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What Is the Gospel?

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,789 ratings  ·  142 reviews
This newest addition to the IXMarks series presents a clear, straightforward statement of the gospel, the third mark of a healthy church.

What is the gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all l...more
Hardcover, 127 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Crossway Books
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Jeannette Garcia
I thought this book was excellently written. It was concise and pretty straight forward about what the Gospel really is. I think every Christian should read it at least once. It gives you a clear outline of how to present the Gospel without omitting crucial details. I believe there is much desperation to see those around us experience the grace of God that we tend to downplay consequences of sin and being unrepentant. This, in turn, causes many people to promote the rewards of the Kingdom in ord...more
Josh Morgan
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café.

The latest book I got to review for christianaudio's reviewer program (meaning I received a complimentary copy) was Greg Gilbert's What is the Gospel? This book is actually part of a series from 9marks, going in-depth about what that organization considers to be the nine marks of a healthy church, as argued by Mark Dever.

I actually finished this audiobook over a week ago, but I didn't feel any urge to get a review out quickly because I really d...more
This book is going on my list to read & re-read regularly. It is a clear, well-thought-out walk through the truths of the Gospel as explained by Scripture and an appropriately pointed challenge to the watered-down descriptions of the Gospel that are often espoused today.
Michael Boling
The “gospel” is certainly a word most Christians are familiar with. After all, at some point we responded to the message of the gospel, we are commanded in Scripture to declare the gospel, and it is the gospel that is supposed to be preached and understood as a foundational element of the faith. With that said, is the “gospel” more of a theological buzzword or do we truly understand what this term is all about, how it shapes our lives as believers and more importantly, what we are supposed to be...more
Melissa Brown
I am often tempted to view the gospel as simply the starting place of the Christian life that must be left behind for the deeper things of God. The gospel is more often than not viewed as simply the wedding vows of our marriage with Christ. Something to be observed and remembered but, for the most part, put away as something we accepted in the past. I am convinced that few church-goers fully understand the gospel and even fewer consider it of the utmost importance. Brothers and sisters, may we l...more
Sammy Wood
Accessible and succinct. Much that needs to be teased out over time, but good as (a) a primer on the gospel, and (b) a refresher course when we get it muddled in our minds.
Ryan Linkous
A concise guide to the gospel meta-narrative. I would definitely recommend giving this book to people in churches because it communicates deep biblical truths at a lay-level.
"How I wish I could place this book in the hands of every pastor and church member."
C.J. Mahaney
Tommy Grooms
As I read this, I couldn't help but think of a passage in Lord of the Rings about hobbit genealogical books: "Hobbits delighted in such things, if they were accurate: they liked to have books filled with things that they already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions."

Unfortunately, this book may suffer as did the books in the Shire: "all but Hobbits [read: Christians] would find them exceedingly dull."

Don't get me wrong: I think this book lays out the meat and potatoes of the gos...more
Greg Gilbert’s new book What is the Gospel is very good, calling for a clear understanding of the gospel. Such bricks as this are stacked all over the place: “It’s become fashionable lately to present the gospel by saying that Jesus came to save humanity from an innate sense of guilt or meaninglessness or purposelessness or emptiness. Now of course those things really are problems, and many people feel them deeply. But the Bible teaches that humanity’s fundamental problem–the thing from which we...more
I admire and appreciate Gilbert's willingness and goal of clarifying the Gospel, especially seeing how there are so many "half gospels," "false gospels," etc. He mentions the narrative element of the Gospel, but he doesn't go much further than that. I felt he dropped the ball here. Sadly, in typical Southern Baptist form, he chooses to focus 99.9% of his clarification on justification and Jesus' death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (penal substitution). Almost everything he discuss...more
Matthew Robbins
“What is the gospel?” The answer to this question might seem obvious to some, although they might have a hard time really explaining it clearly. Others, influenced by post-modern thought or new-age spirituality, might define the gospel (if they think it can be defined at all) with vague terms about the Kingdom of God or the redemption of the world that leave the hearer wondering what exactly they are really espousing. There are a plethora of “versions” of the gospel out there, and it’s vital tha...more
Joseph Louthan
For so long, the gospel of God has been assumed in our churches. We now stand on the cusp of the gospel being denied from those who grew up in church and yet was never taught the fullness of the gospel and the full council of the Bible. Nevermind, the true gospel being scoffed at from the unbeliever—we know that would happen. We now have the gospel assumed or even worse yet, taught something that is the gospel is not: namely, Jesus is a good example, Jesus is just a Lord, Jesus provides wealth,...more
C.H. Cobb
Truth is being assaulted from all sides in our day. From the capitulation of the Biologos cadre, to the crass man-centeredness of Osteen, to the “God is an American conservative Republican” cultural Christianity crowd, there are voices out there to confuse believers, distort the truth, and eviscerate biblical Christianity. It’s time someone wrote a book reminding us what the gospel is, and what it isn’t.

