Friday, January 16, 2009

Get This Book!

While living in Australia, a good friend of mine and myself attended a church for many years without understanding that we had never heard the true biblical Gospel. This fellowship was typical of many congregations we find in the west today. Eventually we left this church hungry for the truth. My friend and myself started tapping into good biblical teaching which was an exhilerating journey of discovery. Among the many great resources we have been exposed to is a book called "The Gospel According to Jesus". My good friend was so impacted by this book, and its content is so important, that I have decided to post today what he had to say about this book.

Title The Gospel According To Jesus
Tagline What Is Authentic Faith?
Author John MacArthur
Edition Revised & Expanded Anniversary Edition
ISBN 978-0-310-28729-2

I'm struggling to properly articulate just how good this book is. Please bear with me as I indulge in an embarrasing but genuinely heartfelt list of excessive superlatives.

1. Drop everything you are doing. Go and get this book. Put your life on hold until you've finished reading it. I mean it.

2. This is by far the best exegetical book I have ever read. Period. Better than any Spurgeon book - which is a big call for a big Spurgeon fan such as myself. Better than Hell's Best Kept Secret. Better even than "Ashamed of the Gospel".

3. Reading this book reminded me of what Tozer said of Faber: "His love for the Person of Christ was so intense that it threatened to consume him. It burned within him as a sweet and holy madness and flowed from his lips like molten gold." Molten gold flows out of this book. Even the appendices!

4. As I read this book, I realised that, with regard to the Gospel, my salvation, and Biblical exegesis, I have been sitting in a very dark room for a very long time. Reading this book, the door was starting to be prised open, and the light was pouring in, and my eyes, half-blind from long dis-use, were both hurting from the light, and were straining to make out the shapes in the light. Sadly I'm not too sure I completely like what I see......

5. I finally (partially) understand some of the difficult sayings of Jesus. For many years now, I have "dispensationalised" the Bible thus: A. the Old Testament. B. The New Testament from Acts onwards. C. The gospels, with Jesus saying strange things that don't seem to fit in either the New or the Old. I have been assuming that Jesus was trying to subtly introduce pre-New-Covenant, pre-salvation concepts to Old Covenant listeners, hence the cryptic, seeming half Old half New nature of His sayings. I now realise that my understanding of the Gospel has been so faulty, and so tainted, by my long term exposure to the eroded modern version of the Gospel, that I did not even recognize the Gospel from Jesus Himself.

6. I feel like I've just heard the gospel for the first time in my life.

7. The book includes an entire chapter on the definition of repentance!!

Now, stop reading your email and go and get the book! :)


Jerry said...

Wow! Has it really been 20 years since I read this book? (I purchased it when it first came out.)

I will have to pull it down from the bookshelf and read it again.

Wally World said...

I agree that this is a great book. Another book that is becoming my all-time favorite is "The Great Exchange: My Sin for His Righteousness" by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington.

It is a book that explains what the Bible teaches about Christ's substitutionary atonement, and how this atonement makes us right with God. The theme verse of the book is II Corinthians 5:21, "For our sake [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." In a word it means that Christ, the sinless one, was charged with our sin, while we, in the Great Exchange, received Christ's perfect righteousness.

Travis Yates said...

I've read this book and I put Hard To Believe by MacArthur right up there with it. Both are must reads.