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Book Review: What is The Mission of The Church? By Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert

Balanced Because It’s Biblical In What It Says About The Mission of the Church

As a pastor for over twenty years you see a lot of fads come and go in the way churches seek to make an impact in our communities and culture.  I have never met a pastor (worth his salt) who didn’t want to be pleasing to God and make a difference for the sake of Christ in his community and culture. However, I have become more and more concerned as I see pastors watering down the message of the gospel; focusing more on programs than on the message of the gospel; and being influenced more by the culture, than influencing culture with the message of the Bible. Therefore, I wholeheartedly endorse and applaud this latest offering on the “mission” of the church because I think it is an excellent treatment of the relevant biblical passages and how they bear on the issues we are facing in the 21st century on what the mission/purpose of the church should be. It is missional and Biblical; truthful and loving without compromise; theologically profound and culturally relevant.

Without giving away the mission of the church as defined and defended in this book, I can say that DeYoung and Gilbert do a fantastic job of discussing issues like helping the poor, economics and social justice, the Kingdom, the gospel, and how a church can make an impact on the world without sacrificing the truth and absolutes.

The strengths of this book lie in its simplicity and clarity, exposition and insightful interpretation of the Scriptures, and it’s very clear explanation and application of the gospel as revealed in the 66 books of the Bible. I recommend this book especially for pastor’s young and old, leadership teams of churches, missionaries, and Christians who want to know how they can be purposefully a part of the only organization of which the “gates of hell will not prevail.”

At the end of the day – this book is highly recommended because the author’s build a great case for how to be biblically focused, God-centered, and culturally penetrating without sacrificing the most important truths and main story line of the Bible – the centrality of Jesus Christ as Lord and King to whom is all praise, glory and honor forever.

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Book Review: What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert

Simple and Clear Presentation of the Gospel

In eight short chapters Greg Gilbert does an excellent job of sharing what the gospel is, by contrasting that with what it is not. Early on in the book Gilbert summarizes the essence of the gospel by stating, “We are accountable to the God who created us. We have sinned against that God and will be judged. But God has acted in Jesus Christ to save us, and we take hold of that salvation by repentance from sin and faith in Jesus.” In the rest of the book he breaks these four points down by showing what the Scriptures have to say about how a person can have a right relationship with God through repentance and faith in Jesus and what that means. I think his discussion of the “Kingdom” was particularly helpful and well explained.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you are a Christian this book is a simple read that will clearly help you understand what you need to do in order to be “saved.” If you already are a Christian this book will help you appreciate the gospel all the more and motivate you to share the good news clearly and cogently with others. I think this book will be around for a long time to sharpen Christians in the amazing truth of the gospel, and as a resource to give to non-Christians with the hope that they will read it and receive the amazing gift of grace that has been offered to us in Jesus Christ. I highly recommend this book!

 

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