In the past few years I have come across and read many good books devoted to getting the Gospel right. Add to this the expanding influence of conferenc...moreIn the past few years I have come across and read many good books devoted to getting the Gospel right. Add to this the expanding influence of conferences like "Together for the Gospel" and "The Gospel Coalition", and one might think that this gospel-focus is somewhat of a recent fad. While it may be true that a right understanding of the gospel might ebb and flow in popularity, the book "Our Guilty Silence", written in 1967, shows that men like John Stott, the author, were quite interested in getting the gospel right decades ago.
In this little book John Stott highlights the foundational message of the gospel in such a way that the reader is left not a little convicted for their silence in proclaiming these glorious truths. In the first chapter Stott gives the reader the incentive for bold proclamation of the gospel - The Glory of God. Our desire to proclaim the truth springs from our desire to bring glory to the God who saved us. This desire is reflected in our obedience and love along with our worship and our witness.
The second chapter is devoted to defining the gospel of God. Stott puts forth that one reason why Christians are silent regarding the gospel is because they are neither clear no sure what they ought to speak. The chapter covers the person and work of Christ, the effects of sin and the response of faith.
The third chapter should not be read without the fourth chapter. In the third chapter Stott talks about the necessity of the church of God (the people of God, both universal and local) to take action in proclaiming the gospel. He spends a few pages of the chapter detailing what his specific church does to evangelize, and some of the differences in culture and time in history become apparent. As he concludes the book, fourth chapter balances the third in that Stott points out that the power behind the gospel does not come from programs, but from the Holy Spirit.(less)
With the Muslim population exploding all over the planet, Thabiti Anyabwile’s book “The Gospel for Muslims” is a must read for those who have been sav...moreWith the Muslim population exploding all over the planet, Thabiti Anyabwile’s book “The Gospel for Muslims” is a must read for those who have been saved by and desire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Unlike many books comparing and contrasting Islam and Christianity “The Gospel for Muslims” is not a book of apologetics that simply seeks to answer the claims of Islam and defend the claims of Christianity. Instead Thabiti’s focus is encouraging the Christian to have confidence in the Gospel of Jesus Christ showing that it is the gospel that has the power to save lost sinner regardless of the belief system that is holding them in darkness. To that end this book is more a book about the Gospel than a book about Islam.
The book itself is divided into two parts. Part one focuses on the expounding the gospel while showing how the Muslim individual may react based on their belief. The good news in talking to a Muslim is that very rarely will the Christian find it difficult to bring up the topic of “Who is Jesus”. From there the conversation will go to who God says He is in His Word (The Quran accepts as inspired the books of the law, the Psalms and the Gospels), man’s problem (To the Muslim all sin isn’t necessarily a big problem), Jesus’ sacrifice and the required response.
Part two is dedicated to encouraging a right mindset and attitude when witnessing. The chapters focus on being filled with the Holy Spirit, trusting in the Bible, being hospitable (very important in the Muslim culture), using the local church and being willing to suffer. The final chapter looks at the unique challenges of the African-American Muslim culture.
Over all, Thabiti does a good job at reminding the reader that the goal of the Christian is not to win arguments or debates with their Muslim friends, but to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. (less)
Title: Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God Author: J.I. Packer Forward: Mark Dever
The title of this book may seem to be a paradox to some. In some cir...moreTitle: Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God Author: J.I. Packer Forward: Mark Dever
The title of this book may seem to be a paradox to some. In some circles it seems quite normal to pit God’s sovereignty up against evangelism, or vice versa, as if you can have only one and not the other.
However, in this relatively short, four chapter book, J.I. Packer takes the reader through the pages of Scripture to discover how evangelism is not only biblically compatible with Divine sovereignty, but depends on it. The four chapters cover “Divine Sovereignty”, Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility”,” Evangelism, Divine Sovereignty and Evangelism.” While the first two chapters set a good foundation, the third and fourth chapters are worth the time to read and re-read. In dealing with evangelism Packer spells out clearly and succinctly what the gospel is and isn't, and therefore what evangelism is and isn't. For this reason alone I would recommend this book to every Christian! (less)
Overall Carson takes us from understanding who Christ is, the importance of His atoning work on the cross, His triumph over Satan, His triumph over de...moreOverall Carson takes us from understanding who Christ is, the importance of His atoning work on the cross, His triumph over Satan, His triumph over death and even His triumph over doubt. Each chapter is firmly grounded in Scripture and Carson does a good job of letting the reader know how it affects their life today. Carson doesn’t shy away from saying things that the intelligentsia of modern (liberal/emergent) Christianity think as scandalous or idiotic. Carson quotes a former atheistic philosopher J. Budziszewski “When I fled from God…my way of fleeing was to get stupid. Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that one must be highly intelligent and educated to achieve.” Carson confronts head-on some of the modern (yet old) heresies surrounding the work of Christ on the cross – most of which seem to come from looking at the worlds problems primarily from a socio-economic vantage-point. “Have you noticed the categories we have used in this discussion of what ails the church in the west?” Carson asks (Page 78), “They are all sociological, historical, occasional, demographic, economic, psychological, medical. They are all performance-related, circumstance related. There is nothing about the Devil – and nothing about God.” And while Carson states that there is value to learning from such categories he insists that “if all of our analysis are restricted exclusively to such categories, the huge danger is that our solutions will be cast in such categories too.”
If there is one thing that this book gets across it’s that the one solution — the primary need of mankind, the only solution that is permanent and without it all other solutions are temporary fixes at best — that man needs is that atoning work of Christ applied to his account, to appease the just wrath of a Holy God who is the one most offended by every sin we commit, the just judge, and the one who provides the gracious way of escape through Christ.(less)