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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever

Greg Gilbert's What is the Gospel?

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Greg's book should be here really soon and it looks well worth grabbing a copy.  Pastors: This would be really useful to put in the hands of your church members.   

   A couple of questions for Greg: 
1.  Why did you write the book?  
2.  Can you summarize (briefly) what are the major challenges to the gospel today? 
3.  Who should read the book?  
4.  You wrote a chapter on the Cross being at the center....why?  Isn't that obvious to most Christians?  

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I am concerned that, in Greg's view of the gospel, he incorporates repentance from sin into salvation. This confuses salvation with discipleship. The invitation of the gospel is to believe in Jesus, not to repent of one's sins (something the natural man cannot do until after he receives the Spirit). My book, Winning a Generation Without the Law, addresses this "addition" to the gospel common in contemporary Christian culture. It is available for review at http://bfraser53.wordpress.com/.
Cheers,
Bryan Fraser

Bryan Fraser's comment reminded me of Graeme Goldsworthy's work from his excellent book--According to Plan. "The main message of the Bible about Jesus Christ can easily become mixed with all sorts of things that are related to it. We see this in the way people define or preach the gospel. But it is important to keep the gospel itself clearly distinct from our response to it or from the results of it in our lives and in the world. If our proper response to the gospel message is faith, then we should not make faith part of the gospel itself. It would be absurd to call people to have faith in faith!" Chapter 8 page 81.

The preaching of the gospel creates faith. Faith and repentance are gifts given by God. I do not say the following self-righteously: Mixing our response to actually be the gospel is what Paul in Galatians called "another gospel".

Tom

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