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Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope Paperback – March 24, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (March 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080242337X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802423375
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Evangelicals are rightly asking today, what is the gospel which we believe in and proclaim? Trevin Wax in this wonderfully readable and irenic book helps us sort out the issues, showing us that the gospel announcement is truncated if one does not understand the gospel story and if the gospel is not fleshed out in our churches."

Thomas R. Schreiner
James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“This book clarifies the message and mission of the church as much as any book in print today. It is rich in both insight and illustration, very-thought provoking and very readable. I can’t imagine a more helpful description of, and prescription for, contemporary evangelicalism. Return to the Gospel!”

J.D. Greear
Pastor of The Summit Church, Raleigh, NC, and author of Breaking the Islam Code

Perhaps the single greatest need in the contemporary church is for Christians to understand the gospel and its counterfeits. Our lost and broken world is desperate for such clarity. Trevin gives it to us with this clear and compelling book about the nature and implications of the greatest story ever told.

Darrin Patrick
Author, Church-planter, and Pastor of The Journey

“This book is a winsome, creative, and compelling analysis of the pitfalls of a non-gospel or less-than-gospel Christianity -- and a description of a full-orbed gospel Christianity.”
 

Josh Moody
Pastor of College Church, Wheaton, IL, and author of No Other Gospel

 



“The biblical gospel of the atoning death and glorious resurrection of Jesus saves. Counterfeit gospels that leave out the bloody cross and neglect the empty tomb damn. It really is that simple. Trevin Wax makes crystal-clear which one is true and which ones are false. Unfortunately, this book is a much-needed corrective in an age seduced and deceived by imitations of the real thing. Eternity hangs in the balance when it comes to the gospel. There is no margin for error.”

Daniel L. Akin
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Trevin Wax has done the church an important service by exposing the subtle deceptions that have trapped countless people within the church. Few topics are more important than the gospel, and few books help us see what makes it uniquely challenging and powerful as well as this one.

Matthew Lee Anderson
Blogger at MereOrthodoxy.com and author of Earthen Vessels

“'What is the gospel?,’ may seem an odd and perhaps unnecessary question. It’s not. It is an essential question that needs more, not less, discussion today. In Counterfeit Gospels, Trevin Wax has provided an essential tool for churches serious about the gospel and its implications.”

Ed Stetzer
Vice President of Research and Ministry Development, LifeWay Christian Resources

"Trevin Wax has served the church by identifying and critiquing many false gospels that threaten to ensnare us. But this book does so much more. Wax helped me love the gospel of Jesus Christ more deeply, and I pray that God will do the same for you through this excellent work."

Collin Hansen
Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition, and co-author of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir

 

 




"When the devil cannot get a church to explicitly deny the gospel, he pits one part of Scripture against another and then nudges the church to change the gospel's shape ever so slightly -- to re-configure it, to re-interpret it, to re-shade it. But Wax calls the devil's bluff. His Counterfeit Gospels surveys the landscape of these subtle reconfigurations, affirms what's true in each of them, and then helps us to separate the real thing from the imitators. A very helpful and insightful work."

Jonathan Leeman
Editorial Director, 9Marks

 ""In Counterfeit Gospels, Trevin Wax does a great job of showing the many ways we subtly counterfeit the gospel and why we do so. His diagnosis of six common counterfeits is fair, insightful, and helpful. Like a good gyroscope, his book helps keep us on the right path. But even more admirable than his keen evaluation is the way he lays out a full-orbed and robust view of the gospel that includes story, announcement, and community. If Christians and the church would just understand this, we would not be tempted by so many counterfeits and thus miss out on the real gospel. I hope Counterfeit Gospels gets a wide reading; its message is needed.

Jim Belcher
Author of Deep Church

"In a world filled with 'different' gospels Trevin Wax reminds us of the call to 'guard the deposit' that is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. If you teach, preach, share, or believe in the gospel of Christ, then you should read this book. It will remind you to maintain the simplicity and clarity of the gospel message that has been entrusted to us. I was both challenged and encouraged."

Anthony Carter, l
Lead Pastor, East Point Church in Georgia, and author of Glory Road

“My super-talented friend Trevin Wax joins a growing number of younger evangelicals who are calling the 21st century church away from moralism and back to the gospel. He rightly understands that the gospel doesn’t simply ignite the Christian life, it’s also the fuel that keeps Christians going and growing every day. Therefore, we must be clear on what the gospel is or else we will conk out. I pray that this excellent book will help you come to a better understanding of the length and breadth of the gospel so that you will be recaptured every day by the 'God of great expenditure' who gave everything that we might possess all.”

