on 15 February 2011
It's five stars, because a clear articulation of the Gospel can't be anything other than five stars! This book will be especially valuable to new believers who want to clearly understand the Gospel for themselves, and to be able to explain it to others.
We would do well to remember, however, that it is not faith in justification by faith that saves. It is faith in CHRIST that saves. How well were any of us able to articulate these things when we were first born again? In my case, not very well. But I know I was saved. We need to be careful, in applying the message of this book, that we don't get into the position of some Reformed churches where a new member is asked to write out his personal testimony to read to the congregation, only to be told to re-write it, and re-write it again, until it is acceptable to those in authority; only it is now no longer HIS personal testimony. I would much rather see a 'rawness' in the testimony of believers than evidence of merely repeating verbatim what they've been taught by others, or read in books.
"The Power of the Gospel" chapter was really interesting, where Greg laments the fact that the beauty and power and vastness of the Gospel so often gets crowded out with thoughts about what's happening on C.N.N., cleaning the car, eating lunch, etc. I think that there is a more subtle danger. We're so busy blogging, Facebooking and tweeting on the beauty, power and vastness of the Gospel - and hoping that others will notice how well we've done it - that we've forgotten to do the very thing we're seeking to promote: WORSHIP! We're all agreed that theology should lead to doxology. But does it? Do we have the time in our evangelical busy-ness? Something that the 9Marks series consciously doesn't focus on (and they give the reason for this in the preface) is prayer. How much time do we spend in prayer compared with 'engaging' on the social media?
Will this new generation of Reformed Christians - with an ever increasing collection of books, all endorsed within the same familiar circles by the same familiar names, all invariably citing the E.S.V. (Nothing against the E.S.V., but why does there seem to be such a concerted effort to get everyone to read this particular translation, as opposed to other decent translations?), all carefully crafted in 'turn of phrase' and choice of words - really be better off in terms of spiritual vitality than less erudite believers who spend far more time calling on the name of the Lord than we do? Where's the spiritual power??
Have we forgotten Ecclesiastes 12:12, "Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh"? There are so many 'must read' new books coming out that it is surely a case of information overload, quail rather than manna! Sometimes less is more...
I truly hope that the contents of THIS PARTICULAR BOOK really do cause us to fall on our knees in prayer rather than just increase our head-knowledge and pride that we can articulate the Gospel better than others. Martyn Lloyd Jones used to have a saying that we would do well to heed: "Perfectly orthodox, perfectly useless."
May the Lord search our hearts, and give us understanding.
on 8 May 2010
What more as a Christian could I have asked for? Not much. This was the most biblical explanation of the Gospel I have ever read about. It was truthful, where the Bible was used rightly as the sole source of authority on the matter of the Gospel. There are a number of counterfeit "gospels" in the world today, but there is only one true Gospel, that has the power to save sinners. This little book articulated that one true Gospel in a biblically clear manner, that made sense, was objective, but above all, faithful to King Jesus and his message to sinners.
on 21 November 2011
The question of the title, for all its apparent simplicity, is by no means one that can be easily answered winsomely, directly, and clearly. That our author manages it so well here is a great credit to him. He does so by calling us back to the authority of the Bible and setting out some of the foundational realities of the human condition. Those established, he very warmly depicts Christ Jesus as the answer to man's sin in accordance with God's holiness, before driving home the urgent necessity of both faith and repentance in response to the gospel as the God-appointed route of entering the kingdom. Taking a little time to clear away well-meaning but flawed alternatives to Christ and him crucified, he concludes with some applications to various classes of reader. Intelligent without being highbrow, simple without being overly simplistic, and clear without being shallow, this is an excellent resource both for the people of God in knowing their Saviour and his salvation, and as a gift for those asking sincere and pointed questions about what this good news is, and what it means to be saved.
on 9 April 2012
A very clear explanation of the Gospel, I found this book concise and to the point. So many books about the Gospel leave the reader more confused about the Bible and Jesus. Not so here you really do get the Gospel explained and in no doubt of it's importance to mankind. the author is no doubt a full exponent of the Bible he totally believes the whole text from Genesis 1 to the end of Revelation. This is a must read for all peoples whether Christian or non believer. Especially non believer, you'll benefit from an understanding of the true Christian view.