Greg Gilbert’s brief (124 pages), accessible offering, published by Crossway under the 9Marks...more
Every Christian needs to have a firm grasp on the essentials of the gospel. Sadly not all do. In What is the Gospel, Greg Gilbert does an admirable job of helping Christians to grasp the essentials of the good news without over-simplifying things to a few booklet points.


This book is simply fun to read. Gilbert illustrates well, but not too much. He takes us on a simple tour of the atonement, pointing out the complexities without hurting our brains in the process. The author neither hi...more
Short. Simple. Significant. Here is a sustained meditation on the beauty and bounty of the gospel. I found myself at first stumbling over the simplicity of this book, but soon realized that's its genius.

In a generation that loves to talk about the "gospel" here comes a work that defines it in an accessible, penetrating, and worshipful way. I found myself thinking this would be a great giveaway as an evangelistic resource for people ministering anywhere in the bible-belt. At the same time, it al...more
John Gardner
What is the gospel? One would expect this question to have a short, simple answer, considering that Christians everywhere devote themselves to proclaiming "the gospel" (the word means "good news"). We proclaim the gospel because Jesus did it ( Mark 1:14-15 ). We proclaim the gospel because Jesus told us to do it ( Mark 16:15 ). We proclaim the gospel because Paul told us it is the power of salvation for all who believe ( Romans 1:16 ). We proclaim the gospel because Peter told us it is the means by...more
What is the Gospel? It seems like such an easy question, but I must submit to you that if you were to ask everyone in your congregation this one question that you would get a myriad of answers (most of which would be unbiblical). How can that be since we call ourselves born-again Christians whose very existence is owed to a Saviour who took on flesh as the God-man, lived a perfect life, died a perfect death under the wrath of His Heavenly Father as the payment for our sins, and was resurrected i...more
Aug 18, 2010 dvd rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Christians, Non-Christians
Recommended to dvd by: ibooks
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
What is the gospel? Ask 100 people and you are certain to get a wide assortment of answers. That is why it is a good question to ask and as long as Christians present differing gospel messages, problems and division in the church will persist. That is why a book such as Greg Gilbert’s What is the Gospel? is so needed.

While leaning toward a very Calvinist viewpoint, Gilbert does an excellent job of answering the question posed. As part of the 9Marks series of books, this is quite possibly the mo...more
Jan 27, 2013 Scott rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I'm always glad to read and reread books on this defining subject of our faith. And I've come to appreciate anything written by members of the Gospel Coalition, of which Gilbert is a regular contributor.

The author presents the Gospel in four facets or components: God, man, Christ and response. A bit reminiscent of the Roman road I was taught long ago in SS, and yet clearly within the framework of the Gospel message.

