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The Explicit Gospel
Matt Chandler
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The Explicit Gospel

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  3,294 ratings  ·  307 reviews
Too few people attending church today, even those in evangelical churches, are exposed to the gospel explicitly. Sure, many will hear about Jesus, and about being good and avoiding bad, but the gospel message simply isn't there--at least not in its specificity and its fullness. Inspired by the needs of both the overchurched and the unchurched, and bolstered by the common n ...more
ebook, 313 pages
Published April 30th 2012 by Crossway (first published April 1st 2012)
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Josh L
You can read my full review at Quieted Waters.

Quite frankly, I expected to be bored by this book. It’s about the gospel, and I’ve been in church for decades. I’ve taught dozens of Bible studies and preached a few sermons, so the gospel is not unfamiliar to me. What surprised me was how much I personally benefited from reading this book.

This is not just a book for new believers. This is not a longer version of a gospel tract. It’s not something you hand off to someone while praying, “God, please
Dave Jenkins
The past few years have seen an influx of books from writers thinking through what the Gospel is and what it demands. Some of these books significantly advance the conversation on the Gospel, while others do not. The Explicit Gospel by Pastor Matt Chandler with Pastor Jared Wilson significantly advances and re-orients the current Gospel conversation by focusing on the Gospel in the air and on the ground.

Pastor Chandler ministers in an area of the country where many people understand Christianity
Matt Chandler is a gift to the church. Not only is he a wonderful communicator, but he is also astute theologically and in some ways is a "voice of a generation" to younger evangelicals.

His first book "The Explicit Gospel" expounds on the primary message he has been lauding from the pulpit and the iTunes library for years. The unadultered, explicit gospel. He shows this by two different scopes: the "systematic" approach (God, Man, Christ, Response) and the "biblical theological" approach (Creat
Will Waller
It's amazing, when you look back on the story of your life and examine the people you admired and how short a season that can be. For a long time, I ate up anything that came from Matt Chandler. He was edgy, he utilized questioning voices of the Bible. He was on the cutting edge of doubting evangelicals. And something has shifted in Chandler to make him colder, sharper in a unsettling way. Comments about the poor, women, homosexuals all share a tint of wealth promotion, misogyny, and homophobia. ...more
Daniel Threlfall
So, we have another book on the gospel. The Explicit Gospelis authored by Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church in Dallas, TX. The book is scheduled to be released on April 30, 2012. Is this just "another book on the gospel" — basic theology retweaked by a megachurch pastor — or is this something worth reading and pondering? Let's take a look.

The Big Idea of The Explicit Gospel
The book claims that too often, the gospel is assumed, not explicit. The explicit gospel obliterates man-centered
Matt Chandler’s The Explicit Gospel is a sweet look at the good news of Jesus Christ from more than one angle. Chandler challenges his readers to look at the gospel from both an individual (what he calls on the ground) and global (what he calls in the air) perspective.
The strength of this book is in the gospel content. Chandler uses both a “God, Man, Christ, Response” model of explaining the gospel as well as a “Creation, Fall, Reconciliation, Consummation” model. It is a good thing
Josh Cousineau
On my desk there is a shelf that only holds a few books. These books are the ones I tend to look at often for my message preparation and study. The books on this shelf have proven to be great as a resource for encouragement and solid teaching. This past week I added a book to this shelf, The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler with Jared Wilson.

This book is really a blessing. It is so very helpful in unpacking the truth and necessity of the gospel in our lives and how we tend to minimize the power
Clearly one of the best Christian books I have read. The progression of the Gospel starting with who God is to the cross to building the Kingdom for the glory of God. If you ask yourself what is the Gospel would you say, that it is Jesus died for me, to be a better spouse, parent, person, to feed the poor, to live morally. You will find that the Gospel is way more than any of the above. Our first mistake with the Gospel is to make it about ourselves. This is very easy to do and I think we deceiv ...more
Great Book. For those that are trying to find their way through the many misconceptions modern Christians have, this helps clear up a lot. Chandler has a great sense of humor and wonderful wisdom to share in this book. Even if your a non-believer, or a person who just doesn't get or agree with the church anymore, check this book out. You may be surprised by what you learn. And finish it, you may think from the beginning "Oh here we go. C'mon." But stick with it, it explains as it progresses. And ...more
Joseph McBee
Matt Chandler's first book makes much of Jesus and the holiness and love of God the Father. That is what I like about it most. Jared Wilson, who helped author the book, does a great job in retaining Chandler's preaching style in writing. It is a style marked with boldness and passion.

