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Esential to the witness of the church is unity in the gospel. Yet that unity was tested by the release of two documents, Evangelicals and Catholics Together and The Gift of Salvation, which appeared to surrender the historic doctrine of sola fide (faith alone). In response, Christian leaders released a statement called The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration.
R.C. Sproul's Getting the Gospel Right, a companion to Faith Alone, contains the complete text of that statement, along with thorough, point-by-point discussion and exposition, to make a strong declaration of the abiding unity of evangelicals regarding the gospel and justification by faith alone.
Unity in the gospel touches the soul of the church itself and all of its members. After all, "to be faithful to the Great Commission," R. C. Sproul explains, "we must get the gospel right."
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Faith Alone, repackaged: The Evangelical Doctrine of JustificationR.C. SproulBaker Books / 2017 / Trade Paperback$11.49 Retail:
$17.99Save 36% ($6.50)
Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical AssessmentGregg R. AllisonCrossway / 2014 / Trade Paperback$17.49 Retail:4 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
$28.00Save 38% ($10.51)
theChristianReviewerAge: 45-54Gender: Male4 Stars Out Of 5Effectively addresses concerns about the lessening unity among EvangelicalsAugust 30, 2017theChristianReviewerAge: 45-54Gender: MaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4In 1994, a group of Evangelicals and Catholics came together to create a document entitled "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" (ECT) in an attempt to create more unity between the two separated groups. This caused some sharp critiques and then in 1997, the created a secondary document entitled "The Gift of Salvation" (GOS) with the idea of addressing some of those criticisms, but still there were some that criticized the wording and how it affected an understanding of the Gospel. R.C. Sproul wrote "Getting the Gospel Right: The Tie That Binds Evangelicals Together" to address his concerns of these two documents due to a growing concern of the direction the unity within Evangelicals has taken due to many things including these two documents.
Part One of this book is where the author introduces general concepts and history that led to these documents and starts to faithfully do an exposition on the ECT document by citing what is correct and what is incorrect.
Continuing into Part Two of this book, Sproul does the same thing for the GOS and expounds on where agreement is correct between Evangelicals and Catholics within this document, but effectively points out the errant portions.
Part Three details a subsequent rebuttal document entitled "The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration". This document addresses the concerns about how the Gospel is portrayed in the ECT and GOS. It was drafted by many well-known and respected Evangelicals such as R.C. Sproul (the author of this book), J.I. Packer, D.A. Carson and many others. It as then confirmed and endorsed by well over 100 very well-known Evangelicals.
This book is a very interesting read and actually has a very important message about making sure that we get and understand the Gospel correctly, which is absolutely fundamental for us to understand right now... and for eternity.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from Baker Booksand all opinions are my own.
Chris3 Stars Out Of 5Has some flaws, but a decent intro on a Reformed view of the gospelJune 12, 2017ChrisQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 4So, some context: This is more or less a response to the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document (which, as of now, is several decades old). Sproul, and others, as a Reformed theologian, saw this as an abdication or denial of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. This book, which also serves as a companion to Sproul's other book Faith Alone, are a defense of what he sees as the "right understanding" of the gospel, which in this case, is Reformed Protestantism. While I would likely agree more than I would disagree with how Sproul understands the gospel, there are a couple aspects that I am not a huge fan of with books like this. First, it tends to have a mostly negative view of Catholics, which is not something I'm a fan of. In my view, Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox are three branches of the Christian tradition and we shouldn't treat the other branches we disagree with as non-believers, which Reformed folks like Sproul are often guilty of doing. Secondly, books like this on the gospel tend to overemphasize the "personal salvation" element of the gospel, but this is - in reality - a truncated view of the gospel. The gospel, as the Scriptures present it, is about Christ reconciling all things to Himself. It is a cosmic gospel, a setting things right, which covers much more than an individual's justification. Also, in my view, it seems rather arrogant to assume how you understand the gospel is the "right" way and all the others who disagree with you don't rightly believe in the gospel or are denying the gospel. That comes across as a power play, which is something that has been a problem in American evangelicalism for a long time.
With all that being said, this is a short book on a Reformed understanding of the gospel, which is worth engaging with since it has such a wide influence, especially among young Christians.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Reissue of a 1999 bookJune 11, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4The 1990s saw emphasis on ecumenism and two documents were produced, hoping for greater unity between Roman Catholics and evangelicals. Evangelicals and Catholics Together came out in 1994 and The Gift of Salvation in 1997. The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals expressed their distress over the latter document in 1998, considering it seriously flawed. Sproul gives careful scrutiny to The Gift of Salvation paragraph by paragraph in the second part of the book.
