inREVIEW — The Explicit Gospel, by Matt Chandler with Jared Wilson

by Lee Buford on May 4, 2012

I’ll admit to being a bit cautious and selective when using the phrase “must-read” to describe any book, but I’m comfortable with telling you straight out of gates that this one is a “must-read.”

The Explicit Gospel, from Matt Chandler and Jared Wilson, is perhaps the clearest, most complete treatment of the gospel I have read. It is indeed very “explicit.” In fact, as Chandler notes, it is imperative that the gospel is not “assumed,” but that rather it is preached explicitly so as to be heard clearly by the listener. From the individual implications to the cosmic impact, the gospel is the foundation of the Christian faith…the rock on which we stand as followers of Christ. As such, and maybe surprisingly to some, the gospel is often misunderstood and miscommunicated, and this book does a superb job of setting the record straight.

Prior to the book’s release, Chandler spent a week on the road, traveling the East Coast, teaching on the subject, and promoting the book. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see him teach live as The Explicit Gospel Tour made a stop at Newspring Church in Anderson, SC. If you weren’t able to make it to one of the tour stops I highly encourage you to take a listen for yourself.

The book itself is divided into three main sections as follows: The Gospel on the Ground, The Gospel in the Air, and Implications and Applications. Chandler is an excellent communicator in person, and in each section of the book he does a stellar job of clearly communicating and relating the gospel and its implications in a manner that is easy to follow and comprehend. His straight-forward style leaves nothing to the imagination and his points are all well-supported with scripture.

Perhaps you’re a bit unclear as to how to define the gospel, what specifically the term refers to, or how best to share details and implications of the good news with others. If so, this book will be tremendously helpful.

Beginning with God himself, man’s need for a savior, and the finished work of Christ on the cross, Chandler reveals and relates how the gospel directly applies to man on an individual level (on the ground). He then dives into the impact and application of the gospel relative to God’s ultimate redeeming of all of creation (in the air), followed by a very helpful section detailing the dangers of the tendency for folks to cling predominantly to one or the other. As he aptly concludes, “We are after a gospel that is resolutely centered on the atoning work of Christ and scaled to the glory of God.”

You can read more about the book, watch the trailer, or order a copy here on Crossway’s website. In addition, here’s a nice post Tony Reinke put together with a list of some of the best quotes from the book.

As previously stated, I consider this a must-read, and I trust that you’ll find it profitable for your soul in many ways. Grab a copy…as soon as you can! As Christians it is indeed imperative that we are explicit in our understanding, communication, and application of the gospel.

Live it and proclaim it…for His glory.


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