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The Explicit Gospel

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  9,138 ratings  ·  488 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 commo

Hardcover, 237 pages
Published April 28th 2012 by Crossway (first published April 1st 2012)
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Kristyn Which is exactly what Jesus and his disciples did. They were homeless and lived off the charity of the people who they taught. That is our example, no…moreWhich is exactly what Jesus and his disciples did. They were homeless and lived off the charity of the people who they taught. That is our example, not the authors. Have as much grace for them as you would want for yourself.(less)

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 ·  9,138 ratings  ·  488 reviews

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Josh L
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Daniel Threlfall
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
So, we have another book on the gospel. The Explicit Gospel is 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
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Dec 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Dave Jenkins
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Emilie Haney
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith-theology
I’ve been reading this book for a LONG time. This is not to say it was bad - in fact, the opposite. It is a excellent look at the gospel and how it applies to everyone and why it’s so important to have it central in your life at all times.

It took so long for me to read because it is a thick book in the sense of ideas. Not necessarily in pages. I digested it and believe that I always came back to it at the right times.

I’d highly recommend it and the only thing I would say is that at times it was
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Rosalyne Arceneaux
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hands-down the best book I’ve read about God. So thankful for the way this book has challenged me, convicted me, & inspired me to stop making the gospel about ME. Sooo many in the church today focus on how self-centered following jesus is (aka he loves you, has a perfect plan for you, saved you, enjoy him, he blesses you, etc with of course the knowledge that there will be trials and it involves sacrifice which is all true BUT not the entire story!!). God was complete. Is complete. Didn't neeeed ...more
Dec 14, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
4 Stars

A well written and persuasive book about the need to make sure the Gospel preached is the actual Gospel contained in the Bible.

I’d listened to a couple of sermon’s by Matt Chandler and other pastors at his church, but this was the first book of his that I’ve read. And it was a good one, I’ll likely take a look at some of his other books now.

The premise of the book is pretty simple. The Christian Gospel, presented in its full form, is a radical message that generates a strong response in
J.S. Park
Dec 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
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 g
Joseph McBee
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
B Hatfield
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a good read. Really felt like I was challenged to look at the Gospel differently and see that it is not just something you learn and hear once– but you should be living it. The Gospel is personal to each of us but its purpose also spans over all creation and all people. God is immense and the Gospel is all for HIS glory. We are to worship him through everything we do and everything he has graciously given us. IT IS ALL A GIFT. It is all by His grace. I once pondered why we have Earthly joys ...more
Christian Barrett
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Matt Chandler is a fantastic story teller, and in The Explicit Gospel he walks readers through God’s story of redemption. Chandler focuses on what the gospel of Jesus Christ is and is not. He begins in the beginning in and highlights how important is for Christians to not forget a single part of the gospel. This book is a little longer than some gospel presentation books, but I would still recommend it as a resource to a nonbeliever wanting to know more about the gospel. However, I think this bo ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Church of Jesus, let us please be men and women who understand the difference between moralism and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s be careful to preach the dos and don’ts of Scripture in the shadow of the cross’s ‘Done!’”

"Oftentimes where the gospel is assumed it is quickly lost."

Listened to the audio

2020 A book by or about a pastor
Dalton Scott
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Incredible book, occasionally had me wondering how we got here, but the content was so good I didn’t mind.
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nathan Farley
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was in high school, and it opened my eyes to who Jesus was and what he demanded of my life. I'm not sure that I would be as passionate or committed to following Jesus if it were not for this man and this book. If you're unsure about who Jesus is and what we demands, pick this up. ...more
Chase Ward
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just read it!
John Gardner
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Chandler is more "hip" than I typically prefer but there is no denying that he is a good communicator and gets his point across, and his points are usually good ones. Definitely a challenge to be explicit in our faith and not to simply think that we can "be the gospel" without preaching it. ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For some reason I had a hard time getting into the first couple chapters. But once I got to chapter 4 it was a really good read. The way that chandler describes two different but necessary aspects of the gospel is really clarifying & pushes the believer to live the gospel explicitly rather than assumed. Loved it!
Chris Collier
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very good, fast read. I spent a good amount of time finishing it, but didn’t spend a lot of time reading it. I would recommend this to all Christians, it gives a fully orbed view of the Gospel. One of the best I’ve read in a while.
Owen Hughes
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So so so good. Lays out the importance of the gospel and understanding the truth behind it, not what we want it to mean. Great read that makes you think after each chapter.
Steven Miller
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved it! Great book! Chandler really gives a clear understanding of the importance and power of the gospel.
Christopher Rush
May 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Matt Pitts
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jared Totten
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Michael Krauszer
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
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
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Chandler's presentation of God in The Explicit Gospel 2 45 May 08, 2018 10:42PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people. His sermons are among the topselling (free) podcasts on itunes and he speaks at conferences worldwide. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministr

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38 likes · 8 comments
“Without a heart transformed by the grace of Christ, we just continue to manage external and internal darkness.” 56 likes
“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.” 48 likes
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