Five to ten seconds.
After that, the filter kicks in.
In our day and age, five to ten seconds is usually all the time we’re given to persuade someone that what we have to say is worthy of his or her time. You and I live in a world suffering from a relentless bombardment of information. Television, social media, advertising, acquaintances, friends, and family all vie for time and an attentive ear. If we don’t adapt and learn to filter out what we believe does not apply to us, we quickly become overwhelmed. In this new world of burst communication, our presentation of this Gospel needs to be adapted as well, and while it’s critically important that the content remain unchanged, the style and vehicle in which it is delivered must fit the culture it reaches. Through current cultural references and true stories, Daniel Rice, founder of #Gospel, will help you come to see the gospel for what it really is and how it can radically alter your everyday life. Rice invites you into the conversation as he breaks down Paul’s explanation of the gospel in Romans in a way that is accessible and engaging. Hash-tagging (#) a term invites others to join an open conversation and adds the author’s thoughts to our modern-day global exchange of ideas. This is the heart of #Gospel.
Welcome to the conversation.
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
About the Author
Daniel Rice is the founder of #Gospel, an organization created to bring the gospel to the current generation in a way that syncs with their culture and uniqueness. Before #Gospel, Daniel spent 10 years on staff with Calvary Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, working with small groups, young adults, and students. He and his wife Melissa have 5 children.
Read an Excerpt
Measure for me the abyss of man's wickedness and guilt during all the ages of his black and hateful history, that I may realize in some degree what that world is which God has loved; and then, pausing for a moment in wonder at the thought that such a world could be loved at all, hasten to speak of love that gave the Son.
— SIR ROBERT ANDERSON
Whoever said love makes the world go 'round clearly had never heard about coffee. The amount of money people will happily fork over for what in essence is just heated bean water is staggering. The United States alone spent $18 billion on coffee beverages last year. No longer is it simply a hot cuppa purchased every morning from the local diner. There are now entire, wildly successful business models built on the back of the modest Arabica bean. In some places, people are even defined by the coffee that they drink. Many go to great lengths in pursuit of the perfect cup. Even home coffee brewers aren't what they used to be. Instead of the glass pot drip coffee makers and stove-top percolators of yesteryear, we're now infatuated by the Keurig.
Coffee is an enormous part of life and culture all over the world. From the twenty-four-hour diner to the local gourmet coffee hipster joint, this energy-giving elixir has asserted itself into almost every part of our daily lives. Some people depend on its potency to propel them from their pillows into their workday. For others, each sip is a calming, almost ritualistic retreat from the stress and pressure of the busy day. Coffee serves as the great equalizer. World leaders from the most powerful nations in the world drink it. Astronauts drink it. Garbage collectors, museum curators, subway train operators, heart surgeons, and the people who stuff takeout Chinese menus under your windshield wiper drink it as well. Coffee is a worldwide phenomenon.
Given that the experience of a cup of coffee is almost universal, let's compare it to people. Let's say that the good and noble things that people do with their lives represent the quality of a cup of coffee. Someone we would call morally upright or selfless, like Gandhi or Mother Teresa, would be an impeccable cup of pour-over coffee. Every culture has these paragons of virtue, the heroes we long for our children to grow up to emulate. We aren't simply talking about good coffee; this is the stuff of legend. To obtain this kind of coffee would require the rental of a private jet to fly into the heart of the mountains of Columbia to collect the finest beans available, picked by the hands of Juan Valdez himself, and then to return that very day to maintain peak freshness. The beans would then need to be roasted, rested, and ground to perfection by a world champion barista. Coffee of this caliber would then require a second jet to be dispatched to gather crystal clear, icy spring water from an aquifer deep within the pristine, protected Canadian wilderness. These two elements would then be combined flawlessly in the brewing process at precisely the right temperature before being poured carefully into a priceless artifact, taken from the collection of Louis XIV himself, crafted from the finest china and hand-gilded with twenty-four-karat gold. Indeed, that would be the finest (and most outlandish!) cup of coffee the world has ever seen! On the other hand, a person most of us would consider harmful to society might be represented by a suspect pot of coffee from a dirty gas station, probably brewed and burned before you were born. This pot has been sitting out for so long that when poured into the crusty paper cup on hand, it has the murky consistency of old motor oil. It tastes like the bottom of a zookeeper's boot. We set these two wildly different cups on opposite ends of an endless table, with every other conceivable type of coffee stretched out between them. Coffee from Starbucks, Tim Horton's, Dunkin Donuts, and representatives from every conceivable gourmet shop and cafe are lined up next to brews from gas stations and fast food chains. Now, suppose that after we do this, in through the door walks a somber-looking man in a spotless white lab coat. He is carrying a stainless steel briefcase, out of which he pulls a small glass vial labeled CYANIDE. If you are not familiar with cyanide, it is a toxin among the fastest lethal poisons known to humankind. Cyanide causes death within minutes to hours of exposure. The man proceeds to slowly remove the vial's lid, before painstakingly placing a single drop of the solution into every single coffee cup. He carefully returns the now-empty vial to his shiny briefcase and asks politely, "Which cup of coffee would you like to drink?" It is, of course, a foolish question. No matter how lowly or grand the cup of coffee might have been before the poison, it has all been corrupted. No one would choose to drink any of the coffee if he or she accurately understood the consequences of doing so.