The book does not attempt to say anything new really, which, when it comes the gospel, is exactly as it should be. Instead, the book takes another look at the truths that have been proclaimed by the Church for over
Jared Totten
The Explicit Gospel is vintage Matt Chandler all the way. I really wanted to love this book. It had everything going for it: a dynamic pastor in his debut print offering, a trusted publisher, and the hottest topic in Christian literature right now. Alas, the book I hold in my hands is not the book I had dreamed up in my head, and thus I had to settle for merely liking the book.

Don't get me wrong, this is a good book and worth the price of admission. However (as a subscriber to Matt's sermon podc
Joon Park
Original review here. The following is an excerpt.

Matt Chandler writes a hit-and-miss work on the Gospel, full of sharped barbs that are occasionally convicting but are mostly mean-spirited and glitzy.

I really, really, really wanted to like this book. And indeed, I found parts of it absolutely brilliant. But we get a version of Matt Chandler here that hardly sounds like himself.

So the good: The best parts of the book are Chapter 6, Fall, and Chapter 7, Reconciliation. You get
Christopher Rush
Yeah, this is one of those books. One of those "I'm a pastor of the best church on earth, so I'm qualified to write a book on how everyone should do Christianity my way" sorts of books. I knew I would be in trouble when the friend who loaned it to me said I wouldn't like it - and she was right. I also knew I would be in trouble when I opened the cover and the first three recommendation names jumped out at me (in an aggressive, virulent way): the Mark Driscoll, the David Platt, and the Rick Warre ...more
John Gardner
Originally posted at Honey and Locusts.

The last few years have seen a great many books (explicitly) about the gospel written by guys from the "young, restless, Reformed" movement, including noteworthy examples by Greg Gilbert, J.D. Greear,Jared Wilson, and Trevin Wax(all of which are in my personal library). So this begs the questions:Do we really need another book about the gospel? And if so, what does THIS book bring to the table that makes it special?

With regard to the first question, of cou
Ryan Adair
I just finished reading this book, though I started it back in April when it first came out. It was very good indeed.

I really loved how Chandler broke up the book: part one had to do with the gospel on the ground—how it affects the individual—while part two had to do with a cosmic overview of the gospel in the air—how it affects the world. The first part dealt with God, Man, Christ, and our Response to the gospel message. The second part had to do with the overarching story of Creation, Fall, R
Matt Pitts
I was really looking forward to reading this book and was really grateful to receive it as one of the giveaways at T4G this year. I have benefited tremendously from Matt Chandler's ministry and honestly love him. He is a wonderful preacher.

Though Matt has a wide preaching ministry this I believe is his first book. For some reason I was under the impression at some point that it would focus on telling readers how to be explicit about the gospel in their various ministries. Instead it is just what
This is the first book I've read from the over twenty books I received at Together for the Gospel. It was a good read, seeking to draw together what Chandler calls the gospel 'in the air' and the gospel 'on the ground'. 'In the air' means a large-view picture of God's redemption of all things, while 'on the ground' is the work He is doing in individual lives. I appreciate Chandler's exhortation to balance the two so we are accurately presenting the gospel AND living it out.

