The Amazing Love of Paul’s Model Church by Ed Gross

four stars

Paul, one of the greatest Christians and most successful church planters, called just ONE of his church plants his “model church,” the Thessalonians. They opened their homes and their hearts to a man hunted and persecuted. They trusted that he was there for a reason and needed to be protected. The Thessalonians are a wonderful example of what it means to stay true to your faith and spread the Good News in a constructive and impactful ways. Evangelical activities are not always supported in this day and age, to be an evangelist in biblical times, brings to mind a whole new set of problems and obstacles to sharing the Gospel. This book reveals the power of love to help disciples not only survive, but become one of the greatest testimonies in all of church history. Its message is especially relevant in our day of growing anti-Christian sentiments.

Author Ed Gross does a wonderful job outlining the Thessalonians story and detailing everything they represented. Each chapter is followed up by insightful discussion questions, allowing the reader to reflect on what they have read and how they feel about their faith in light of what the book forces them to ponder over. Supported with specific biblical references, this book gets at the heart of spreading the gospel. It offers a wonderful in-depth look at the Thessalonians and their approach to hospitality and their willingness to help others. Based on the author’s knowledge about the topic and littered with insight from other biblical experts, multiple sources weigh in on the discussion to display an abundance of viewpoints. More discussion questions would have had a major impact on the reader’s ability to be introspective and allow for more self-assessment. Yet, overall the book accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do.