The voice of the city is crying in our world today in ways we have not seen in the past. We see the city on documentaries about education reform, poor health systems, violent shootouts, and gang activity. What we don’t see in the city, on a scale like we should, is the gospel of Christ infiltrating to the very core of the city. Another hidden side to the city, which is gaining ground at an enormous rate, is the culture which the city is creating. As D.A. Horton says in the introduction to G.O.S.P.E.L. (Moody, 2012),
” The sounds of the city can form a powerful communication bridge”.
This book is about the gospel but it’s so much more than that. Not that there is more that’s needed than the gospel but Horton does something unique with the gospel, he takes it to the streets and reaches men and women who aren’t high on the priority list of many churches. He makes the gospel applicable in a series of action steps which can be molded to fit any urban setting.
1. Focus on the Gospel, which transcends all cultures.
2. Get to know the culture of the city.
3. Demonstrate authenticity.
4. Study the Thebonical glossary. (Which is placed in the back of the book)
These four action steps form the foundation for the text of the book and create points of application once the text is unfolded. Horton beings by laying out the need for the gospel in clear terms, then moves on to the gospel acronym which makes up the title of his book. In this acronym we find God’s Image, Open Fellowship, Sin Introduced, Penalty and Price, Enter Jesus, and Life Everlasting.
This text is immensely helpful for the use in urban congregations and we will be wise to get our hands on it and our hearts into it. Horton is a Latino speaking into an area which has not heard a large number of voices from the Latino community. I am proud to point to men like D.A. Horton and say, “Men like him love Christ and the City at the same time”.
The text is a short 70 pages and easily readable in a day. More importantly, is that it can be read several times a week and comes in a small package. It easily fits into a back pocket and it has an attractive panorama of NYC on the front. The text is clear and the message may be simple but it needs to break into the darkness which lies over our cities. I would recommend a text such as this to all of my friends who are living in urban contexts. Take up and read, then again and again as you see the God of the bible falling in love with the city.