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Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Explicit Gospel

"Christian Moralistic Therapeutic Deism"...

"the assumed gospel"...

What are these things?
Matt Chandler addresses both in his new book The Explicit Gospel published by Crossway.
Chandler is the Lead Pastor of The Village Church a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people.  You can read more his story HERE as well as listen to his sermons on the church's website.  According to the church's website, the gospel is defined like this: "The gospel is the story of God reconciling and redeeming a broken creation and fallen creatures to Himself through the life, death, resurrection and future return of Jesus Christ."

Rick Warren states, "If you read only one book this year, make it this one.  It's that important."  I agree.

From the inside jacket cover of the book:
"Even if you go to church, it doesn't mean that you are being exposed to the gospel explicitly.  Sure most people talk about Jesus, and about being good and avoiding bad, but the gospel message simply isn't there...Inspired by the needs of both the over-churched and the unchurched, and bolstered by the common neglect of the explicit gospel within Christianity, popular pastor Matt Chandler writes this punchy treatise to remind us what is of first and utmost importance - the gospel.  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!"

Christian Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is the idea that "we are able to earn favor with God and justify ourselves before God by virtue of our behavior".  The assumed gospel is the "tendency to think that the cross saves us from past sin, but after we are saved, we have to take over and clean ourselves up.  This sort of thinking is devastating to the soul."

Chandler writes with biblical clarity to dispel such faulty thinking; thinking that is robbing God of His glory and creating a man-centered religiosity.  Divided into three parts, The Explicit Gospel, is a clear exhortation to Christ exalting and cross-centered thinking in our personal lives and in the life of the churches where we worship and serve.
"We are saved, sanctified, and sustained by what Jesus did for us on the cross and through the power of his resurrection.  If you add to or subtract from the cross, even if it is to factor in biblically mandated religious practices like prayer and evangelism, you rob God of his glory and Christ of his sufficiency."
What I most appreciated most about the book was the fact that it wasn't just another book of exhortation, but that Chandler peppered the entire work with actual points of application.  The Explicit Gospel would be a great resource for use in a discipleship relationship with a new believer or for study in a small group Bible study or Sunday School class.

Visit CrossWay's page featuring The Explicit Gospel by going HERE where you can read an excerpt or order the book.  The book can also be found on by going HERE.

Thank you CrossWay for the complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review.