Nothing...I repeat nothing is more important than a clear understanding of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many well-intentioned writers have set out to offer a concise explanation of God's sovereign grace to sinners, but have ended up only muddying the biblical waters. Greg Gilbert's small book (127 pages) has accomplished what others have not. Writing in a clear, sometimes humorous and easily readable style, Gilbert cuts through theological jargon that often sidetracks the layman and gets to the core of the Gospel without robbing it of its essential character. The chapters are brief and easily digestible. The author starts with the the holy and righteous character of God, a critical place to begin and one that is at times watered down in some presentations. From there he moves to the sinful nature of man, thus establishing the "bad news" that makes the "good news" necessary. At this point the saving work of Jesus Christ--His death and resurrection, and purpose for both--is introduced. At this point, man's response--both faith and repentance--is discussed. In my opinion, this is the most valuable chapter in the book. Gilbert does a credible job of distinguishing faith and repentance (showing both to be gifts of God) and explaining why both are required for biblical salvation. He could have stopped there, but adds three additional chapters explaining the benefits of salvation. These provide an edifying conclusion to a well-written and much needed book. I am not overstating the case when I say that this is perhaps the best book I have ever read that attempts to explain the Gospel in terms that can be easily comprehended. My intention is to purchase a supply of these to distribute as gifts to my unsaved family and friends, as well as to believers who struggle to share the Gospel because they have difficulty finding the words in which to frame it. As a pastor, I try to read three or four books each month. This one, along with John Piper's "Don't Waste Your Life" and David Platt's "Radical" are those that I most recommend to others.
Nothing is more important in our world of diluted belief than a proper grasp of the Gospel. This book shows that the message of rescue in Jesus Christ is not just the minimum amount of truth you have to believe to get on the bus to heaven. Rather, it is God's message to a fallen world that He will not let sin win, and has launched the greatest rescue mission ever, through Jesus Christ. Gilbert has put together a book that should be on every pastor's desk, in every Elder's hands, and on the reading list of every Christ-follower who really want to know, declare, and live out the Gospel message. A truly great read!
This book is right on as far as the "whole" gospel is concerned. You cannot talk about man as a sinner without talking about God. You cannot talk about Jesus a a savior without having mentioned God. None of that makes sense without introducing God. If you leave God as the creator and the one who is holy, there will be no reference point for Man, Sin, Jesus and Judgment. The elements that Greg Gilbert lays out are the foundations to the gospel message.
The moment you mention God as a creator you will get into a discussion on origins and that is where we as Christians need to be equipped. The gospel message and all the major doctrines are capture in Gen 1-11. Side-step that and you will have an incomplete gospel.
"I love it when the Bible comes together"...borrowed line from the A-team but tweaked appropriately.
So easily the gospel is twisted to conform with any individual's desires that what the true gospel is, is almost a mystery. This book easily outlines the basics of what the true gospel is according to the Bible. It is also a great reference for any Christian who already has a very deep understanding of gospel.