This is the story of Romans 1 in distilled form. In these first few verses, Paul outlines a similar picture of the human condition. No matter who you are, great or small, man or woman, famous or infamous, all of us have been born with a deadly contaminant: sin. Sin is our failure to hit the mark of perfection. No matter how noble a person's actions are, no matter how much he or she works toward the greater good, no matter how spectacular his or her "coffee" offering, nothing can eliminate the toxin of sin. Your skin color, social status, and sexual orientation have no bearing here. No amount of talent or charisma can tip the scale. The playing field is leveled. All sin is lethal, and no one escapes its deadly effect. Everyone starts from precisely the same place. There are no classes or tiered ranks of acceptability. This is the foundation for the Gospel.
It is with this good news in mind that Paul opens his letter to the Romans with the following words in verses 16–17 of the first chapter:
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes — the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, "It is through faith that a righteous person has life." (NLT)
As he penned these words, one can only imagine the passion that flowed from his quill, tempered by years of suffering and pain for the sake of the one he labored for. He had forsaken his former life and set out on a journey to take this Gospel to the ends of his world. Paul was all in.
Born with the name Saul, in one of the largest trade centers on the Mediterranean coast, Paul most likely received his second name through his father, a Roman citizen. The name Paul was Latin, and it was very common for Jews of that day to have two names: one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek. Saul's family was a deeply religious family that was wealthy enough to send their son to Jerusalem to receive his education at the prestigious school of a Pharisee named Gamaliel, one of the most notable rabbis in recorded history. In Jedi terms, Gamaliel was to a young Saul what Obiwan was to Luke Skywalker. His school was renowned for providing students with a balanced education, and it is probable that Paul had broad exposure to classical literature, philosophy, and ethics. Interestingly, it was Master Gamaliel who would later come to the defense of a budding new movement seen as an enormous threat to the religious establishment of the day, led by a ragtag band of common fisherman, tradesmen, a revolutionary, and a tax collector. Having been molded in a cocoon of strict adherence to the Law, Paul's hatred for this new movement began to simmer. He was present as the pious kingpins of his order crushed the life out of one of the new upstarts named Stephen with stones, and his thirst for blood only grew. Soon Paul would become a leader in the fight to scour this new sect from the face of the earth. His gruesome exploits earned him the fear of many, and even after his dramatic transformation, it would take time and the help of a brave advocate for the heads of this new faction of Christ followers to trust him.
It was a quest for blood and justice that propelled Paul to start out on a journey that would forever alter the course of his life. He set out for Damascus, determined to capture and kill any who associated with the Way. His trip took an unexpected turn when he came face-to-face with the very God he believed he was defending and finally came to understand that the origin of this new sect, Jesus Christ, was exactly who He said He was. He was instructed to go see a man in Damascus named Ananias, and though his encounter left him blind, he did just that.
Due to Paul's fearsome reputation, Ananias was none too happy to hear of his arrival. Ananias had likely personally known some of the victims of Paul's homicidal raging. After arguing his point with God Himself, Ananias eventually relented and set out to meet the monster responsible for so much death and suffering of the believers in Jerusalem. Paul remained in Damascus for several days and immediately began preaching in the Jewish synagogues that Jesus Christ was God. This was such an about- face that people who heard about it were completely dumbfounded. After all, this was the same man who had come to Damascus to crush the very idea that he was now preaching as truth! The local religious leaders were so angry that they plotted to kill Paul, and his new friends had to concoct a crazy escape plan to smuggle him out of the city. What was it about this message that was so important, so radical, so powerful and revolutionary that it could change its greatest persecutor into such a wholehearted ally? What was it about this Gospel that was so divisive that it became a death sentence for those fearless enough to broadcast it publicly?
