I couldn't resist. I was reading along and this passage from Velvet Elvis disturbed me, invigorated me. It's full of truth to be pondered. Read it with your mind open!
"Another truth about the church we're embracing is that the gospel is good news, especially for those who don't believe it.
"Imagine an average street in an average city in an average country, if there is such a place. Let's imagine Person X lives in a house on this street. Next door is a Hindu, and on the other side is a Muslim. Across the street is an atheist, next door to them an agnostic, and next door on the other side, someone from Ohio.
"Imagine Person X becomes a Christian. Maybe she read something or had friends who inspired her to learn more, or maybe she had an addiction and through a recovery movement she surrendered her life to God. However it came to be, she became a follower of Jesus. Let's say she starts living out Jesus' teachings, actually taking him seriously that she can become a compelling force for good in the world. She is becoming more generous, more compassionate, more forgiving, more loving. Is she becoming a better or worse neighbor? If we are her neighbors, we're thrilled about her new faith. We find ourselves more and more grateful for a neighbor like this. We wish more people would be like this.
"Let's make some observations about this street. The good news of Jesus is good news for Person X. It's good news for Person X's neighbors. It's good news for the whole street. It's good news for people who don't believe in Jesus. We have to be really clear about this. The good news for Person X is good news for the whole street. And if it is good news for the whole street, then it's good news for the whole world.
"If the gospel isn't good news for everybody, then it isn't good news for anybody." (p. 166-167)