Chandler is a young m
Tyler Cox
Matt Chandler, Pastor of the Village Church in Flower Mount Texas, has written a simple but profound book on the Gospel. Chandler explains that the context of the Gospel is the supremacy of Christ and the glory of God. "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." The book is separated into two sections: The Gospel on the ground and the Gospel in th ...more
So much wisdom in this book, I can't say enough! It takes a bit to get yourself onto the same page as Matt, because the perspective with which he breaks down the Gospel is one contemporary Christianity is definitely not used to. But after reading it, really, I don't know why I didn't view it this way before. The book is named quite appropriately as the Gospel is made as explicit as one can possibly make it while delivering its implications with wisdom and characteristic Matt Chandler wit. The on ...more
Christopher Weaver
I'm pretty sure John Piper could sue him for plagiarizing w/ this book. The vast majority of the book has been published or spoken by Piper. I am a huge fan of Matt Chandler, so this let me down. If I wanted to read Piper, I would've gotten a Piper book.
As to be expected, Chandler is coming from the hardcore neo-calvinist/young-restless-reformed theological perspective. In fact, I find it ironic that in a book that is supposed to be about the explicit Gospel, he doesn't see or acknowledge that his interpretation via Calvinism is an additional layer that he is putting on top of the Gospel, which can surely obscure it for many people. If you are already in that "camp" then I'm sure you'll enjoy this book. But if you're not, go read some books by ...more
Iosua Faur
Nobody can argue against the gift of preaching that Matt Chandler has. His good exposition of the Bible and his Gospel-centered ministry at The Village has a great impact. So, I have to admit that I was very excited about his first book and especially the subject: The Explicit Gospel. Just seeing this title was enough to convince me to take it, read it and what after just few pages, enjoy it until the end.
I know his battle for a pure, crystal clear, unaltered presentation of the Gospel, in the
Naomi Bowen
Christians can never, ever hear the gospel too many times. This book reminded me of the fact by highlighting topics I'd never really given much thought to. The gospel isn't just about our salvation. It's also about the eventual restoration of creation, the eventual promise of eternal fellowship with God and His name glorified! Never has one man's death accomplished so much.We need to remember what it did each and every day.
I would definitely recommend this book. Easy to read and very challengin
Michael Krauszer
Worth the read. Definitely some interesting and some great points. However, I'm not too sure how I feel about the second part of the book, and this might just be that he wasn't as clear as he could have been (or maybe I just didn't understand it fully?). Also, I feel as though he diverted his attention away from his "thesis" and often started about unnecessary things. One chapter he starts talking about science, then goes on to talk about Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth Creationism. It was ...more
Jason Carr
Excellent book focusing on the Gospel; not only the personal application of the work of the cross, but also the cosmic implications of the Gospel as Christ reconciles all things to Himself, and the application of the Gospel in the act of mortifying sin.
This is a wonderful book...I especially liked the chapters on creation redeemed and on grace. I listened to this book and THAT is why I gave I struggled and almost gave it a 4 - for the mode of delivery. This book screams to be read with margins and underlining. I will be doing. Buy the book - audio was free this month so started listening and was hooked. Buy the book! Buy two and give one to a friend.
Matt Chandler has put a lot of good, useful, even critical information into The Explicit Gospel, but reading the book was a somewhat frustrating experience. Chandler does a great job of showing how the gospel is frequently misunderstood by non-Christians and Christians alike. In many ways, this is a practical examination and correction of many erroneous beliefs about the gospel of Christ. Yet, Chandler uses too many difficult theological terms without explaining them - which does a disservice to ...more
Dawn Weaver
“How can you grow up going to church every week and not hear the Gospel?” This book is the result of Pastor Chandler’s wrestlings with this very question. Is it possible that the Gospel has been distorted to be more about self-fulfillment than reconciliation to a holy God? More about being the best you can be, or at least feeling good about yourself, than being reconciled to a holy God? Do we really see the Gospel as central to life and godliness or is its importance just 'assumed'?

In The Explic
Josh Smetzer
Particularly liked the chapters on reconciliation and consummation. Chandler adds humor throughout the book to help keep you going. The reading is easy and understandable and he gives application throughout the entire book. Felt he could have gone into a little more detail on a few parts, but overall covered his topics well.
Bad. Bad. Bad.

Chandler is guilty of so many different writing and theological problems. There is clear plagarism, and a poor understanding of Scripture and the Gospel.

My more complete thoughts are available here: http://centrestreetbaptist.wordpress....
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Chandler's presentation of God in The Explicit Gospel 1 37 May 12, 2012 07:02AM  
  • Gospel Wakefulness
  • Jesus + Nothing = Everything
  • What is the Mission of the Church?: Making sense of social justice, Shalom and the Great Commission
  • Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
  • Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe (RE: Lit)
  • What Is the Gospel?
  • Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus
  • Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself
  • Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
  • How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home
  • Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ
  • Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples
  • Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church
  • What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics
  • The Church: The Gospel Made Visible
  • Disciple: Getting Your Identity from Jesus
  • Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Matt serves as Lead Pastor of Teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas Fort Worth area. He has served in that role since December 2002 and describes his tenure at The Village as a re-planting effort where he was involved in changing the theological and philosophical culture of the congregation. The church ha
More about Matt Chandler...
To Live Is Christ to Die Is Gain Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church Recovering Redemption: A Gospel Saturated Perspective on How to Change Raw Faith: What Happens When God Picks a Fight Philippians Study Guide (To Live is Christ & to Die is Gain)

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“The marker of those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ is that, when they stumble and fall, when they screw up, they run to God and not from him, because they clearly understand that their acceptance before God is not predicated upon their behavior but on the righteous life of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death.” 25 likes
“Without a heart transformed by the grace of Christ, we just continue to manage external and internal darkness.” 22 likes
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