Tullian Tchividjian
Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, and visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary
 

 

Review

ENDORSEMENTS

[FRONT MATTER]

"Evangelicals are rightly asking today, what is the gospel which we believe in and proclaim? Trevin Wax in this wonderfully readable and irenic book helps us sort out the issues, showing us that the gospel announcement is truncated if one does not understand the gospel story and if the gospel is not fleshed out in our churches."

Thomas R. Schreiner
James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"This book clarifies the message and mission of the church as much as any book in print today. It is rich in both insight and illustration, very-thought provoking and very readable. I can't imagine a more helpful description of, and prescription for, contemporary evangelicalism. Return to the Gospel!"

J.D. Greear
Pastor of The Summit Church, Raleigh, NC, and author of Breaking the Islam Code

Perhaps the single greatest need in the contemporary church is for Christians to understand the gospel and its counterfeits. Our lost and broken world is desperate for such clarity. Trevin gives it to us with this clear and compelling book about the nature and implications of the greatest story ever told.

Darrin Patrick
Author, Church-planter, and Pastor of The Journey

"This book is a winsome, creative, and compelling analysis of the pitfalls of a non-gospel or less-than-gospel Christianity -- and a description of a full-orbed gospel Christianity."
Josh Moody
Pastor of College Church, Wheaton, IL, and author of No Other Gospel

"The biblical gospel of the atoning death and glorious resurrection of Jesus saves. Counterfeit gospels that leave out the bloody cross and neglect the empty tomb damn. It really is that simple. Trevin Wax makes crystal-clear which one is true and which ones are false. Unfortunately, this book is a much-needed corrective in an age seduced and deceived by imitations of the real thing. Eternity hangs in the balance when it comes to the gospel. There is no margin for error."

Daniel L. Akin
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Trevin Wax has done the church an important service by exposing the subtle deceptions that have trapped countless people within the church. Few topics are more important than the gospel, and few books help us see what makes it uniquely challenging and powerful as well as this one.

Matthew Lee Anderson
Blogger at MereOrthodoxy.com and author of Earthen Vessels

"'What is the gospel?,' may seem an odd and perhaps unnecessary question. It's not. It is an essential question that needs more, not less, discussion today. In Counterfeit Gospels, Trevin Wax has provided an essential tool for churches serious about the gospel and its implications."

Ed Stetzer
Vice President of Research and Ministry Development, LifeWay Christian Resources

"Trevin Wax has served the church by identifying and critiquing many false gospels that threaten to ensnare us. But this book does so much more. Wax helped me love the gospel of Jesus Christ more deeply, and I pray that God will do the same for you through this excellent work."

Collin Hansen
Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition, and co-author of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir

"When the devil cannot get a church to explicitly deny the gospel, he pits one part of Scripture against another and then nudges the church to change the gospel's shape ever so slightly -- to re-configure it, to re-interpret it, to re-shade it. But Wax calls the devil's bluff. His Counterfeit Gospels surveys the landscape of these subtle reconfigurations, affirms what's true in each of them, and then helps us to separate the real thing from the imitators. A very helpful and insightful work."

Jonathan Leeman
Editorial Director, 9Marks and author of Reverberation

"In Counterfeit Gospels, Trevin Wax does a great job of showing the many ways we subtly counterfeit the gospel and why we do so. His diagnosis of six common counterfeits is fair, insightful, and helpful. Like a good gyroscope, his book helps keep us on the right path. But even more admirable than his keen evaluation is the way he lays out a full-orbed and robust view of the gospel that includes story, announcement, and community. If Christians and the church would just understand this, we would not be tempted by so many counterfeits and thus miss out on the real gospel. I hope Counterfeit Gospels gets a wide reading; its message is needed.

Jim Belcher
Author of Deep Church

"In a world filled with 'different' gospels Trevin Wax reminds us of the call to 'guard the deposit' that is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. If you teach, preach, share, or believe in the gospel of Christ, then you should read this book. It will remind you to maintain the simplicity and clarity of the gospel message that has been entrusted to us. I was both challenged and encouraged."

Anthony Carter,
Lead Pastor, East Point Church in Georgia, and author of Glory Road

"My super-talented friend Trevin Wax joins a growing number of younger evangelicals who are calling the 21st century church away from moralism and back to the gospel. He rightly understands that the gospel doesn't simply ignite the Christian life, it's also the fuel that keeps Christians going and growing every day. Therefore, we must be clear on what the gospel is or else we will conk out. I pray that this excellent book will help you come to a better understanding of the length and breadth of the gospel so that you will be recaptured every day by the 'God of great expenditure' who gave everything that we might possess all."

Tullian Tchividjian
Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, and visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary

"As wrong food, however nice-tasting, can threaten bodily health, so defective gospels always threaten spiritual health. Wax offers a bracing, health-oriented review of current defective gospels in order to wean us off them. Here is good medicine for the church."