The word Gospel literally means "good news." In an inescapable disaster, this is the message that turns the tide. In 2014, there was a particularly virulent outbreak of the Ebola virus in a few countries in Africa. Ebola is almost always deadly and has claimed millions of lives over the years. A few brave medical doctors and workers were courageous enough to travel to the heart of the outbreak to treat the victims — a valiant, incredibly dangerous endeavor. Soon enough, some of them were infected, and one soon died. Two of the infected were American missionaries named Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly. Nine days after Brantly was infected, his condition had deteriorated rapidly. His breathing was labored, and he knew that he was dying. Kent called his wife and two young children in the United States to say good-bye. One can only imagine the crushing agony his wife experienced as she listened to her husband's labored breathing over the phone. In that moment of desperation, something remarkable happened. An experimental serum was flown in by a small pharmaceutical company based in San Diego. The serum had never been tested on humans, but it offered the very thing Kent needed: hope. He was snatched from the very jaws of death, and within hours of administration, the vaccine had completely reversed the course of the deadly disease ravaging Kent's body. The phone call home to his wife with this "good news" must have been breathtaking to hear. Rescued from certain death, both Brantly and Writebol had been given a new chance at life. Hope when all seems lost. Good news in an impossible situation. From death to life — this is the story of the Gospel.
In 2013, Disney released an animated film that would obliterate all previous box office records set by movies in its genre. It was a colossal success by any standard and raked in over $1.3 billion worldwide. I know this well, because I have three young daughters. Like most little girls, they were Frozen fanatics. The story was an interesting one. The characters were well developed, and the artwork was extraordinary. In some ways it was the typical Disney fare, princesses and villains, comical little side characters, and lots of conversational singing, but something about this particular story stood out to me. The more I saw it, the more I couldn't unsee it: a picture of the human condition. Warning, spoilers are ahead if you are one of the last remaining inhabitants of planet earth who hasn't seen this movie. Frozen is a love story, but not in the way that one might expect. The tale unfolds as two sisters, Elsa and Anna, are emotionally driven apart by a childhood accident, some unfortunate parenting, and a mysterious secret. Elsa has the magical ability to control ice and snow, and while playing with Anna one night, she almost accidentally kills her. Her parents, fearful for Anna's safety, forbid any further contact between the sisters, which leads to incredible loneliness and confusion. The problem is exacerbated when their parents are lost at sea, leaving each of them very much alone. On Elsa's coronation day, throngs of people gather to celebrate her crowning, including a prince from a neighboring kingdom named Hans. Anna and Hans hit it off right away and seem to be the perfect match, but when they tell Elsa, she disagrees. An argument ensues, and Elsa loses control of her powers, shattering the celebration with shards of ice before bolting off into the frigid night, with Anna in close pursuit. As the story unfolds, Anna is once again unintentionally struck by her sister's ice magic, and we find out in true fairy tale fashion that only an act of true love can save her. She rushes back to Hans, hoping that a kiss from him will break the spell, but it becomes increasingly clear that Hans has no love for her and is secretly plotting to overthrow the kingdom. In the climax of the movie, Hans raises his sword to cut Elsa down, but in an act of "true love," Anna throws herself in front of the blade, choosing to sacrifice her life for her sister instead of running into the arms of the man she's fallen in love with. What struck me was the crystal-clear portrayal of the two sides of the human heart: selfishness and love. All of our actions stem from one of these two motivations — from the time we enter this world, a writhing mass of dependency and helplessness, to our proudest, most accomplished moments. Once, Jesus was asked what the most important command of God was. His answer was simple: love. Love God. Love others. If God is a truly perfect and holy God, He must demand perfection from anyone in His presence. No one has ever been able to choose love over self every time. No one is perfect. Everyone has missed the mark. Everyone is contaminated by sin. Even an incredibly sacrificial act like Anna's is not enough if it has been marred by a less-than- perfect life. Jesus is our atoning sacrifice to God not simply because He gave His life for us but because He lived the perfect life that we were incapable of living and then traded our records for His.
In the end, we each have only two choices. We can choose selfishness, or we can choose self-sacrificing, unconditional, true love. The heart of the Gospel is news of how True Love defeated sin and death and rose again.
It was for this very reason that Paul was so passionate and unflinching about the Gospel in his life and writings. In that news, desperation and hope hung in the balance. In that news, the eternal condition of the human soul would be determined. In that news, life sprang out from jaws of death.
This is the Gospel. Hope for the hopeless. Humanity, once dead in sin, being made alive in Christ. Forgiveness for the unforgivable.
No one escapes the taint of sin. We are all infected. We desperately need a cure. The Gospel is the message we have all been waiting for.