Sproul points out the differences in belief between Roman Catholics and evangelicals. For example, Roman Catholics and evangelicals agree that justification is based on the righteousness of Christ. Roman Catholics say the righteousness is infused sacramentally while evangelicals say it is imputed to us but is not inherently ours. The Gift of Salvation is vague on the issue, not affirming or denying the imputation. (67-68) He identifies other places where the document is ambiguous and points out "how deeply divided the historical Roman Catholic and evangelical views of salvation really are." (91)
After the publication of those documents, there rose the issue of unity among evangelicals those signing the documents and those in opposition to them. Evangelicals on both sides came together and created a document about the gospel to restore and strengthen evangelical unity. It is called The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration. Sproul provides the text of the document in the third part of the book and follows with comment.
This book is a repackaged edition of Sproul's book that originally came out in 1999. I am not sure of the relevance of the book today, some twenty years after the document in question was issued. Sproul does comment on ecumenism in general and the documents that are produced. He notes that they must be ambiguous and use evasive language, minimizing differences.
Sproul is a scholar of Reformed theology and writes like one. He has included much historical background and theological information in this book. Much of the book may be beyond the interest and comprehension of of most lay people. I recommend it to those interested in recent ecumenical documents and a critique from a Reformed theologian.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
PASTOR JIM GRAY4 Stars Out Of 5Gospel & UnityJune 4, 2017PASTOR JIM GRAYQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3R.C. Sproul is one of the popular Bible teachers today. He is strongly Reformed and Calvinist in his theology which influences his teaching. The reader must keep this in mind as he reads this latest work. He admits that the church is made up of three elements: the visible church (mere professors of faith), the invisible church (true believers), and believers outside of the visible church.
The book was written in reaction to the movement to reconcile Catholics and Evangelicals, which has a negative effect of compromising the Gospel and Christian unity. It critiques the work The Gift of Salvation declaration in 1998, which reiterated that both Evangelicals and Catholics believe in justification and salvation by Gods grace through faith in Jesus Christ. He shows that the two do not believe the same about the gospel. Catholics believe that sanctification comes before salvation, which is nothing less that salvation by works. Evangelicals believe salvation comes before sanctification. These approaches cannot be reconciled.
The release of the Cost of Salvation, it has caused a much debate within the evangelical world. He, therefore, evaluates the statement paragraph by paragraph as to its assertions and its omissions. This is the heart of the book. His scrutiny of the statement indicates two fundamental observations of the two groups:
First, the Catholic church sees Protestants as separated brethren.
Second, the evangelical world views the Catholic church as apostate brethren.
This means that each view the other as outside, or apostate from the true church. "The Gift of Salvation" does nothing to remove the doctrinal chasm between the Catholics and Evangelicals. It undermines the truth of the Gospel.
Sproul is a strong proponent of sola fide (salvation by faith alone). He defends this sola fide in this work. He indicates that the Catholic and Evangelicals who signed this document have abandoned or at the lease compromise this truth.
The book is reader friendly. It is concise and worthwhile to those who are interested in trying to unify the two. It does a good job showing the major differences between Catholics and Evangelicals. If there is a weakness it is that it deals more with unity than the contents of the right gospel. It is directed more to leadership than the layman. It is a call to arms against compromise of the gospel.
The book was sent to me from Baker Book House in exchange for my person review without obligation.
wheelsmsChicopee, MAAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Finding unity in the gospelMay 11, 2017wheelsmsChicopee, MAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5In the late 90s, evangelical theologians and Roman Catholic scholars tried to find common ground in order to promote unity. They worked together to craft a document, Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) and a subsequent document, The Gift of Salvation (GOS). Rather than promote unity, it tended to divide evangelicals.
R. C. Sproul was one who was deeply concerned about both of these documents. He wrote the book, Getting the Gospel Right: The Tie that Binds Evangelicals Together. It was originally published in 1999 and has been repacked in 2017. In part 1, he explains the background of the controversy and the need for unity on the meaning and details of the gospel. In part 2, he analyzes The Gift of Salvation (GOS) in detail and points out the flaws. In part 3, he analyzes a document entitled, The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration. This document was crafted in an attempt to restore evangelical unity regarding the gospel and justification by faith alone.
While the book is short, 226 pages, it is meaty, weighty, and detailed. If you can work your way through, you will come away with a more accurate understanding of the gospel and why it is important to get it right.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.