J. I. Packer
Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College


More About the Author

Trevin Wax is Managing Editor of The Gospel Project, a small group curriculum developed by LifeWay Christian Resources. A former missionary and pastor, Wax is a popular blogger (Kingdom People) and a contributor to Christianity Today and other publications. His most recent books are "Gospel-Centered Teaching" (2013) and the novel "Clear Winter Nights" (2013). He is also author of "Counterfeit Gospels" (2011) and "Holy Subversion" (2010).

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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12
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This book is well-worth a good read.
James R. Orr
That's the question at the heart of Trevin Wax's new book, Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope.
Aaron Armstrong
Conclusion/Recommendation I found this book to be a very easy, enjoyable and helpful read.
Jennifer Guo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Armstrong on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
What is the gospel?

It seems like such a simple question, doesn't it? Yet, if you ask 10 different people, you might get 12 different answers.

Why is that? Why is it that there seems to be so much confusion over what all who profess faith in Christ believe is the greatest news of all?

Why have we traded something so glorious for a pale substitute--a counterfeit? That's the question at the heart of Trevin Wax's new book, Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope.

So why do we fall for counterfeits in the first place? Why are they so alluring? The reality, according to Wax, is that they're just easier than the real gospel. Counterfeits don't cost us anything, and indeed, they can make us quite popular in the eyes of non believers.

"Yet a counterfeit gospel will always leave our souls impoverished at just the point we should be enriched. Counterfeits leave our hearts and affections for God depleted at just the time we should be overflowing with passion to share the good news with others." (p. 13)

Our acceptance of counterfeits has led to a threefold crisis within the Church. Where we should have clarity of the gospel story, we have confusion. Where we should have bold proclamation, we lack conviction. Where we should have vibrant gospel community, we instead retreat from society or become exactly like it.

I greatly appreciated reading Wax's succinct identification of the crisis within Evangelicalism; indeed it was something of an "aha" moment for me as it described many of the frustrations I have had when speaking with fellow believers in my community.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. L. Haschke on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been following with great interest blogger Trevin Wax's research and writing about the gospel on his blog, Kingdom People, for months. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read a pre-release copy of his new book, based on what he's learned: Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope.

The premise of the book is that "counterfeit gospels"-ways of thinking and speaking about the good news that are diluted or distorted-are the biggest threat to the church today. These counterfeit gospels cause a gradual drift from the truth of Scripture that is less obvious, but no less dangerous, than blatant heresy, persecution, or a number of other threats. These counterfeits are like candy: pleasant to the taste, but leaving us spiritually malnourished. In extreme cases, they may lead to outright heresy, but in most cases, they either dilute the truth or teach it out of proportion. There's often enough of a saving message to reconcile us to God, but as Trevin says,

"...the watered-down version never satisfies our longings. Nor will it empower us for service, or embolden our witness before a watching world." (p. 13)
He goes on to define the gospel using the concept of a three-legged stool. The three legs are story, announcement, and community.

Story is the "big picture", God's sweeping plan of redemption for all of Creation. We often see it referred to as "Creation-->Fall-->Redemption-->Restoration". This is the overarching grand narrative told from Genesis to Revelation.

Announcement refers to the announcement of Christ's life, death, and resurrection and our personal, individual response to it. This is the "God-->Man-->Christ-->Response" component, addressing our individual salvation.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mike Robinson on April 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Bible records that "the gospel ... by which also you are saved" is "that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1Corinthians 15:2-5). Often, due to unconscious self-deception or tacit pre-commitments to humanist notions, men attempt to substitute the biblical gospel with a counterfeit gospel. Trevin Max in "Counterfeit Gospels" delivers a much-needed wakeup call to the modern church as a way to refocus believers on that which Paul called the "utmost importance."

Herein Wax provides an outline of the gospel as he refutes gospel counterfeits (therapeutic gospel; self-help; make me happy gospel; no judgment, hell or sin gospel; no church gospel - overly individualistic).

Romans 4:5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.

Jesus announces the Gospel in the first chapter of Mark with the words "repent and believe the Gospel" (Mark 1:15) forasmuch as the advent of the kingdom of Heaven was at hand. The author informs the reader that Christ's perfect life (Jesus never sinned in thought, word or deed; He obeyed God's Law perfectly) is given to all who repent and believe the goodnews. The believer has all his sins expiated (removed, forgiven, and cleansed); additionally the believer receives Christ's imputed righteousness. Thus one cannot work for one's salvation; the believer trusts Christ alone for acceptance by God; furthermore the believer follows hard after Christ because he is now saved, out of gratitude, not in an effort to gain merit.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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