The Gospel of Yes
by Mike Glenn
It’s never a good thing when an author totally misses the point of Scripture (or purposely misinterprets it) for the sake of an argument. It’s especially troubling when it forms the thesis of his entire book.
Within the very first section of The Gospel of Yes, Mike Glenn suggests that Matthew 5:37 (Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no,’ ‘no’) isn’t just about integrity and keeping your word. Instead, he suggests it’s about following God’s call on your life and only serving in ways that you are gifted. So, if someone asks you to help with a church dinner and your spiritual gift isn’t hospitality, then that’s a ‘no.’ But if they ask you to teach Sunday School and you are a gifted teacher, then it’s a ‘yes.’ He even goes so far as to suggest that doing anything in the ‘no’ category is demonic.
I didn’t agree with the interpretation of the verse or the application he gives, but at least I thought I knew what the book was about—discovering your spiritual gifts and using them.
Not so, my friend. He then veers in an entirely different direction, arguing that Christians have been against things for too long. We take political stances. We protest against sin. We use the 10 Commandments as weapons against people and focus on what not to do. All of this instead of being a people of ‘yes,’ who are for Christ, for God’s love, for the Bible, etc.
I agree with this to an extent. I do believe that it’s dangerous when you ask a nonbeliever to tell you what Christianity is about, and all they can tell you is what we think is wrong. Clearly then we’re not sharing the message of salvation well.
So, then I thought—this book is about how we share the message of Christ!
Still not so, my friend! He then meanders—slowly—through a long explanation of every basic Biblical passage Old and New Testament. I began to wonder, what in the world is this book actually about and when is he really going to focus on The Gospel (as suggested by the title)? He covers Peter, Gideon, Moses, Jesus’ parables, Paul, Creation, Abraham . . . if it appears in Scripture, he loosely touches on it.
And loosely is part of the problem. It was all of the big stories from Scripture that we’ve heard a million times before without anything really interesting to say. The most he does is retell the same-old same-old and then spin it so that it shows how God was saying ‘yes’ to that person rather than ‘no.’
By the end of the book, he tries to return to both the spiritual gifts issue and the Christian church being for rather than against things. By then, I couldn’t tell a single person who asked me what this book is actually about. It’s about anything and everything that popped into the author’s head at any point it occurred to him.
As a high school English teacher, I made my students subject their work to an outline after their papers were completed. If they couldn’t re-order their ideas into a logical chain, making sure points A and B actually had anything to do with C, then they had to rework their paper. Unfortunately, this book completely fails the outline test.
The subtitle promises that this one truth he is going to share “changes everything.” Not so, my friend. Not so.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”