Subscribe now

The Gospel’s Power & Message

By Paul Washer
September 2013 | Review by Ali McLachlan
  • Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
  • ISBN: 978-1-60178-195-6
  • Pages: 274
  • Price: 12.05
Buy this book »

The gospel’s power and message
Paul Washer
Reformation Heritage Books, 274 pages, £12.05
ISBN: 978-1-60178-195-6
Star rating : 5

This book is a most helpful contribution to Christianity. Seldom has such essential, solid theology been so readable.

Washer likens the gospel message to the Acropolis of the Christian faith. Regrettably, today’s ‘gospel’ lies in ruins; hence the book’s strap-line is about ‘recovering the gospel’

Washer corrects the one-dimensional, man-centred message frequently mistaken for gospel preaching. Such a recovery could not be timelier. In section one he contrasts our evangelistic failure with apostolic success. He blames today’s truncated message.

Our fearful obligation to God and to our generation, ‘to deliver [the gospel] in all its fullness and apostolic purity’, is established. Do we boldly proclaim to the lost that Christ died for sins according to the Scriptures?

Do we preach a risen Christ and plead with men to come to him? There is depth and passion here, as we are called to proclaim as heralds and expound as scribes.

In the second section, the unique, confrontational and potent-to-save character of the gospel is explained. This ‘foolish’ gospel is God’s power to save, against all doubt and fear of man. Washer corrects today’s over-emphasis on understanding and on catering to our culture. He exhorts us to understand and proclaim the only message with the power to save.

Preachers will be unable to read the book’s third section and rest easy that they adequately portray the gospel in all its glory. Do we rob men of a greater vision of God, because we shrink from giving them a lower vision of themselves? Is God’s holiness portrayed sufficiently to make our hearers loathe sin?

Are we a city-on-a-hill light that repels darkness? Does our portrayal of man’s moral darkness make the twin stars of God’s grace and mercy shine forth? Do our sermons on man’s depravity make the imputation of Christ’s righteousness seem the more wondrous?

Those depressed at the impotence of the modern ‘gospel’ will be edified by the portrayal of our Lord in the book’s closing chapters. It is joyful reading indeed, as facet upon facet of Christ’s infinite worth as redeemer is displayed.

We need more books that stir us to say with pride, ‘That’s my Saviour!’ Washer points us to the glories of Christ’s qualification as unique mediator: his propitiatory cross-work; his vindication of the Father as just and justifier; his high priestly office and overwhelming love; the power of his resurrection, and, finally, his ascension and return as sovereign and judge.

It is no mean feat to impart such sublime Christology in such down-to-earth terminology. The author concludes: ‘The eternal destiny of the entire human race depends upon its proper knowledge of the gospel’. This book is obligatory reading and should be in the hearts, lips and pulpits of every aspiring gospel church.

Ali McLachlan


Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church
Paul Washer

The ‘Author’s Prayer’ sets the tone: ‘Let the truth go forward. Let men be changed’ (p.viii). The directness in the prayer is replicated in the exposition. The author is a voice crying to recall the church to its true mission.…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Pressing On, Finishing Well: Learning from Seven Biblical Characters
Michael Black

Not often do we find some of the most stimulating and challenging words of a book in the introduction. But here Michael Black’s personal conviction on the brevity of life and the vital necessity of living each day in the…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Counting the Cost
David and Shirley Donovan

For 15 years these British missionaries have been at the heart of New Foundations, an evangelical medical mission. They had been serving the Lord giving spiritual and medical help to local communities in the Niger Delta, one of the world’s…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
My Sunflower Girl
Dyfan Williams

This is a heartfelt but reflective account of events leading to the death of Dyfan Williams’s 10-year-old daughter Megan, and the subsequent slow road to recovery. The reader is invited to walk with him and Caroline through their personal valley…