One would think that, for Christians, answering the question “What Is the Gospel?” would be fairly straightforward, if not obvious. As author Greg Gilbert notes, “the gospel of Jesus Christ stands at the very center of Christianity, and we Christians claim to be about the gospel above all else. It’s what we intend to found our lives upon and build our churches around. It’s what we speak to others about, and it’s what we pray they also will hear and believe.”
So, why a book attempting to address this seemingly obvious issue? Gilbert responds by asking: how firm a grasp do you think most Christians really have on the content of the Christian gospel? And, bringing it home: how would you answer if asked what’s so good about the good news of Christianity?
In fact, Gilbert asserts, and rightly so in my opinion, that many of those who claim faith in Christ would answer this most basic of questions with a response that falls short of the Biblical gospel. In the Introduction to What Is the Gospel? Gilbert excerpts various answers to that very question found on several evangelical websites and books, some of which were not only incomplete but even mutually exclusive.
What Is the Gospel? seeks to identify a clear answer to the question, an answer supported by and based upon what the Bible teaches about the good news that Jesus saves sinners. Those who already belong to Christ will be prompted to greater worship and praise for the Lord’s mercy on their behalf. In fact, one of my favorite quotes from the book occurs in the Introduction: “An emaciated gospel leads to emaciated worship.” Hearts full of the joy of the gospel will be hearts full of rejoicing in the Savior!
I appreciated both the concise nature of What Is the Gospel? (only 121 pages) as well as the timely reminder of all that Christ accomplished for me. Remembering the gospel—my sin and Christ’s sacrifice—not only moves me to greater joy but also prompts me to share the good news with greater boldness and passion. I highly recommend this book!
Lisa thanks Crossway publishers for providing the review copy of What Is the Gospel?