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Read It! March 2024


Courage has been eclipsed by cowardice in our culture. Christian courage, in particular, is lacking in men and women. Joe Rigney’s book, Courage: How the Gospel Creates Christian Fortitude is filled with encouragement and challenge for anyone who has ears to hear.


The author rivets the attention of his readers on three qualities that explode off the pages of Philippians chapter 1 - boldness, courage, and fearlessness. Rigney develops the cultural context in the first century and challenges readers to emulate the courage of Paul and the first century Christ-followers.


The important principle that runs throughout the book is this: “Seeing courage spreads courage. Seeing boldness awakens boldness. Seeing fearlessness overcomes fear.” In other words, as Rigney writes, “Courage is contagious. Boldness spreads. Fearlessness is infectious. And when these virtues are caught, Christ is magnified.”


Rigney rightly says that Christians tend to preach aspects of Scripture that are agreeable to people but neglect more difficult topics. These topics, the argument goes, are in the realm of “discipleship” and should be avoided in order to prevent offending anyone.

The author opposes this approach to the Christian life:

When we call people to repent of their sins and idolatries, we cannot avoid the ones that we know will make them angry … You can’t preach the gospel to a practicing homosexual and not call him away from practicing homosexuality. You can’t preach the gospel to contemporary egalitarian progressives and not call them away from their commitment to a false view of human nature and marriage and men and women and sex.

Courage, then, should be a regular part of the Christian life. This courage is enabled by the Holy Spirit and grows when other believers participate and encourage us to be bold, even in the face of adversity or persecution.


Courage: How the Gospel Creates Christian Fortitude is a much-needed book as believers have been marginalized and discouraged from boldly declaring the truth of God’s Word. It is a clarion call to Christians to pick up the mantle of leadership and be instilled with boldness, courage, and fearlessness.