Book urges believers to get back to the truth of the gospel
January 17 2012 by Neale Davis, Book review

Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
by J.D. Greear (B&H Books, October 2011)
 
“Being able to articulate the gospel is one thing; having its truth captivate your soul is quite another.”
Has conservative Christianity allowed the gospel to be upstaged by moralism and legalism? Have we lost our way in relativistic culture and become distracted by our culture to such a state that we have lost our way?
 
J.D. Greear brings, in this book, a message that is very likely to cause a collective group of “sighs” across Christendom. In a drowning, politically correct, relativistic culture it seems that the church has been drawn into a dangerous flow that is rapidly pulling many out to sea with its strong undercurrent. The author believes that evangelicalism, as a whole, desperately needs to return the gospel to the center of Christianity.
 
With a healthy dose of balance Gospel is a book that successfully attempts to move our thinking, and our heart, toward “gospel-centered” vibrance. The content, following the pattern of the author’s own The Gospel Prayer, J.D. Greear brings the reader back to the revivification of the Living Water: “In Christ there is nothing I can do that would make You love me more, and nothing I have done that makes You love me less. Your presence and approval are all I need for everlasting joy. As You have been to me, so I will be to others. As I pray, I’ll measure Your compassion by the cross and Your power by the resurrection.”
 
The refreshing part of this book is that it reminds the reader of how the gospel has cut through the artificial nature of religion and restores the extraordinary truth of God’s gracious acceptance of a sinful world in Christ.
 
The gospel helps us move from a life of self-focus to one of joy, radical generosity, freedom and courageous faith.
 
Greear reminds us that sin is not overcome with the will to “do better” but by being captivated by what God has done for us.
 
It points the reader, in helpful and practical ways, toward moving from legalistic obedience to love driven compulsion.  
 
In Gospel, the reader is reminded that God is not looking for well-behaved people, but people who experience a vibrant obedience that can be produced only by the gospel.
 
Greear writes with his conversational and witty style, which makes Gospel an easy and refreshing read.
It is a purchase that is well worth the price of the book.
 
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Neale Davis, a graduate of Southeastern Seminary, has served with Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, for 27 years. He is a volunteer counselor at The Summit Church, Durham, where Greear is pastor. He lives in Cary.)
1/17/2012 4:49:27 PM by Neale Davis, Book review | with 0 comments




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