When I first received A Cross-Shaped Gospel by Bryan Loritts- I was very excited! Throughout my studies of church ministry, I have heard of the “Loritts” family- particularly Bryan’s father Crawford. Everything I had seen and heard was sound theology and Biblical truth presented in a challenging and accurate way. A Cross-Shaped Gospel was no exception.
Loritts does a fantastic job of discussing the tension that exists between the “vertical beam” of the cross (our relation to God) and the “horizontal beam” (our relation to each other). As I read the back of the book, and the introduction, I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous. I’ve read many books that ended up being driven by social justice apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But Lorrits did an excellent job of keeping both aspects of the Gospel in clear view.
A Cross-Shaped Gospel is a quick read- starting with two chapters describing the concept of a “two-part” Gospel, and then going into three chapters delving into specific social issues. Lorritts then comes back to tie everything together in the final chapters; challenging the reader to live in the truth of the “whole” gospel. That extends both vertically and horizontally (to God and each other).
I have recently been enamored with “gospel-centered” writing. Admittedly, this is a good thing! But through Lorritts’ A Cross-Shaped Gospel, I have discovered that at times I am relying on my intellectual knowledge of the Gospel, while never actually walking that out. While I am quick to recognize the Gospel’s power to redeem my relationship with God, I am quick to forget that He also wants to redeem my relationships with man.
No issue is safe in A Cross-Shaped Gospel. Lorrits handles politics, racism, and social issues with a clear call to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is not easy to do! I highly recommend this book as a companion or introduction to the great amount of Gospel-centered writing available to God’s people today! Read this book!