Tripped across an interesting new book by Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper that I think you’re going to want to know about. Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey takes the fragments of Christian life that most of see in isolation (missions, discipleship, worship, the cross, or the kingdom) and assembles them into “a beautiful, coherent picture.”
Not strangers to the missional movement, Montgomery and Cosper bring an experienced eye to the issues that confront all of us who want to help our own congregations navigate the ancient paths “that saints have followed for a long, long time.” Two of the founding pastors of Sojourn Community Church, a fast-growing multi-site church in Louisville, Kentucky, Faithmapping is their “attempt to lay out the lessons [they’ve] learned as [they’ve] tried, failed and fallen in love with the gospel (p. 20).”
Faithmapping is organized by the framework of whole gospel, whole church and whole world.
Beginning with a look at the whole gospel, I think one of the many helpful concepts in Faithmapping is the integration of three central aspects of the gospel. The gospel of the kingdom argues that the gospel is a kingdom announcement; the authors explore what the kingdom of God is and what the other competing kingdoms are. The gospel of the cross makes the case that the gospel is “the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection–all that He did to pay the penalty for our sins.” And the gospel of grace explains that the gospel is a gift of grace, “something that God accomplishes for us, entirely of His own strength and power, not because we earned or deserved anything.”
Continuing with the whole church, Faithmapping “unpacks the movements of transformation: how the gospel changes us from inside out and how that is different from the way the world understands religion and change.” Explaining out our identities as worshipers, family, servants, disciples, and witnesses, this section illustrates how each is a road through the landscape of the gospel.
Concluding with the whole world, Faithmapping points us to a new dynamic. “The gospel is an announcement that forms a people–the church–and those people live out their new identities in the world around them, pointing people back to the gospel message that changed and saved them (p. 196).”
Practical application: I think my favorite aspect of Faithmapping is the way every chapter ends with a short look at application. Asking three questions, Map It provides a way of integrating what I’m learning in the book to the rest of my life. Here are the questions:
- Who am I?
- Where am I?
- What am I to do?
Faithmapping is both readable and important. Likening it to the way John Ortberg referred to his The Life You’ve Always Wanted as Dallas (Willard) for Dummies, the authors refer to Faithmapping as Keller for Dummies. I’d say they’re on the right track. I found myself again and again marking a paragraph and noting that I need to come back to that. There’s a ton of very good stuff in Faithmapping.