Yes, the gospel is making a comeback.
Lots of them.
So many that when I searched Google for the best I landed on this GoodReads list: best books on the gospel (49 at last count).
Geesh, I thought, it should take me a whole year to read that list.
But wait (running my finger down the screen), where is Vincent Morton’s Gospel Primer? And John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus Christ?
Those are truly “best books” on the gospel, aren’t they?
The unwritten rules say that the books need to be about the gospel. As in this is how the Bible and the church define the gospel. The book should throb gospel, even when it strays into topics like discipleship, sin or where you vacation.
And the title should pounce on your eyes. Like Piper’s God Is the Gospel. There is no denying what that book is about.
If that’s the case, then why are books like Mark Driscoll’s Religion Saves and Tullian Tchividjian’s Unfashionable on the list? Or even Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, for that matter?
Sadly, I’ve read Unfashionable, but can’t remember what it is about. I have hunch it is on the same plane as David Platt’s Radical–the gospel turns a person inside out so that they look like a freak on the backdrop of popular culture.
I’m down with that.
A perfect example of a book that obeys the unwritten rule as to what a book about the gospel should be is What Is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert. No question you’ll walk away after reading that book with a solid answer to the question.
Or will you?
That’s to be determined in the next 62 weeks when I attempt to read all the books on the list below. A list I borrowed for the most part from GoodReads. Then I added my own choices.
Each week I’ll post one review and link back to this post. But I reserve the right to change this list at will. Like if I catch wind that one of these books definitely does not belong here.
I’ll start with Matt Chandler’s book since I just finished reading it and going through the study. After that, any book is fair game.
Are you ready? Here’s the list…
The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
A Call to the Unconverted to Turn and Live by Richard Baxter
Finally Alive by John Piper (This is not a true review, but I ended up writing ten posts based off of Piper’s book. Live with it.)
Death by Love: Letters from the Cross by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears
Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine
All of Grace by Charles H. Spurgeon
How to Give Away Your Faith by Paul Little
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Saved by Grace by Anthony Hoekema
The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by John MacArthur
Life-style Evangelism: Crossing Traditional Boundaries to Reach the Unbelieving World by Joseph Aldrich
The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
Evangelism Explosion by James D. Kennedy
Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by D. A. Carson
God the Evangelist: How the Holy Spirit Works to Bring Men and Women to Faith by David Wells
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
What Is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing by C.J. Mahaney
Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt (Back in 2010 I devoted an entire week to this book so I am NOT going to read and review again. Start with the link above. Click through all of them. You’ll like them. Who wouldn’t with titles like David Platt Frightens Me or Your Personal Conflict with the Great Commission?)
Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry by Mike Wilkerson
King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Timothy Keller
Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper
Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters by Timothy Keller
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
Scandalous: The Cross And Resurrection Of Jesus by D.A. Carson
Don’t Call it a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day by Kevin DeYoung (Editor)
Wesley’s 52 Standard Sermons by John Wesley
What The Bible Is All About by Henrietta C. Mears
Be Mature (James): Growing Up in Christ by Warren Wiersbe
The Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing by C.J. Mahaney
What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper
Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer
The Cross Of Christ by John R.W. Stott
The Bookends of the Christian Life by Jerry Bridges
Basics For Believers: Putting The Gospel First by D.A. Carson
Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper
Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions by Mark Driscoll
Dangerous Duty of Delight: The Glorified God and the Satisfied Soul by John Piper
Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions by Mark Driscoll
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change by Paul David Tripp
Basic Christianity by John R.W. Stott
Surprised By Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit Of Rebels by Tullian Tchividjian
Promoting the Gospel: A practical guide to the biblical art of sharing your faith by John Dickson
The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out by Mark Driscoll
Entrusted with the Gospel: Pastoral Expositions of 2 Timothy by John Piper, Philip Ryken, Mark Driscoll, Edward Copeland, Bryan Chapell, J. Ligon Duncan
by D.A. Carson
God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself by John Piper
Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different by Tullian Tchividjian
Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges
Holiness by Grace: Delighting in the Joy That Is Our Strength by Bryan Chapell
In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life by Sinclair B. Ferguson
The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World by Michael Horton
Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad by Paul David Tripp
The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent
So, see anything that’s not on the list but should be? Can you save me some time and tell me right now which books are not about the gospel and should be taken down? I’ll love you forever.
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