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The Explicit Gospel (Re:Lit) [Hardcover]

by Matt Chandler, Jared C. Wilson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 30, 2012 Re:Lit

Even if you go to church, it doesn’t mean that you are being exposed (or exposing others) to the gospel explicitly. Sure, most people talk about Jesus, and about being good and avoiding bad, but the gospel message simply isn’t there—at least not in its specificity and its fullness.

Inspired by the needs of both the overchurched and the unchurched, and bolstered by the common neglect of the explicit gospel within Christianity, popular pastor Matt Chandler writes this punchy treatise to remind us what is of first and utmost importance—the gospel.

Here is a call to true Christianity, to know the gospel explicitly, and to unite the church on the amazing grounds of the good news of Jesus!

VIDEO: To see the video of Matt speaking on The Explicit Gospel Tour, please visit Crossway's vimeo page here: https://vimeo.com/41100864 


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“If you only read one book this year, make it this one. It’s that important.”
Rick Warren#1 New York Times best-selling author, The Purpose Driven Life; Pastor, Saddleback Church

“This book, like the gospel itself, is clarifying, convicting, comforting, and compelling all at the same time. I wholeheartedly invite you to read it, to be overwhelmed by the mercy and majesty of God in the gospel, and then to spend your life making this gospel explicit in every facet of your life and to every corner of the earth!”
David Platt, Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama; author, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

“Matt Chandler is one of the best Bible preachers on the earth and one of the godliest men I know. I am thrilled to see this book released. Read it. And buy some extra copies to give away.”
Mark Driscoll, Founding Pastor, Mars Hill Church, Seattle Washington; Founder, Resurgence; Co-founder, Acts 29; author, Death by Love  

“People who come face-to-face with death make the best evangelists. I have to believe that’s why my friend Matt Chandler is so passionate about a clear, biblical presentation of the gospel. Life is short. Eternity is long. May this book drive you to greater clarity in preaching the life-saving gospel of Jesus Christ.”
James MacDonald, Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois; author, Vertical Church

“That the gospel is not clearly taught in classic liberalism is disheartening but not surprising. That frequently the gospel is not taught in evangelical congregations is both disquieting and surprising. Evangelicals will not deny the gospel, but they may assume it while talking about everything else—and that is tragic. Matt Chandler issues a robust call to make the gospel an explicit and central part of our preaching, and takes pains to show what that looks like. Amen and Amen.”
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Matt Chandler presents the gospel in a way that is balanced, hope-filled, and very, very serious, all the while presented with Matt’s trademark humor. Even more faithful than funny, Matt insults all of us (including himself) in a strangely edifying way, and in a way that I pray will make you treasure Christ even more.”
Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

The Explicit Gospel is a roadmap and wake-up call to our generation to grasp the full, expansive, and true gospel story. Matt is a leading voice, a great expositor of the Scriptures, passionate about Jesus, and serious about the gospel and making God known. When he speaks, I listen, and when he writes, I read. This book reflects the clear and core message of Matt’s life, leadership, and passion for a generation hungry for truth.”
Brad Lomenick, Executive Director, Catalyst

“Too often the gospel fails to take root when it is assumed. The explicit gospel transforms individuals, churches, and nations as the mission of God is carried forward. Matt Chandler has gifted the church with a powerful tool to combat the assumed gospel. The Explicit Gospel is a serious threat to the moralistic, therapeutic deism that cripples the lives of so many. I highly recommend this book to both believers and unbelievers alike.”
Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research; author, Subversive Kingdom

“Matt Chandler’s excellent book will help Christians avoid common errors that occur when we make assumptions about the meaning of the word gospel.” (April 2012)
World Magazine

"The Explicit Gospel brings extraordinary clarity and creativity to what all assume is understood—but quickly realize has been forgotten.” (May 2012)
RELEVANT Magazine

About the Author

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people. His sermons are among the topselling (free) podcasts on itunes and he speaks at conferences worldwide. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over ten years where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. He lives in Texas with his wife, Lauren, and their three children: Audrey, Reid and Norah. 

Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. His articles and short stories have appeared in a number of periodicals, and he has written the popular books Your Jesus Is Too Safe, Gospel Wakefulness and Gospel Deeps, as well as the curriculum Abide. Wilson lives in Vermont with his wife and two daughters, and blogs regularly at The Gospel Driven Church hosted by the Gospel Coalition.


