We would ask the same thing if we were hearing the idea for the first time.
Here’s our answer: gospelthread isn’t like any commentary that’s ever been published. In fact, it’s so different from the usual bible commentary that it’s in a class of its own. It’s a new kind of commentary.
So, does the church need a new kind of commentary?
Our answer is yes. And we think you’ll agree.
We spent the summer blogging on these topics, and you can go deeper by clicking through to the individual posts, but we’ve gathered the main points here to bring you up to speed.
Along the way you’ll see that we have a few opportunities for you to get involved. We’d be humbled if you would pray for us, help us promote the project online, or consider supporting us financially to help send gospelthread to the church.
Today, more households in developing countries have a smartphone than have access to electricity. It’s predicted that by 2020, four billion people around the world will have internet access. Think about what that means for reaching the world with the gospel.
It’s already been proven that a closed international border is no match for the internet, and gospelthread is designed specifically for online distribution. We’re meeting modern believers around the world where they spend the most time—on their smartphones, computers and tablets.
There is a worldwide movement growing within the evangelical church—a movement of repentance, away from self-righteousness and toward centering all of our lives on the gospel of grace. Gospelthread is working to further the gospel-centered movement by providing a bible resource that it currently lacks.
We believe that all theology must be an exposition of the gospel message. And about the passages that don’t seem to be about Jesus? They are still about Jesus. Imagine a commentary that is both exegetical, evangelistic and devotional—all at the same time. We’re building a resource that will enable you to pick any passage in the bible and be shown the gospel of grace. Gospelthread’s goal is to reveal how every passage—even the ones from Numbers, for example—point to Jesus.
Writing a bible commentary has historically been the endeavor of one or two highly trained, highly respected men per volume—and those authors almost always come from American and English seminaries. But gospelthread is recruiting a diverse team of contributors.
That is, we are strategically connecting with contributors who follow orthodox Christian theology and are distinctly gospel-centered in the way they read and teach the bible.
We aren’t in this to make money. Publishers have to rely on book sales and profit margins to get their printed commentaries into people’s hands—which is also why they tend to be more academic—but we can give gospelthread to the church without charging anyone for access. Of course, this means that we are entirely reliant on the generosity of our prayer warriors and financial supporters.
Much of the content for this commentary already exists in the sermon notes of pastors and teachers around the world. We just have to go out and get it. Curating the commentary, then, is our primary job. As a non-profit, all we need are donations to cover our operations budget. Then this resource can be spread far and wide, and given to the church for free.
Let’s be honest. This is the internet. You’re reading these pixels on a screen of some sort, and in a digital environment there are always plenty of other pixels jockeying for your attention.
Commentaries are renowned for being exhaustive. But we’re limiting our “threads” to 600 words. (We call it the toothbrush test.) The practical reason for this is because each of us gives online content far less of our time and attention than a printed book taking up space in front of us.
Our objective is not to publish everything that could be said about every verse of the bible. Our aim is the sweet spot where the grace of Jesus shines through. Ultimately, the gospel is not something that requires thousands of words to get across, and we all know that intuitively. The gospel itself is concise. This river doesn’t have to be wide to run deep and strong.
At gospelthread, our heart is for pastors. They labor for the gospel because they love Jesus. And that makes them heroes, in our book.
Essentially everything we do comes from a place of wanting to amplify and fortify the good, gospel-centered work being done at the local level by faithful pastors. So we’re promoting their ministries on our platform (no matter how small their church may be); building a gospel-centered resource they can give to their own people; and, along the way, we’re helping them become better writers.
If you’re starting to catch the vision, don’t leave this page without signing up for our newsletter. We won’t bombard you with emails, and we expect to have really exciting news for you in the months to come.