Cultivating A Gospel-Shaped Attitude

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 4.21.03 PMI have two major announcements to make in regard to my new book.

First, the official launch date will be Sunday, May 5th. I hope that you will mark this date on your calendar and purchase a copy of “Cultivating A Gospel-Shaped Attitude” on  If you are a blogger please email me ( receive details about how you can receive a free advance copy to review on your website.

Click here to read a brief excerpt.

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Second, I am excited to announce that 100% of the profits from the sale of the book during the month of May will go to support missions work in Haiti.  As you may know, the church where I serve is very committed to the work of reaching Haitians with the gospel and this book is going to provide a tool for making a major investment in the work their.  After May, I will continue to contribute 25% of the profits from this book to our work in Haiti, but in order to help launch the book I wanted to do something special.  My prayer is that during the month of May, you will help me to sell 5,000 copies of this book, which will provide over $10,000 for the work in Haiti.

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Here’s what others are saying about the book:

“Cultivating A Gospel Shaped Attitude” by Joe Buchanan is a much-needed addition to the literature on the Beatitudes. There are many good works available. Dr. Buchanan’s is unique in that it shows how the gospel impacts our attitudes, actions and character. Read it with blessing and practical application.”

Jerry Vines, Pastor-Emeritus, First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida; Two time president of the Southern Baptist Convention; President, Jerry Vines Ministries, Inc.(

There are plenty of books that will help you to have a positive attitude, but most of them are missing what Joe Buchanan brings to the discussion – how the gospel shapes our attitudes and in turn, our actions, to produce in us a Christlike character. My mind and heart are in a better place because of Cultivating a Gospel-Shaped Attitude, and yours will be too! Buy it, read it, and give a copy away!

Brandon Cox, Pastor at Grace Hills Church, Editor at

“In Cultivating a Gospel Shaped Attitude Joe Buchanan delivers encouraging, practical, and highly readable insight into Christian character development, and the heart attitudes that Jesus teaches are at the core of that development.  By showing us the inner attitudes that make the actions of faith more natural, Joe offers new freedom and victory to those of us who may be frustrated in our efforts to be more like Christ.”

Nate Adams, Executive Director, Illinois Baptist State Association, Author of The Acts 1:8 Challenge (LifeWay) and The Home Team (Revell)

“Joe Buchanan looks with new insight to this great passage of scripture in Matthew.  He illustrates out of his own personal experiences as a young pastor serving a small church in rural WV to his current days of leading a much larger church in Illinois to drive his point home.  Brother Buchanan writes with simple wisdom and candor that will touch every heart.  I fully recommend this book for your personal instruction or for use with a small group.  You will be blessed if you read it and follow the wisdom found within.”

Terry L. Harper, Executive Director, West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists

“There is no shortage of books in this world based on the general premise that, if we adjust or eliminate our bad attitudes, our quality of life will improve.  In Cultivating a Gospel-Centered Attitude, Dr. Buchanan moves beyond feel-good rhetoric to focus instead on the source of a healthy attitude  – in a heart aligned with the desires and teachings of Christ.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr., Chancellor and President, Liberty University

Whenever I read a book I want the book to be intellectually challenging, spiritually encouraging and readable. Dr. Joe Buchanan has captured all three. It is the kind of book that pastors and lay people alike will greatly benefit from and be blessed by it. This is one of those must read books.

Dr. Morris Anderson, Evangelist, President & Founder of MANNA Ministries, Inc.

Cultivating A Gospel Shaped Attitude

Later this Spring I will be publishing my first book entitled “Cultivating a Gospel-Shaped Attitude.”Joe BuchananBased on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11), this book offers insight into the relationship between our attitude and character.  Jerry Falwell Jr., the Chancellor and President of Liberty University  says:

“There is no shortage of books in this world based on the general premise that, if we adjust or eliminate our bad attitudes, our quality of life will improve.  In “Cultivating a Gospel-Shaped Attitude”, Dr. Buchanan moves beyond feel-good rhetoric to focus instead on the source of a healthy attitude  – in a heart aligned with the desires and teachings of Christ.”

What I propose in the book is that to develop a Christ-like character we must begin by cultivating what I have termed a “gospel-shaped attitude.”  Over the next several weeks I am going to share several excerpts from the book.  Below is a section from the introductory chapter explaining the basic premise of the book.   I hope that you enjoy it and would love to get your comments and thoughts in the comments section.  If you are interested in receiving updates and additional information about the book, please sign up to follow my blog by email.  Just clock on the box to the right labeled – Follow Blog Via Email.

Attitudes, Actions, and Character

” Several years ago, I had the privilege of working with a man a named David, who served as my associate pastor when I was pastoring a church in Richmond, Virginia. David is one of those people who everyone enjoys being around. He’s the kind of person who always has an encouraging and uplifting word to say, and every time I gave him a task to complete, he took it on without grumbling or complaining. It seemed that no matter what the situation was around him, David always had a pleasant attitude. Anyone who worked with or encountered David would agree that it was a joy to be around and serve with him. Do you know that kind of person? If you do, then you already know the importance of having a positive attitude. But my goal in this book is to go a step further, to go beyond merely having a good attitude.

What I want to show you is how to develop an attitude shaped by the gospel, which, when cultivated over time, will result in a Christlike character. What makes my friend David such a blessing to be around is that he exhibits the character of Jesus in so many ways. But he did not develop this kind of character overnight. Developing a Christlike character is the result of consistently allowing the gospel to shape the way you look at the world and conducts your life. In David’s life, years of cultivating a gospel-shaped attitude have resulted in people recognizing the character of Christ in his life. In this book, I want to show you how to develop an attitude shaped by the gospel so that, over time, other people will come to recognize the character of Christ in your life.

Simply put, our character is the sum of our attitudes and actions over time. In algebraic terms we could say, Attitude + Actions + Time = Character. The key to developing a Christlike character, therefore, is to cultivate a gospel-shaped attitude. Attempting to exhibit a Christlike character without first adjusting our attitudes would be like trying climb Mt. Everest without learning to tie ropes, use snow shoes, or climb smaller mountains. Sadly, most of our efforts in discipleship have focused on producing Christlike character without dealing with the more fundamental issue of our attitudes. There are no shortcuts in the process; there are no quick paths that will get us to Christlikeness. Character is the product of displaying the right attitudes and making the right decisions over a period of time. With this in mind, I would like to submit that our formula for developing a Christlike character should look like this:”

 A Gospel-Shaped          + Christ-Honoring          = Christlike
Attitude Actions Character
Cultivated over time Exhibited over time

“Our pathway for developing a gospel-shaped attitude is found in Matthew 5:1–11, or as this passage is more commonly called, the Beatitudes. These eight attitudes form the opening section of Jesus’ most famous sermon: the Sermon on the Mount. In the subsequent chapters, we will break down the individual beatitudes to discover how each of them is grounded in the character of Christ and the gospel, but for now I want to call your attention to the way in which these attitudes, when cultivated over time, will lead us to a Christlike character.”

From “Cultivating A Gospel Shaped Attitude: Understanding and Living the Beatitudes” (Nashville: Crossbooks, 2013) Copyright 2013 Joseph Buchanan