The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book by pastor Matt Chandler was no disappointment for anyone familiar with his sometimes caustic and sometimes outrageous wit. It is perhaps a bit of a surprise to find oneself roaring in laughter while reading a book of Christian philosophy and exposition....but that is exactly what I found myself doing on numerous occasions. Granted, Matt had me trembling in knee-knocking terror at the understanding of the immensity of our God and about the tiny role we play in the grand scheme of things. At a number of places as he pulled the rug out from under any Moralistic tendencies that I had, I found myself relieved that what I had perceived about God, just wasn't true.-- My heart has fairly frequently withdrawn from God rather than run to his arms as I should have, when I've fallen short and failed him. I've felt unworthy at such times and like I needed to work harder to keep this demanding God happy.
Pastor Chandler was clear about the fallacy of such lines of thought. And he also revealed the opposite danger, which was to weaken the gospel message and to pursue a social improvement type of faith, as so many mainstream Protestant churches are guilty of doing: creating a social gospel that eradicates the cross and our need for salvation..
And he did not have a weak conclusion as some books do, wandering into repetition of their points or into a mass of generalities.Rather Pastor Chandler pulled a hard punch about our need to be EXPLICIT with people when presenting the gospel. As a mother and wife to unbelievers, it has been all too easy to presume that they understand and grasp the gospel....and when they have expressed thoughts about God that are completely off base --a hatred for a punitive God who should demand perfect actions in order to win his approval--I see that my assumptions that they are "getting it" were also radically off base. It is critical that we verbally and with our lives demonstrate with clarity the Gospel of God's grace and the completeness of his work done on the cross on our behalf. Otherwise, they just wont' "get it" and will rather listen to the misconceptions and lies propagated by a misunderstanding society.
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