Book Review: What is the Gospel?
A short, inexpensive book that clearly explains the gospel
The word ‘gospel’ simply means ‘good news’. Of all the gospels in the world, there is no gospel that is more momentous or more important than the gospel of Jesus. My life was changed when I came to understand this gospel. But what is ‘the gospel’?
Greg Gilbert from 9 Marks ministries has recently written a book that answers this question with great clarity in a small and very readable book.
Here’s the description from Crossway books:
What is the gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.
Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul’s systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the gospel in this valuable resource.
The God, man, Christ, response formula is nothing new. So the book isn’t offering a new or fresh understanding of the gospel, but rather restating the gospel as it is revealed in the Bible. I really love the way that Gilbert writes. This book is only 100 (small-sized) pages, but in those pages he packs in a lot of quality content without some of the technical clutter you might find in a more academic work. That doesn’t mean that this book lacks academic integrity, rather it’s written at a level that is accessible to a general readership.
I reckon all Christians should regularly read books that clearly explain the gospel. This is one of them. So if you’re a Christian, read it and be reminded to keep trusting in Jesus. The book is also very suitable for those who aren’t Christian or others who may have been confused in churches that don’t clearly preach the gospel.
Youth Pastors: this book would also be suitable for typical high-school reading and engagement level. Have your youth group read through it and do a study series on the key passages from each chapter. It would be good for your young people to be clear on the gospel, and it would also be an effective tool for equipping them for evangelism. Likewise it would be a great book to give away to teenagers who don’t yet know Jesus.
Get yourself a copy (or copies). It’s cheaper than a family meal at McDonalds.