Why a “Gospel Rewrite” Series?

Last year, I was working for the Tennessee Justice Center, a non-profit that–among other things–was working to expand statewide access to affordable health coverage.

At one point, I brought a man from East Tennessee to Nashville to speak to his representative. The man I brought had suffered a terrible heart attack and could not work until he could get a pacemaker, but he couldn’t get a pacemaker without health insurance. He was asking his representative to support a bill that would have given this man coverage. But his representative, who said he was a Christian–like most Tennessee legislators–said that people should have to work to earn health coverage.

This inspired me to write. I wanted to address this issue:

“What if Jesus spoke and acted the way many Christians do? What would the gospel stories about Jesus sound like if they reflected our actual values?”

So I decided to try this out, and I rewrote two stories about Jesus meeting people in need of healing. But the Jesus in these stories is not like the Jesus we know, and far more like too many Christians today.

Stories shape our imaginations, and sometimes, I think we’ve forgotten how the stories about Jesus actually go.

So, this “Gospel Rewrite” series will make revisions to many well-known stories about Jesus to expose the problems in many of our positions on issues like healthcare, refugees, the death penalty, violence, and more.

If you find yourself resonating with the stories as I’ve written them, I hope that will be reason to pause and give serious reconsideration to your sense of discipleship.

Remember: The Jesus in these rewrites is not at all the Jesus of the actual gospel stories. 

These stories should:

  1. Remind us how often the values of Jesus differ from our own
  2. Expose the places where we’ve lost sight of the radicalness of Jesus
  3. Point us back to more faithful living
  4. Provoke conversation about authentic Christian discipleship

I welcome all your thoughts, whether supportive or challenging. Let’s talk about these. As iron sharpens iron, may we sharpen each other.

You can find all the Gospel Rewrites here.


  1. […] at Red Letter Christians on March 30, 2016. To read an intro to the Gospel Rewrite series, click here. To read the original gospel stories, click […]

  2. […] a piece I did for Red Letter Christians on April 14, 2017. To read an intro this series, click here. To read the original gospel story, click […]

  3. […] read an intro to this series, click here. To read the original Gospel story, click […]

  4. […] read the intro to this series, click here. To read the original gospel stories, click […]

  5. […] Read original Gospel text here. Read the introduction to this series here.  […]

  6. […] Read the original story here. Read the introduction to the series here.  […]

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