Excerpted from "#Gospel"
Copyright © 2017 Daniel Rice.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: #CoffeeTalk,
Chapter 2: #That'sNotFair!,
Chapter 3: #RescuePlan,
Chapter 4: #OfftheMark,
Chapter 5: #NotAbandoned,
Chapter 6: #UnconventionalHero,
Chapter 7: #TheDifference,
Chapter 8: #MissionImpossible,
Chapter 9: #IntotheFire,
Chapter 10: #MidnightRescue,
Chapter 11: #BandUnbroken,
Chapter 12: #RulesofEngagement,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
#Gospel is an excellent book based on the book of Romans and offers real life examples and biblical proof of how relevant and important the gospel is to our world today. While I initially expected the book to go over the book of Romans in its entirety and was a bit disappointed when it didn’t, I found the author’s use of modern stories with biblical application using Romans to be refreshing and useful. Read this book to strengthen your own conviction about the importance of the gospel or to share with someone who is seeking truth. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own.
#Gospel by Daniel Rice is a book written for the new believer, walking through the gospel using the book of Romans. He uses real stories to draw the reader to an understanding of his thought pattern, going through the creation, fall, redemption. He also gives practical advice for the new believer as far as discipleship, being in a community, joining a church. He gives historical backgrounds of the apostles, with an emphasis on Paul. Overall a good read, but he does jump around on the stories and so his though process is a little scattered. I received a complimentary copy of the book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review
Engaging! A great concept to present the gospel in such a way to reach current generations and draw them into the gospel and God's plan. I love the "heart of "GOSPEL" is to reach younger people with their own unique culture and experience. I would add, however, that Rice's style is inviting regardless of what generation a person belongs to or their level of experience in Bible studies. I believe that Rice's stories and examples really helped in bringing through the message of Salvation and are inspiring in their own right. In easy to understand language and content Rice drew me and made me want to learn more. A good read.
Are you a Bible reader? Have the stories in the Bible ever seemed not relevant to life today? I found a book that takes scripture and applies it to everyday modern life. It was written to give life, hope, and truth to Generation Now. A generation that is seeking God and desperately needs to find Him. #GOSPEL: Life, Hope, and Truth for Generation Now by author Daniel Rice was a refreshing look at Scripture and the Gospels. It has a revolutionary, contemporary new insight to catch attention fast. Just like in today's fast faced world with television, video games, and going from one thing to another, author Rice is ready to grab attention and not let go. This young adult ministry and evangelism book from Barbour Publishing will draw in young adults and older ones, too. The large hashtag on the front cover is filled with trendy hashtags such as #Craycray. Just the cover will draw teens and twenty somethings to the book. "Five to ten seconds. After that, the filter kicks in." There are chapters filled with stories that really explain things in the language of today for the generation of today. The author explains that in our world today we have a short few seconds to make an impression on someone and win them over to listen to our story. "Five to ten seconds. After that, the filter kicks in." Most of the time we are tuned out, shut out. Author Rice has taken the gospel and put it in everyday language and situations so that the Now Generation will better understand it. He has made it contemporary and new. Taking the stories from Paul in Romans this author uses everyday examples and tales to make the Bible relevant and alive TODAY. This is the first book I have read by author Rice. I really enjoyed it. He has a very smooth, easy writing style. The book was nice to read and hard to put down. It was interesting, gave me ideas, and made sense. I would give this to a wide variety of people. People seeking God, those with questions about their new found faith, teenagers and young adults, people working with youth, are just some of the ones that would benefit from this book. For me this is a five star read. It truly is a great book and I plan on giving a few copies this Christmas. You should, too.
