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Book Review: The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler

The Antidote to Gospel Inoculation

When Saint Augustine was living a life of licentiousness many generations ago he was hearing some children playing near where he was seated, playing a game with the refrain “Take up and read, take up and read.” He picked up his Bible and opened it to the book of Romans and proceeded to read about his sin and his desperate need of the provision of Christ’s imputed righteousness by faith in his death, burial, and resurrection in exchange for his sin. He was convicted of his sin and powerfully drawn by the work of the Holy Spirit toward faith and repentance in the person and work of Christ.

Whether you are a rebel, or someone who has heard the gospel (or what may pass for the gospel today) – you are well advised to take up this book and read it. In the past men like Augustine, Luther, and Calvin understood with passion and clarity our need to comprehend the richness and depth of the gospel, and proclaim it with passionate urgency – because souls are hanging in the balance. In this book Chandler definitively understands and articulates the power of the gospel and the desperate need we all have to understand the depth of our sin before a Holy God, and the just requirements He has that we have failed to meet, and thus our desperate need for what Christ came to save us from and unto.

In three parts Chandler clearly articulates the gospel essentials (God, Man, Christ, and our response); the gospel’s theological underpinnings (Creation, Fall, Reconciliation, and Consummation); and lastly its implications and applications for all of the aspects of our lives. The author is to be commended for writing a book that is passionate about the gospel; clearly articulates the gospel; calls for a response to the gospel; and demonstrates how to communicate and live out the gospel.

I highly recommend this book especially for preachers who proclaim the word of God week in and week out. He will inspire you to NOT compromise the gospel and to rest in the work of the Holy Spirit in applying it’s power in the lives of your people. My hope and prayer is that in reading this book your passion will be stirred to unflinchingly proclaim the gospel powerfully in truth and love – resulting in the saving of many lives. I think that the Apostle Paul would wholeheartedly agree with all that Chandler articulates in this book and would add, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel (as conveyed in this book), for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people. He has recently taken the post as President of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. His sermons are among the top selling (free) podcasts on itunes and he speaks at conferences worldwide. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over ten years where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. He lives in Texas with his wife, Lauren, and their three children: Audrey, Reid and Norah.

 

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God Our Best Friend

“It is infinitely better to have the whole world for our enemies and God for our friend, than to have the whole world for our friends and God for our enemy.” – John Brown

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Quotes

 

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Book Review: Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle

Why Should You Bother to Read This Book? 3 Reasons:

1)    We live in a cultural and theological environment that wants to shape our own God – rather than believe in the God that has been revealed in the Scriptures as both Holy and Loving.

2)    We need to be balanced in our thinking of the character and nature of God as revealed in the Bible – He is just and loving, so how do these two aspects of God’s character work with respect to the here and now, and on into eternity.

3)    We need to develop the heart of God for people who don’t know Him intimately and personally through Jesus Christ.

Chan and Sprinkle have written a compelling and cogent book that is logical, exegetically sound, and pulls at the intellect and the emotions to lead us to action in the pursuit of understanding what God is like, and being like Him for the sake of redeeming and restoring our culture – God’s way! I highly recommend this book as one that will help you grow in your understanding in the character and nature or God and mankind and what God’s plans are for the immediate present, and the fast approaching future through the person and work of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ.

 

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Book Review: If God Is In Charge by Steve Brown

The subtitle of this book is “Thoughts on the nature of God for skeptics, Christians, and skeptical Christians.” And these thoughts are at times profound, other times humorous, and always based on Biblical truth. Steve Brown’s books (I’ve read of all of them) are full of stories, good quotes, illustrations, and most importantly – practical expositions of important Biblical passages related to the topic. This book is no exception.

In this enjoyable read Brown tackles the topic of God’s Sovereignty and each chapter looks at the evidence for and the application of each truth. The premise is that if God is in charge:

1)    What is He like?

2)    How is He in Charge?

3)    Why do I hurt so much?

4)    Then I’m Not

5)    Then I’m Responsible to Him

6)    Then I’m Free

7)    Then I can Risk

8)    Then I can Question

9)    Then I can Praise

10) Then I can Dream

The foundations of this book from beginning to end are that God is Big, He’s in Charge, and He loves you. The author mines principles for each of the topics above based on sound Biblical evidence from each text. It’s encouraging, entertaining, thought provoking, and very practical. I think the sign of a really good book is that it’s one you will read over and over again – this is definitely one of those books. Thanks for doing it again and again Steve Brown – Keep the helpful books coming.

 

 

 

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The God Who Seeks Us

“All religions, by and large, besides Christianity give you founders that say, ‘that’s the way to find God’, only Christianity gives you a founder, Jesus Christ, who says, ‘I’m God come to find you.'” – Tim Keller

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Quotes

 

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