This book keeps it simple without delving into various theories of the atonement,...more
James Rutherford
Within the church today there are many different ideas of what the Gospel is, while you can find Christians in every church that can magnificently articulate the five points of the Tulip or the Remonstrance and people who can point to every verse in Scripture referring to the baptism in the Spirit and speaking in tongues, how many can articulate the heart of Scripture? How many can answer the question “What is the Gospel?” biblically? Some may answer;
The good news is, God wants to show you his...more
Miles Morrison
What is the Gospel? That's a question that many people in the Church today are not equipped to answer as readily as we might think. Gilbert does a fantastic job of stripping this question down to its very bare elements so that it is easy and straightforward to answer this question. There are many different ways that you can explain the Gospel, but the four key elements are God, Man, Christ, Response. God is sovereign over all of creation. Man, because of his sin, will receive from God the just p...more
I gave this book a 5 star because I think everyone should read it. Even if you think you know the Gospel, there is great insight and clarity. This book is a very fast read but it also is a book to chew on and think about as well. There is application because Jesus requires us to respond to the Gospel. One of the points the author made which is one that we all know as Christians, that God is the creator, and we are the created. It went further by saying that because God is the creator, he has rig...more
Noel Burke
This was an excellent book. We went through this book as a small group and it was so good. What is the Gospel? God, Man, Christ, Response. That's the Gospel. We start with God as a holy God and He created everything. This included man. God gave Adam and Eve (The first humans) a wonderful place to live without pain and free from struggle. God gave them one command and they broke it. Man became sinful before God. The punishment for sin is death. Now mankind is in trouble because one sin requires p...more
UofM621 Minnett
Dec 08, 2010 UofM621 Minnett rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Christians and Non-Christians
Greg Gilbert did a wonderful job of answering the question asked in the title "What is the Gospel." From all indications this is Greg's first book but he would certainly have my encouragement to write more.

This book should be required reading for all Christians to ensure an embedded understanding of the heart of the Gospel. This will help them to avoid common errors that are being perpetuated in our day about the message of the Gospel. In the 7th chapter of the book Greg, exhorts us to always ke...more
Joel Wentz
This book is an extremely short read, and the introduction provides a compelling vision for what you are about to go through. Unfortunately, in my estimation, it ultimately fails to live up to the task. I agree with many of Gilbert's assertions (the gospel has become way too muddied, confusion, and ultimately uninteresting), and I do appreciate his effort to trim it down to an easy-to-communicate style. However, my main struggle is that I didn't leave the book with a simpler vision of what the G...more
Gene Helsel
This is a pithy little book and well worth the read-time. As Gilbert notes early in the book, although we Christians (all of us) should be crystal clear about the contents of the Gospel, most of us are not. In the first chapter Gilbert deftly outlines the non-negotioable contents of the Gospel from the first four chapters of Romans: God, Man, Christ and Response. With each of these "headings" Gilbert asks a question to focus our understanding:

God: Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?

Clear, concise, and impressively comprehensive treatment of the gospel. His warnings about "fuller" or "bigger" gospels in the last chapter was rather interesting. Though I do think we can speak of the "Jesus as Lord" as a gospel, especially in light of the earlier church's Christus Victor message. Nonetheless, it was an important warning to not neglect what is essential - repentance and faith for the forgiveness of sins through the cross and resurrection of Jesus.
Chad Barnes
May 16, 2011 Chad Barnes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 12 & Up
Excellent, excellent! This book is published by IX Marks, the ministry of Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and written by the associate pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. At 121 pages, "What Is The Gospel" is a great read for the unbeliever who wants an introduction to the Gospel (i.e., what it is, what it is NOT, how it affects those who believe it, etc.) as it is presented in Scripture, and for the believer (whether young or mature in the faith) who want...more
John Mark Pantana
A rich systematic layout of the Gospel. He makes the case (and I think rightly so) that Scripture always reveals the Gospel in the order of God, Man, Christ, Response. Don't expect a tear jerker. It is more a studious, theological breakdown on how one is justified before God according to Scripture. In light of a culture that either waters down or completely misses the Gospel, this book helps. Does it fully encompass all the implications of the Gospel? I don't think so. Was it meant to? I don't t...more
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“Piense en ese hermano o hermana a quien no se ha molestado en conocer porque no piensa que serán compatibles. Piense en esa persona con la que tiene una relación rota y no ha querido repararla. Ahora considere que esa misma persona ama y adora al mismo Señor que usted. Considere que el mismo Señor que murió por usted, también murió por él, o ella. Me pregunto si su entendimiento del evangelio de Jesucristo–las buenas nuevas de que Jesús le salvó sin que usted lo mereciera–es lo suficientemente profundo como para tragarse las pequeñas críticas que tiene contra sus hermanos y hermanas. Me pregunto si es lo suficientemente profundo como para enterrar las ofensas que han cometido en su contra, incluyendo las más dolorosas, y como para llevarle a perdonarlos y amarlos justo como Jesús mismo lo ha hecho por usted. Me pregunto si la vastedad del amor de Dios por usted ha incrementado su amor por los demás.” 0 likes
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