Review: Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary

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Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Given the book’s premise, I was eager to read it and wanted to really like it. Mostly I did with only a couple of complaints. First, this book is very practical and that is both good and bad. The point was to be practical and that was good, but at times the reader would have been better served by going a little deeper into the text of Scripture and providing solid foundation for the practical application. Second, some of the jokes and cultural references felt a little forced and distracting. This is mostly a stylistic issue that just didn’t work well for me. The aim of the book would have been better served without them.

So much for the grumpy Trueman-esque critique, let’s get to what was good about Greear’s book. The assertion that the Gospel is lost to many today is insightful. My experience concurs with the missionary observation that we are not dealing with Gospel hardness but rather Gospel ignorance today. That almost seems impossible. To talk about the Gospel and use terms such as Gospel-centered is trendy right now. Just look at the Christian books being published and major conferences being held where Gospel is almost always in the title. It seems we are saturated with the Gospel. Talking about the Gospel and knowing, understanding, and preaching the Gospel are not the same things. Greear acknowledges and deals with this well.

This book is not just a word to broader Christendom though. Greear has much to say to the individual Christian and our ongoing need for the Gospel. Greear’s Gospel prayer at first seemed formulaic and potentially kitschy, but as he goes through the phrases and explains them in terms of the Gospel, it is quite helpful. Whether you actually use it as a prayer or not, it will help you think about the Gospel practically.

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