If you choose to read Luma Simms's book Gospel Amnesia I can say with certainty that you will see into the heart of a woman who loves the gospel. Furthermore, I suspect you just may see yourself in the pages of her book.
Luma shares in this brief, yet rich book, her story of suffering from what she calls "gospel amnesia." Simply put, it was a time when Luma did not have the gospel at the centre of her life. She describes gospel amnesia:
Christ and the cross have been forgotten, assumed, or marginalized. Eventually, in many of these cases the gospel amnesia could lead to revulsion to, or aversion from, the gospel.
It is that "assumption" of the gospel that leads to the path of gospel amnesia.
Luma describes how many things distracted her from the gospel, things which were good, and which she felt were simply part and parcel of maturing in the faith. She talks about making her faith all about her parenting, biblical womanhood, or the proper organic lifestyle. All of those things she says distracted her from the gospel itself. She confesses it was often rooted in pride that she had "moved on" from the simple message of the gospel to deeper things.
What I liked very much about her book was her discussion of the role of idolatry in gospel amnesia. We will turn just about anything into an idol. Parenting, marriage, homeschooling, worship music; they can all become idols that displace the gospel in our hearts. When we allow that to happen, we will forget, or assume the gospel instead of living in its light.
After her thorough description of what gospel amnesia is, she relates how it negatively affects everyday life; our conduct, our relationship in the body of Christ, our attitude to the culture around us, our attitude toward missions and evangelism; in short, our whole life. The converse of this, of course, is that with the gospel central in our lives, we should bear good fruit.
Luma also concludes each chapter with some probing questions for the reader to consider and a prayer, adding a devotional feel to the book. You can't read this book and not be affected by the questions. As I read, I saw many instances of myself in her descriptions. Certainly, we all have times when we are prone to stray toward our own evidences of gospel amnesia.
Luma also provides a reading list at the conclusion of the book to assist someone in working through a situation where the gospel has lost its centrality. It maybe a minor point to applaud, but she used footnotes instead of endnotes, which I love, because I was reading in Pdf format, and I could see her references without clicking around. I much prefer footnotes to endnotes.
Luma has a love for the gospel, and a desire for others to love it, too. Her heart is laid bare for the reader to see, and I was very encouraged and challenged by this book. Thanks to Luma for allowing me a copy of this book to review.