The Very Good Gospel by Lisa Sharon Harper

Anyone who is aware of the happenings in the world right now can tell that something’s off. To those who do not know Christ, it may just seem like something is missing. To those of us who are believers, we know what that something is.

In The Very Good Gospel, author Lisa Sharon Harper attempts to find a realistic, yet effective, way to preach the gospel to a world that desperately needs it. Citing examples from the bible, she applies these narratives to modern day situations in an open and honest way. Throughout the book, she emphasizes the necessity of restoring shalom– peace- to the world by taking a closer look at relationships, prejudices, and longstanding beliefs.

To be honest, I’m having a very difficult time writing this review. From the beginning of the book, I was at odds with her views on the book of Genesis. Rather than accepting it as literal truth, she compared it to ancient Babylonian myths, asserting that it was written by Hebrew priests who were taking pieces of other ancient myths and trying to fit them in with the Hebrew religion.

“The writers of Genesis make a point to highlight one being that God created on the fifth day: the sea monster. Why are sea monsters so significant? In one sense the priestly writers seem to poke fun at the gods of Babylon. Tiamat created sea monsters for vengeance…”

Harper also seems to be attempting to re-write pieces of Genesis when she makes the statement that adam does not mean “man,” but “human,” although according to Strong’s Concordance and every other resource I checked, it does indeed mean “man.” She follows her assumption by stating that she believes that Adam was created as a gender-neutral up until Eve was created, when he took on the masculine form.

“Adam is not the man’s name. It is the Hebrew word for human being, not man or male. The text tells us that rather than creating a man first, God created a human being who, in the beginning, had no distinct gender…God saw this gender-neutral human’s need for companionship and provided the answer to that need”

This discussion leads into many other twistings of God’s word that I could, frankly, write a series of posts on, but I won’t get into them now.

Additionally, a book that is advertised to focus on shalom and spreading the gospel comes up more often than not as a political platform to espouse liberal talking points. She constantly refers to white privilege throughout the entire book- I mean over and over again- and she seems to be pushing a blatantly feminist agenda.

I read this book with the hopes of being inspired about how to more effectively spread the gospel, but, unfortunately, the biblical references weren’t enough to cover up the true agenda behind it. I’m disappointed and honestly surprised at the contents.

…Which is why I could never in good conscience recommend this book to anyone.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.



Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

17 thoughts on “The Very Good Gospel by Lisa Sharon Harper”

      1. I’m like you, hate to let anyone down. Much more fun to be an encourager. When someone teaches against the Word of God we just have to speak up, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. I read about your son going to NYC. Do you live in NY? We used to live in central NY just south of Syracuse.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I was surprised too and pretty upset. While some of her ideas are inspiring, much of her book seemed truly divisive, and it made me question whether she accepts the bible as literal truth. Thanks for hosting!


  1. What a disappointment! I totally would have picked up the book based on the blurb, and I, like you, would have been pretty upset at what you found inside. Ugh. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!

    Liked by 1 person

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