04 (April 2013)

The explicit gospel

The explicit gospel
Michael Bentley Michael, aged 76, is a retired Baptist minister, chairman of the Bracknell Forest Society and author of 16 books.
31 March, 2013 1 min read
The explicit gospel


Matt Chandler
IVP
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

Bracknell

Michael, aged 76, is a retired Baptist minister, chairman of the Bracknell Forest Society and author of 16 books.
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