The first generation of Christians turned the world up-side-down. (Acts 17:6) Why aren't we evangelicals today doing the same? Perhaps the key is Acts 17:7. Those early Christians didn't fit in. They had a different worldview and it showed.
Our problem, Phillips says, is bad teaching. We need a “whole-Bible grasp of the Gospel.” (19) He provides that in this book.
He speaks to sin. “It ruined us; it killed us.” (20) We'd like to think we're not so bad, not “totally depraved” (every part of us warped by sin). But God is holy. “Holiness virtually defines God.” (80)
So how can man be right before God? Justification declares us “in the right with God.” This happens by faith which is itself a gift from God. We accept the sovereign act of regeneration. We are to live out our regenerated nature through the process of sanctification.
Phillips deals with some misunderstandings of the gospel. For example, some think that, since it is all of grace, there is nothing we need to do after regeneration. “God's grace is a gutsy, dynamic, transformative power,” Phillips writes. “No one who receives this grace remains the same.” (203) He helps us understand the flesh, how we rely on the Holy Spirit and focus on the person and work of Jesus Christ.
He ends the book with a “culminating” section, reviewing nine ramifications of the world-tilting Gospel: God over everything, sin is a universal massive factor, the world does not define its own significance, meaning and fulfillment cannot be found within the world, what we see is not how God wanted it to be, we are being restored to our intended being through Christ, Jesus is the most important person in all history, we have been given everything we need for godly living in Christ through the cross, and God's provision for us in Christ allows us to live to His glory.
This is a great book for new adult believers. It is also a provocative review for those of us who have been believers for a while. We sometimes forget the whole truth of the Gospel and what it means to our daily life. This book reminded me how life changing the Gospel truly is.
Author: Dan Phillips writes on the Pyromaniacs blog (http://teampyro.blogspot.com) and on his own blog, Biblical Christianity (http://bibchr.blogspot.com). He's been a teacher, pastor, seminar speaker, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host. He has an ongoing conference and pulpit ministry. He lives in Sacrament with his wife, four children, and about six cats.
Kergel Publications, 308 pages.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.