The Briar Patch Gospel- Fearlessly Following Jesus into the Thorny Places by Shayne Wheeler is part of a growing trend of an emerging genre that challenges traditional religious practices and thought. What first comes to mind when one ponders the Great Commission of the New Testament gospel of Matthew might be beautiful gothic churches, dusty prayer books in Latin and mysterious religious statues and icons. Many defer the role of spreading the good news of the Lord to the preacher, priest or reverend. For many, the bible is a dusty old book, unopened on the bookshelf or perhaps an old volume- an heirloom- that is fragile and passed down from generations past.
Wheeler challenges these antiquated ideas and makes the claim that each one of us is called to preach the good news. And in fact we are called out of our comfort zones to share the bible's message. Written in a personal conversational tone to the modern generation, the author uses anecdotes from his real life experiences of sharing the gospel message in the most unlikely and unexpected of places. He challenges the reader to do the same as well. Based on biblical scripture and principles, the author illustrates how each one of us is called to follow and share the message of Jesus everywhere just as Jesus did in his lifetime. The splintered woodwork cover graphics with its graffiti reflects the harsh reality of the world we are called to preach in- in direct contrast of the comfort zones of much of middle class America. It is interesting to note that the author includes quotes in the beginning of each chapter from an assortment of well known secular personalities and leaders as well as well know Christian writers. As a blogger for Tyndale, I received this Tyndale Momentum book for the purpose ofwriting this review.