Bringing the Gospel Home: the language of praise

I recently wrote a review for the Gospel Coalition website of Randy Newman’s forthcoming book, Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family Members, Close Friends, and Others Who Know You Well, Crossway, April 2011. I’m going to post two or three extracts that particularly caught my eye. Here’s the first:

When I was a new Christian, spending more and more time with people who had grown up in the faith, I felt as if I were immersed in a new community that spoke a foreign language. It was the language of praise. I’m not just talking about how they spoke about God (“Oh, praise the Lord!”). I’m referring to how these people expressed gratitude and appreciation for God’s many blessings. (“Isn’t this a blessing for all of us to be together around this dinner table?” “Hasn’t God been good to us in keeping us all in good health?” “Isn’t it amazing how God made so many delicious varieties of fruit?”) Considering the negative environment in which I grew up and the fluency with which I spoke sarcasm and cynicism, I thought these people were the biggest phonies on the planet. But something about them kept drawing me toward them and I found that they were not fake at all. Although this language was foreign to my ears, it was beautiful and I longed to learn it. (66)

Bringing the Gospel Home can be pre-ordered here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.