devastated, I’ll retreat into an imaginary world, refusing to speak in any language other than Klingon, and bathing only during full moons.
So, as you can see, the stakes are pretty high. If I don’t tell you what the book is about, you won’t want to read it. Then I’ll get depressed because no one is reading my book, and I’ll spiral down into my own private pit of despair. But if I tell you what the book is about, you might misunderstand. Then you’ll hate me, and I’ll end up as a dirty Klingon.
Since I’d rather avoid both outcomes, let’s see if we can find a third option. I’ll tell you what the book is about. But you have to promise to believe me. You’re not allowed to think that I’m really talking about something else. I’m not. This is a pretty simple book. It only has one topic and one purpose. So, if you’d rather read a book about something else, please do. You’ll enjoy it more, and you won’t hate me as much.
This is a book about the Gospel.
There, that wasn’t so hard.
But, now that I’ve said that, let me explain what I was so concerned about. First, even though I just told you that this book is about the gospel, I’m afraid you’ll think that it’s really a book about evangelism. Flipping through the pages looking for tips and techniques on how to share the Gospel with your friends and neighbors, you’ll be quite disappointed. Evangelism is an important topic. But, this book is not about that. Instead, we’re just going to focus on understanding the Gospel itself better. That should prepare and motivate you to tell others about the Gospel, but that’s a subject for a different book.
Second, by telling you that this is a book about the Gospel, I’m also afraid you’ll think that this is a book primarily for non-believers or new Christians. I can understand why you’d think that. We want people like that to hear and understand the Gospel. The word “gospel” simply means “good news,” the good news that God wants the world to hear. And, if God has good news for the world, everyone should get to hear it. So, if you’re a non-believer or a new Christian, please feel free to continue reading. You’ll hear some pretty amazing things about God and his good news.
But, if you’ve been a Christian for a while and have heard the Gospel more times than you can count, I want you to know that this book is really for you. Once you’ve been a Christian for a while, you start to think that you’ve got that whole “gospel” thing down pretty well. You’re ready to move on to the more challenging truths of the Christian life. Indeed, if you’re like me, you even start to tune the pastor out when he gets to the gospel part of the sermon. It’s not that you don’t think preaching the Gospel is important; you’ve just heard it so many times you don’t think you have anything left to learn.
If that’s you, please keep reading.
There’s always something new.