#Gospel-Life, Hope and Truth for Generation Now Generation Now only gives us 5-10 seconds to convince them that we have something to change their lives. Whether it be the cure of the gospel, finding out who God really is and His attributes or that He is our rescuer and provider or finding a fresh start in life there is something for everyone in this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Over the years I have witnessed new Christians being so excited but then they disappeared not to be heard from again. This book by Daniel Rice talks about ways to communicate in a better and easier way. It was researched very well and easy to understand. He explores the bible, especially the book of Romans in a new way that pulls the reader into wanting to read more and more of the bible. The title that includes a hashtag (#) certainly gets the attention of the millennials. This book would be really good for them. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
GOSPEL: Life, Hope, and Truth for Generation Now by Daniel Rice Five to ten seconds. After that, the filter kicks in. In our day and age, five to ten seconds is usually all the time we’re given to persuade someone that what we have to say is worthy of his or her time. You and I live in a world suffering from a relentless bombardment of information. Television, social media, advertising, acquaintances, friends, and family all vie for time and an attentive ear. If we don’t adapt and learn to filter out what we believe does not apply to us, we quickly become overwhelmed. In this new world of burst communication, our presentation of this Gospel needs to be adapted as well, and while it’s critically important that the content remain unchanged, the style and vehicle in which it is delivered must fit the culture it reaches. Through current cultural references and true stories, Daniel Rice, founder of #Gospel, will help you come to see the gospel for what it really is and how it can radically alter your everyday life. Rice invites you into the conversation as he breaks down Paul’s explanation of the gospel in Romans in a way that is accessible and engaging. Hash-tagging (#) a term invites others to join an open conversation and adds the author’s thoughts to our modern-day global exchange of ideas. This is the heart of #Gospel.#GOSPEL: Life, Hope, and Truth for Generation Now by Daniel Rice is a wonderful well written book 5 star book.I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I felt this was the perfect book for Advent, to prepare one’s heart for Christmas. We get our first glimpse of God’s rescue plan in the foretelling of the promise of a future Savior in Genesis 3:15. I enjoyed the author’s story telling of Abraham, who was also a part of God’s rescue plan for mankind. I loved the revealing of the “I AM” to Moses. God’s forgiveness is shown through the story of Jonah and his restoration. Isaiah opens our eyes to the foretelling of a Redeemer written hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned”. Romans 5:8 states that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This is the Gospel message, that God sent His Son to rescue us from our separation from Him. We must choose to accept or reject the message. When we repent and believe the Gospel, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So in Christ we have everything we need. He will never leave us and in Him we find peace and refuge in His perfect strength. We are also called to be a part of God’s rescue team by sharing His Gospel and making disciples. I believe #Gospel is the perfect gift for anytime of the year. It is an easy read but packed full of truth and illustrations to help understand the Gospel message.
God has a rescue plan! It's up to us whether or not we are willing to learn to live by faith and obedience and cross that bridge that He has built for us. Shall we continue to live for ourselves - always doing what is best for us? Or is it time to learn to live for God's glory and what is best for others? This well-researched book is written in language we can all understand with examples that we encounter every day. There is 'Life, Hope and Truth for the Generation Now'. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
This book was amazing! What fascinated me the most was the way this book started out and what Sir Robert Anderson quoted in #CoffeeTalk. Then the author began comparing coffee to people. Good things. Bad things. A lot of things can be discussed over a good cup of coffee. We all drink coffee. At least most of us do. A good cup of coffee seems to get us through our day. Daniel Rice, through his unique skill has brought out a lot of interesting facts about the gospel. # GOSPEL LIFE, HOPE, AND TRUTH FOR GENERATION NOW, by Daniel Rice, was very pleasing indeed, where he talks about life and hope; especially for this generation. There were several stories that held my interest. I was completely enthralled with chapter 4 and the beginning where the figure staggered through the snow, and about the expedition, and what was about to happen. That was a great story, and, we all make mistakes. That is why we need to ask God to guide us. Each time we pray and look up to him, He is always ready to listen. I especially liked chapter 6 where the author talked about the #UnconventionalHero. The suspense had me caught up in the moment. I also liked the way the categories were set up to show evidence about the Bible. To me God is my hero. Because He created me. He made me what I am. He has all power. Nothing is impossible with Him. There is nothing He cannot do. In chapter 7, page 128 where the author talks about death, and he asks the question, what sets the Gospel apart from the rest of the world's beliefs? And, I love the answer he gave us. And, what it says in Acts 1:3. And, what the book says on page 146 #WhatIsLove. There are so many good points that the author brought out for us to think about. I enjoyed reading this book. A great read!
In the introduction of this new book author Daniel Rice relates that in today's world five to ten seconds is all of the time we allow something or someone to gain our attention. He also explains that he wants to "break down Paul's explanation of the Gospel in Romans" and he succeeds with the writing of #Gospel. Rice uses the popular hashtag # to call attention to the subject, each of the twelve chapters and the many topics discussed within this book. His use of easy-to-understand language helps readers understand the message of Salvation that was so needed when Paul first delivered it and is even more urgent at this time. Today's believers need to pass the #Gospel message on to others and sharing this book is a great way to start! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
#Gospel puts our edict as Christians - to bring news of our Savior to the world - in an understandable format. It is a book that reiterates the importance of being part of a community, and making it imperative to not only build our relationship with God, but also to turn that into action through loving and bringing the Gospel to the world. Using Paul's words from Romans, #Gospel reminds us that we all are sinners in need of a loving and forgiving Savior, whose needs are to accept our Savior, and to then bring our loving God to the rest of the world. This book would be a good one to study with a small group or Bible study. An invaluable aid to bringing an unchanging Gospel to an ever-changing world. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.