There are many factors to the Christian Gospel—our sin, the sentence of death, justification by faith through grace, eternity with the living God. But all these are subservient to the one central focus of the Bible, creation, and all of life: God Himself, who has made and sustains all things.
The good news isn't about us. It's about the triune God, His mercy, His grace, His trustworthiness, His power, His glory. This is the message pastor and theologian John Piper desperately wants the Church to embrace and to preach, offering the world a message that points directly to the Center of everything and not merely to a satisfaction of our desires.
God Is the Gospel is almost purely theological, butas inall good books on doctrine the spiritual realities are intended to shape the life of belivers and to work themselves out in practice. And, as with any good book dealing directly with God, the narrow focus on God alone presents a new vision of and for the Gospel that is more liberating and expansive than our paltry human reinterpretations that misdirect the focus of God's love and grace and mercy.
Like many of Piper's books, there are echoes hereof his work on Desiring God. In particular, the chapter titled "The Gospel—The Gift of God Himself over and in All His Pleasant Gifts" shows how the good things God gives us through the Gospel aren't for our sake but for His, and how beautiful that truly is.
In his typical theological/pastoral style that is at once deep and accessible, Piper refocuses our gaze, away from ourselves and back to the One for whom and through whom all things exist. God Is the Gospel isn't just a dry collection of facts about God, it's a devotional theology designed to make us love, worship, and praise God, not only for what He's done for us, but for who He is in His very essence.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Table of Contents:
- A Word of Thanks
Introduction: What the World Needs Most—The Gospel's Greatest Gift, God
- The Gospel—Proclamation and Explanation
- The Gospel—The Biblical Scope of Its Meaning
- The Gospel—"Behold Your God!"
- The Gospel—The Glory of Christ the Image of God
- The Gospel—Confirmed by the Glory, the Internal testimony of the Holy Spirit
- The Gospel—The Glory of Christ in Evangelism, Missions and Sanctification
- The Gospel—The Glory of the Gladness of God
- The Gospel—The Glory of Christ as the Ground of Christ-Exalting Contrition
- The Gospel—The Gift of God Himself over and in All His Saving and Painful Gifts
- The Gospel—The Gift of God Himself over and in All His Pleasant Gifts
- The Gospel—What Makes It Ultimately Good: Seeing Glory or Being Glorious?
Conclusion: God Is the Gospel—Now Let Us Sacrifice and Sing
God is the Gospel Study Guide
God is the Gospel Leader's Guide
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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