Review: Gospel Amnesia by Luma Simms

4 out of 5 Stars
Author: Luma Simms
Publisher: GCD Books
Buy Gospel Amnesia
Reading Level: Easy

Luma Simms loves the gospel and desires it to be central. Gospel Amnesia is part memoir, and part polemic. Throughout she weaves her own story of gospel amnesia to encourage and edify. She doesn’t come across as expert writing from her theological armchair (“Most of my life has been spent finding one way or another to atone for myself” p. 11). She writes from an experience of God’s grace. She had forgotten the gospel and was pursued by God.

She also argues for the centrality of the gospel in the life of the church and against the all too common practice of shelfing the gospel for the latest and greatest fad in the do better, try harder of Christian living. Because these two elements are deftly woven together, you feel like you’re receiving life giving instructions from a co-laborer in the trenches.

She builds her argument by examining differing spheres where gospel amnesia may occur and then ends by pointing us to Jesus Christ who overcomes our gospel amnesia. She offers a helpful model for how gospel amnesia usually happens: the presumption, distraction, and progression model. In the presumption model, we presume upon the gospel by continuing to live in sin and ignoring the it. In the distraction model, “we functionally abandon the gospel” (p. 17). It has almost no practical impact in our day to day living. In the progression model, we see the gospel as something we move past. It’s foundational, but not progressively transformative.

One crucial point I thought I would share. She points out that one way you can tell gospel amnesia has set in is when Christian liberty is attacked.

Today’s believers may not be quarreling over meat and vegetables but we are just as disposed to bite and devour one another over other secondary matters. This is exactly what gospel amnesia does—marginalizes the gospel and sets up a secondary issue as center. And then we start warring. (p. 41)

I sense this is a major issue today for the church. We are quick to set up artificial boundaries where the gospel itself should be our boundary. Where we should enjoy freedom we build walls and casts stones at those who won’t enter our prison.

Overall it’s a helpful book--which will draw your gaze to the Triune God who saves and it will stoke a “burning and passionate zeal--for the glory of Jesus Christ” (p. 50). If you’re into that kind of thing (and shouldn’t we all be? That’s kind of the point), you should read Gospel Amnesia.

If you plan on purchasing Gospel Amnesia, visit the Gospel-Centered Discipleship Store.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Gospel Amnesia free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. 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.”