The Gospel of Bill

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To ask other readers questions about Lay It Down , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jun 25, Evan rated it it was ok. A much needed and freeing application of the gospel to life and ministry, but one that unfortunately is rendered unusable for ministry because of a few fatal flaws.

The book shines in illuminating the freedom from performance found in the gospel through the use of personal stories and exposition of scripture. At times I found myself wondering if the author had been secretly watching my life and knew what I needed to hear in terms of letting go of baggage and trusting deeply in my right standing b A much needed and freeing application of the gospel to life and ministry, but one that unfortunately is rendered unusable for ministry because of a few fatal flaws.

At times I found myself wondering if the author had been secretly watching my life and knew what I needed to hear in terms of letting go of baggage and trusting deeply in my right standing before God. However, the book suffers from some fatal flaws that overshadow the positive aspects. The exposition of some verses has been massaged to fit the author's intent rather than the original meaning. This is most glaring in the use of Ezekiel 36, which the author uses to argue that we can trust our heart because we have been given a new heart of flesh. The actual intent of this verse is that those in Christ have a heart that is now responsive to God To tell readers to follow the desires of their heart is simply irresponsible.

Instead readers should be urged to allow scripture and the Holy Spirit to mold the desires of their now responsive heart of flesh. Additionally, the book lacks theological nuance in many other areas, and it is difficult to take seriously any book in which the author uses The Message as the basis for his exposition. This is a book I so badly want to use in ministry and discipleship to help others discover the freedom of the gospel.

In every chapter Bill Tell hits on key truths that I pray would sink deeply into the hearts of those I'm shepherding. However, there are fatal flaws that overshadow these strengths and prevent me from recommending this book to any readers who are younger in their faith and who may not be able to discern their way past these errors. Awesome book about living free. If we struggle to live the way we want, the answer is t to try harder it is to live in grace, to understand the gospel, to lean into Christ. Jul 17, Dave Hall rated it really liked it. Great reminders of how our identity flows out of our relationship with God, as God embraces us as dearly loved children.

Summary: Through a personal crisis, the author discovers the freedom of the gospel in terms of three miracles.

You are a successful ministry leader and suddenly experience a series of incapacitating panic attacks when facing ministry opportunities. After a season of rest you take the step of trying to find out what is going on and whether life can be different. That is the situation Bill Tell faced as a senior leader in a prominent discipleship ministry. He discovered that deep down he struggled w Summary: Through a personal crisis, the author discovers the freedom of the gospel in terms of three miracles.

He discovered that deep down he struggled with issues of self-worth that went back to his childhood and that to cope, he had devoted himself to a life of achievement in ministry that had become an exhausting treadmill. He longed for freedom from such existence, and paradoxically discovered it in the message that he had proclaimed but had not really lived into for many years.

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In a season of counselling and personal study, he discovered three miracles of surrounding the work of Christ that spelled freedom. The first of these was that God viewed him differently. The good news of the cross was of God's unconditional acceptance apart from any good behavior and in spite of any bad behavior. This meant he no longer needed to "perform" to merit God's love.

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He was freed from condemnation, punishment, and fear, and freed for living in peace and grace. The second miracle was realizing that in Christ, God makes us different. The gospel transforms us from the inside out. We are freed from working on not sinning and to mature into who we are in Christ. This doesn't preclude effort, but he observes that "the gospel of grace is never opposed to effort --it is opposed to earning " p.

We are freed to obey, to love, and to bear fruit, all of which emerge out of a relationship of being loved by Christ. He contends that: "When we have a new heart, freedom does not make us want to run wild and sin more. It makes us want to walk with Jesus" p. The final miracle is that God relates to us differently. We are adopted children, family, with Jesus as our brother. This frees us from an identity rooted in shame to one in which we are the beloved of God. Martin Luther reportedly urged those around him to "preach the gospel to yourself every day" source unknown.

It seems to me that this is what Bill Tell has done compellingly in this book, beginning with his story of transformation from panic attacks and burnout as a senior ministry leader to one who discovered a new freedom in the gospel. What Tell writes in his chapters around the "three miracles" is simply a very clear and personal restatement of the basic Christian message--that we are saved by grace alone through the work of Christ alone, that we are transformed by Christ's indwelling presence that enables our loving obedience and growth in Christian character, and that we are adopted as God's beloved children.

Meditating on this book chapter by chapter can be a good way to preach the gospel to oneself. The only thing that would have made this book better for me would be if Tell would have woven more of his narrative subsequent to his crisis through the chapters on the three miracles, particularly in how this has shaped his ministry leadership, how life is different because of this transformed perspective, and how he applies this in mentoring emerging leaders.

Perhaps that is too specific or too much for this book, but I hope he will address this in the future. What Tell has given us is a vulnerable account of his own personal crisis and how even Christian leaders can have distorted understandings of gospel, often because of deep wounds in one's own life.

He points us to a kind of "second conversion" where the "truths" of the gospel become lived, and life-giving realities that are in fact the birthright of every believer.

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I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. How does our sin effect our relationship with God? This is a huge question. We all struggle with sin.


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It is an unfortunate part of being human. Those who care are often burdened by their lack of victory over sinful behavior. Those who don't care. This book is written for those who are burdened by their lack of moral perfection. Bill Tell starts off by setting the stage with his own personal journey in grace. He tells of how his performance driven life How does our sin effect our relationship with God? He tells of how his performance driven life led him to burn out as he came to see the impossibility of pleasing everyone.

If we are unable to please mere mortals, how much more are we unable to please a morally perfect and holy God? This book is about Bill Tell's journey toward grace and his discovery of the beautiful doctrines which have come to characterize the Reformed faith.

In short, the author discovered that as children of God, we are declared righteous by our faith apart from our works. In Christ, God is pleased to find favor with us; unconditional favor.

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There are parts of this book which I struggled with. This is especially true of the beginning chapters. At times, it seemed as if Tell was advocating a soft antinomianism which encouraged the view that our behavior is irrelevant. Despite this, it was clear throughout the book that he views the believers behavior as important and that he was not advocating a lifestyle free from the constraints of God's revealed law. This was a little confusing at first. As I persisted through the first few chapters it became apparent that he was not teaching lawlesness at all.

He was simply stating what reformed theology has always taught-- that grace is precisely what enables the believer to say no to sin! Grace doesn't merely save is, it is n enabling power at work within those who have faith. This is most clearly seen in Titus in which we are told that the grace of God teaches literally: trains us to renounce ungodliness and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives. So Bill Tell does not teach that we can live ungodly lives.


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Rather, he teaches us that grace enables us to stop living in the flesh, trying to merit favor by working hard, and to start relying on the transforming power of the gospel in our lives. If I have any complaints at all it is Tell's use of some rather loose Bible translations. There are times when he uses The Message and the translation completely misses the point of the passage where a more literal translation would have served to bolster support for the very point he was making. This aside, I do not believe that he misused scripture or twisted the meaning of any passages to fit the theme of the book.

This was a good book.

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Tell does a good job highlighting the transforming power of the gospel message. His message of letting go of our efforts relying on them to merit favor with God is a critical message for today and one which everyone would gain from hearing over and over. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publshing in exchange for an online review. Nov 27, Karen Roberts rated it really liked it.

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