Mike Glenn’s book, “The Gospel of Yes” comes with the subtitle “We Have Missed the Most Important Thing About God. Finding It Changes Everything”. Could it be true? Could this really be the most important book written since the close of the canon – a great break-through which will make the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3) suddenly insufficient? (For the chance to be amongst the first to read this “thing that changes everything”, I must thank the christianaudio reviewers programme for providing me a review copy in audio format – read by the author himself!)
In structure, the book starts off with an account of the author’s own crisis as a pastor, leading to what he describes as a theophany in which Almighty God delivers him two verbal messages of direction. These two messages lead the author into a discussion that spans the remainder of the book. The words are simply: “Why don’t you let the church relax and be who I made her to be?” (Glenn 1:71) and “Why don’t you relax and be who I made you to be?” (Glenn 1:72).
Figuring out just what this central ‘thing’ is was sadly difficult, as despite aiming at delivering the single most important thing about God for generations, there’s a lack of a clear statement along the lines of “the gospel of yes is that X”. My best attempt at distilling the book as a whole leads me to a definition of this “gospel of yes” being “we should say yes to what God has designed for us, because he’s designed us to do it”. This is expressed in various ways, but it generally boils down to that. An example of how this works is found early on in the book; the author realises he is impatient when it comes to administrative works, diagnoses the problem as God not having designed him for administrative work, and thus withdraws himself from these tasks as they are contrary to the yes that God has planned for him.
The writing is interspersed with various other theological concepts, including a strong emphasis on (at least a functional) postmillenial reconstructionism, and an idea of each individual having a specific “destiny” or “destiny moment” to which he will arrive by following the gospel of yes. There are colourful moments, such as accounts of sports stars achieving great things, and anecdotes from the life and ministry of the author.
Overall, the biggest fault of the book is that it fails to back up the points it is making with Scripture. Scripture is cited, but very often out of context, or freely “reinterpreted” in a way which is entirely novel. If this book were devotional material it may be more acceptable, but not if it’s the gospel of yes – the Most Important Thing About God. Further, I get the distinct impression that the guiding force behind the argument made is not Scripture but a combination of the author and his reported theophany.
Speaking of the Scriptures, they are very very clear about one thing: and that is that there is only one gospel. The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 1:8 “even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed”, and the same import is found in many other places concerning holding to sound doctrine. Bearing this in mind, I cannot recommend any work which expresses another gospel – and even more so when it fails to derive that gospel necessarily and logically from Scripture.
Don’t buy this book. Theology is not a game, nor is it a creative art, it’s a matter of life and death (1 Timothy 4:16). Stick to the real gospel, the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16): the good news that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-5).