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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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Book Review: After You’ve Blown It by Erwin W. Lutzer

Helping You Reconcile With God and Others

In the opening chapter of this concise book (less than 100 pages) *Lutzer writes, “Strictly speaking, of course, not one of us deserves redemption. God owes us nothing, but He nevertheless offers His undeserved grace. Though we deserve damnation, He invites each of us to be redeemed. Worthy or not, we come to Him to receive forgiveness and the assurance that God still has a plan for our lives.”

Using Biblical stories and modern applications to those stories this is a book about how there is hope for anyone, no matter how bad they have blown it, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I highly recommend this book especially for the following types of people:

1)    Those who think they are too “bad” to be saved.

2)    Those who think they are “good” and don’t need to be saved.

3)    Those who are enmity with God and know it – and aren’t sure how to remedy it.

4)    Those who are at enmity with others – and aren’t sure how to remedy it.

5)    Those who need to be reminded that God has a plan for them, and that no matter how bad you’ve blown it – there is hope for you because of the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

6)    Those of you who help others in counseling ministries.

It’s a fantastic little book – concise, full of Biblical wisdom, a clear gospel presentation, and leads and will encourage and give you hope. I also recommend it highly as a gift to give to those who are confused, discouraged, and broken over their sin.

*Since 1980, Erwin W. Lutzer has served as senior pastor of the world-famous Moody Church in Chicago, where he provide leadership to Chicago pastors. Dr. Lutzer earned his B.Th. from Winnipeg Bible College, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, an M.A. in philosophy from Loyola University, an LL.D. from Simon Greenleaf School of Law, and a D.D. from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary.

Dr. Lutzer is a featured radio speaker on the Moody Broadcasting Network and the author of numerous books, including The Vanishing Power of DeathCries from the Cross, the best-selling One Minute Before You Die and Hitler’s Cross, which received the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (EPCA) Gold Medallion Book Award. He speaks both nationally and internationally at Bible conferences and tours and has led tours of the cities of the Protestant Reformation in Europe.

Dr. Lutzer and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Chicago area and are the parents of three grown children. (Courtesy of Multnomah Publishers)

 
 

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