Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Review: The Explicit Gospel

The Explicit Gospel. By Matt Chandler with Jared Wilson. Wheaton: Crossway Books. pp. 240. 2012. ($17.99)

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When Matt Chandler heard multiple testimonies from new believers that they had attended church for most of their lives yet had never heard the gospel explicitly explained, he didn't believe it. He actually challenged those new believers to go back and look through their notes from sermons, conferences, and youth events just to see if they really heard the gospel or not. Some came back and said, "You were right. The gospel was explained right there." But far too many couldn't find any time when the gospel was made explicit.

That's what Chandler's book does. He first explains the gospel as it applies to the individual, taking a chapter apiece to discuss God, Man, Christ, Response. I most benefited from his chapter on man, which gets straight to the heart of the problem of man: our sin is an offense to God and we need to be saved from His wrath.

The second part addresses the plan of God for mankind all the way through history: Creation, Fall, Reconciliation, Consumation. The two parts together give a comprehensive view of the gospel. The third part of the book addresses some of the errors and imbalances we can easily drift into when we fail to give proper emphasis to the first or second aspect of the gospel.

Chandler's first book is very timely in its appearance. Stripping the gospel to nothing more than moralism, "do-goodism," or something else that fails to preach the whole gospel. Chandler strays now and again into some juvenile language ("Now put on a cup, dude, because it's about to be big-boy time"), and his discussion on various views about creation was out of place and too long, but overall the book set out what it's title suggests: it gives a clear presentation of the gospel.

I received this audio book from christianaudio for the purpose of review.

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