Friday, August 13, 2010

What Is the Gospel? – Greg Gilbert

© 2010 Crossway, Wheaton, Illinois

Periodically I check out Tim Challies' Friday giveaway. If I think I might enjoy what’s offered, I put my name in the hat. A few weeks ago, I thought I might be interested in the titles being offered—I didn’t pay much attention to the author names. Imagine my surprise when my name was chosen and on top of the stack of books was this little volume by a name I knew from “way-back-when”. While Greg was already preparing to graduate from a small east Texas high school where I started a short teaching career, I did get to know him (and I did get to teach his brother). Greg has since moved on to higher education and deeper thinking than what we offered at the high school, and everyone can be glad that he did.

The personal connection prompted me to set aside other reading and dive head first into this little book, and it was a superb decision. Gilbert addresses the title question in a most succinct, clear manner. He does it with the clarity of a seasoned theologian. In a day when people—including evangelical Christians—have muddied the waters and frayed the edges of the biblical understanding of the gospel, this easy read brings us back into focus. The author challenges readers to re-focus our understanding of God, Man, Christ, and our Response to Christ. Two points that have been blurred over years of semi-theologians’ treatment are a proper view of sin, and a misplaced focus (leaving the cross of Christ as an afterthought in the backroom of theology). Gilbert takes the evangelical church to task on just these issues.

This book is an excellent resource—for one who has yet to respond to the gospel, it is a clear presentation of God’s plan and good news; for the Christian, it is a wakeup call to what the gospel really is, as well as a challenge to return, to refocus, and to make the gospel (the good news) the core of our being and our living. With the exception of the gospel itself, this may be the most important book to read in the twenty-first century. Read this book and then give a copy to a friend. (Since I’ve limited myself to a 5-reading glasses rating system, I give What Is the Gospel? a five +++ reading glasses rating.)

Benjamin Potter, August 13, 2010

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