My first book, Gospel Smugness: Displaying Christlike Character in Evangelism, is now available for preorder on Kindle. It officially release in Kindle and paperback on July 5, 2021.
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What People Are Saying About Gospel Smugness
“Discretion has been defined as the composure of speaking and behaving in such a way as to avoid causing offense. Sadly, it has been almost completely lost in our present generation. Such wise and weighty biblical axioms such as “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” and the “servant of the Lord must not be contentious, but gentle to all men” have been sorely neglected to the tune of gospel ineffectiveness. Blake Long’s book, Gospel Smugness, is a timely wake up call. The author engages believers to think biblically and to act prudently in their approach to sinners and saints in our day. For those who aspire to greater efficiency in such vital works of evangelism and edification, I warmly commend this superb work.”
— Don Currin, Don Currin Ministries
“The Bible instructs us to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Many Christians need to be reminded that the “in love” part is just as inspired and authoritative as the “speak the truth” part. As Christians, we rightly believe in the inerrancy of scripture and the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. We have truth on our side. But we often fail to communicate that truth in love, especially in this social media age; a platform that is a rich breeding ground for un-Christlike speech. Blake Long has written an excellent and much needed book on how to boldly proclaim Christ’s undiluted truth in a way that honors and pleases Him. I commend this work to you. It is a needed and timely exhortation for us all.”
— Justin Peters, evangelist, apologist, Justin Peters Ministries
“Here’s a book that meets a vital need in being useful witnesses to the gospel today. While others have emphasized the necessity of faithfully proclaiming sound gospel content, or relying on the sovereign work of God for results, Blake Long’s book Gospel Smugness stresses that we who call the world to receive the message of God’s grace must learn to do so with grace in our speech. Too commonly, even those who know the gospel well undermine their own words by coming across as pompous or know-it-alls. We harshly confront on minor points and choose hills not worth dying on, or just generally fail to bring a gospel of peace like a peacemaker. Sound remedies to these bad habits are presented here. I hope Gospel Smugness will get a wide reading!”
— Dennis Gundersen, Sapulpa Bible Church; author of Your Child’s Profession of Faith and A Praying Church
“It is so easy for us to confuse the confidence the Gospel gives us for arrogance and bravado that comes from self. Our brother has done us a magnificent service in calling us to reject fleshly confidence and return to Gospel assurance. This will be a book our church uses in its evangelism training without question!”
— Kofi Adu-Boahen, Church Planter, Redeemer Bible Fellowship, Medford, OR
“‘Truth in love.’ It is a high standard, but it is a biblical standard, for our communication. It is never acceptable to take one and leave the other. This is why I so appreciate Blake Long’s effort to hold both uncompromisingly within the pages of this book, and to help us all do the same.”
— Justin Huffman, lead pastor of Morningstar in Toronto, and author of the Daily Devotion app.
“Christians increasingly live in a culture antagonistic to our beliefs. The growing sentiment is that Christianity doesn’t align with our nation’s convictions and dogmas. Simply stated: the gospel, and biblical teachings, offend. The key for us as Christians is to make sure it is the truth of God that is offensive and not ourselves. We need to stand firm in our beliefs, but we don’t want to become the cause of offense. In Gospel Smugness, Blake Long helps us work through this challenge, and to see the path forward.”
— Erik Reed, Pastor of The Journey Church and Founder of Knowing Jesus Ministries
“Some of us thrive on controversy while others avoid it at all cost. This book is helpful for both. Blake Long displays compassionate boldness as he directs our hearts to see past simply embracing or avoiding controversy, and into modeling the greatest evangelist of all time: Jesus Christ. Gospel Smugness is a timely call for us to desperately ask God to super naturally reorient our heart to delightful and compassionate evangelism.”
— Dillon Chase, recording artist
What inspired you to write Gospel Smugness?
Gospel Smugness began as a blog post that was entitled, “The Gospel is Offensive, but You Shouldn’t Be” that was shared by Tim Challies. It was a post I wrote in a day and almost didn’t publish. However, since it received a lot of traction, I felt the Lord was calling me, so to speak, to write a book on it.
With that said, more to the point of the content of the book, what inspired to write it was what I see on social media and simply in Christian circles. We do the work of evangelism but many times do so with our pride getting in the way.
For whom did your write this book?
Gospel Smugness was written for three types of Christians: (1) the Christian who knows theology and truly loves the Lord, but time and time again can’t seem to properly display the love of Jesus in gospel conversations; (2) the Christian who has evangelized a couple times but fears reactions and what people will say; and (3) the new Christian, to show him or her that the Great Commission is not optional and that Jesus will always be there.
Where did you come up with the title?
I was thinking one day about titles and knew I wanted to correlate the gospel with an adjective that Christians sometimes have that damages their witness, and I came up with smugness. It was originally going to be entitled The Gospel Doesn’t Need Your Smugness, but I thought that was too long so I landed on Gospel Smugness.
Why is this an important topic right now?
There is a huge problem within the Christian church today. Countless Christians—who are born again—consistently behave in a type of way in their witness that does damage to the gospel. Whether Christians are condescending, holier-than-thou, abrasive, rude, arrogant—whatever word you want to use, we have a problem with making the gospel harder to believe due to our actions. My hope and prayer is that this book reorients our minds around who we need to witness like: Jesus.