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The explicit gospel

By Matt Chandler
April 2013 | Review by Michael Bentley


Too few people attending church today, even in evangelical churches, are exposed to the gospel explicitly. Sure, many will hear about Jesus, and about being good and not being bad, but the gospel message simply isn't there - at least not with precision and fullness. Moved by the common neglect of the explicit gospel within Christianity, Matt Chandler begins with the specifics of the gospel - outlining what it is and what it is not. He then switches gear to focus on the fullness of the gospel and its massive implications at both personal and cosmic levels. Recognizing our tendency to fixate on either the micro or macro aspects of the gospel, Chandler also warns us of the dangers on either side - of becoming overly individualistic or syncretistic. Here is a call to true Christianity, to know the gospel explicitly, and to unite the church on the amazing grounds of the good news of Jesus!

  • Publisher: IVP
  • ISBN: 978-1-84474-578-4
  • Pages: 240
  • Price: 9.99
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Book Review

The explicit gospel
Matt Chandler
240, £9.99
ISBN: 978-1-84474-578-4
Star Rating: 4

This is an excellent and thought-provoking book. It has amusing illustrations, yet pulls no punches in its desire to show the riches of the gospel. Matt Chandler wants every Christian, and certainly every preacher and teacher, to be absolutely clear in their gospel presentation.

     He divides his book into two main sections. One is called ‘The gospel on the ground’. In this he has chapters on God, man, Christ and our response. The second section is called ‘The gospel in the air’. This deals with creation, the Fall, reconciliation and consummation.

     He explains his two sections by referring to the city of New York with its many high buildings. It is possible to know the city from walking around it, but, he tells us, if you view it from 30,000 feet above the ground, you have a wider perspective.

     He is concerned that if we only preach the gospel from the ground it can lead to man centredness. He writes, ‘the explicit gospel magnifies God’s glory as it heralds the supremacy of his Son … it posits a cross that is cosmic. We see that the peace that is made by the blood of the cross covers “all things”.

     ‘The scope of Christ’s reconciling work on the cross spans the brokenness between man and God and the brokenness between earth and heaven’ (p.142).

     Matt Chandler does not believe in watering down the basics of the biblical gospel message and he urges us to present a total gospel. Salvation is not just a nice feeling, or peace, important as these things are. The whole universe is involved and we must present the greatness of the gospel in this all-inclusive aspect (p.90). 

     It is an easy book to read, filled with many good things, including a lengthy exposition of the book of Ecclesiastes and references to passages like Colossians 1:18. Those who read it will be enriched in their thinking and drawn closer to their Lord.

Michael Bentley



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