Product Details

  • Series: Re:Lit
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 1 edition (April 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433530031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433530036
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt serves as Lead Pastor of Teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas Fort Worth area. He has served in that role since December 2002 and describes his tenure at The Village as a re-planting effort where he was involved in changing the theological and philosophical culture of the congregation. The church has witnessed a tremendous response growing from 160 people to over 11,000 with campuses in Flower Mound, Dallas and Denton.
Alongside his current role as lead pastor, Matt is involved in church planting efforts both locally and internationally through The Village and various strategic partnerships. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over 10 years where he spoke to thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. His greatest joy outside of Jesus is being married to Lauren and being a dad to their three children, Audrey, Reid and Norah.
Recently, Matt was named president of Acts 29, a worldwide church-planting organization.Over the last 10 years, Acts 29 has emerged from a small band of brothers to over 400 churches in the United States and networks of churches in multiple countries.
Matt speaks at conferences throughout the world and has written a couple of books, The Explicit Gospel, published in April 2012, and Creature of the Word, coming out in October 2012.



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
127 of 141 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should You Read This Book? April 18, 2012
By Daniel
Format:Hardcover
So, we have another book on the gospel. The Explicit Gospel is authored by Matt Chan­dler, pas­tor of the Vil­lage Church in Dal­las, TX. The book is sched­uled to be released on April 30, 2012. Is this just "another book on the gospel" -- basic the­ol­ogy retweaked by a megachurch pas­tor -- or is this some­thing worth read­ing and pon­der­ing? Let's take a look.

The Big Idea of The Explicit Gospel
The book claims that too often, the gospel is assumed, not explicit. The explicit gospel oblit­er­ates man-centered reli­gion -- the moral­ism, idol­a­try, and reli­gios­ity that cor­rupts true Chris­tian­ity. Chan­dler describes this explicit gospel, gen­er­ously sprin­kling in plenty of pas­toral appli­ca­tion along the way. Merely assum­ing the gospel leads to dan­gers -- big dan­gers. Chandler's cogent appli­ca­tion of the explicit gospel strikes deep at the insipid idio­syn­crasies of evan­gel­i­cal­ism, deliv­er­ing a mes­sage that is both solidly the­o­log­i­cal and lov­ingly confrontational.

Overview of The Explicit Gospel
Chan­dler orga­nizes the book in three sec­tions: 1) The Gospel on the Ground, 2) The Gospel in the Air, and 3) Impli­ca­tions and Appli­ca­tions. Even if you've been to sem­i­nary, you've prob­a­bly never heard of a "ground gospel" or "air gospel," so lets explain what Chan­dler means. Ground and air, as he describes them, are van­tage points for view­ing the gospel. The gospel from the ground is the view of the gospel in our own lives. The chap­ters "God" (ch. 1), "Man" (ch. 2), "Christ" (ch.3), "Response" (ch.4), dis­cuss the gospel from this per­spec­tive. Chan­dler describes the gospel in the air as "the big pic­ture of God's plan of restora­tion from the begin­ning of time to the end of time and the redemp­tion of his cre­ation" (pg. 9).
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68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
By JS Park
Format:Hardcover
(Originally posted on my blog, The Way Everlasting. The following is an excerpt.)

Summary:
Matt Chandler writes a hit-and-miss work on the Gospel, full of sharped barbs that are occasionally convicting but are mostly mean-spirited and glitzy.

Strengths:
I really, really, really wanted to like this book. And indeed, I found parts of it absolutely brilliant. But we get a version of Matt Chandler here that hardly sounds like himself.

So the good: The best parts of the book are Chapter 6, Fall, and Chapter 7, Reconciliation. You get an epic scope of the human condition plus a God-scaled view of God's work through us on earth. Pastor Matt's unique voice, even when he's on rabbit trails, will you keep you engaged. The rundown on Solomon is a tour de force of wit, vivid imagery, and a piercing look into the wrongness of our souls. And our mission through the cross is clearly outlined while avoiding a legalistic prison.

Certainly Chandler can write. He's not exactly quotable but his style is clever, captivating, at times brutal. He is theologically sound in every which way, and despite some critics bashing his Reformed angle, he backs it up with Scripture. Just as in his preaching, he is one of the most biblical pastors out there.

I loved the last couple stories of Matt Chandler overcoming the guilt of his former life and the heartbreaking account of his friend Kim. He has preached these before, but to see it in written form with extra details was stirring. He really brought home how the Gospel works here.

Weaknesses:
However, there are three main problems with the book that injure it beyond recovery.

1) The most glaring problem is its arrogant tone. Matt Chandler in preaching is bold, daring, and convicting.
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost a Masterpiece July 18, 2012
Format:Hardcover
This could be the most important 150 page book written in years, too bad it's 240 pages.
I say that because the Thesis that Christianity hangs on the Gospel and the explicit teaching of it is totally true and hugely important. And the concluding three chapters really teach about the pitfalls of following an incomplete Gospel. However there's almost a hundred pages worth of rambling and tangents and poor attempts at jokes. There was a dozen times I read a whole paragraph and wondered why the whole thing wasn't cut. Almost 15 pages are spent trying to refute evolution by poorly paraphrasing people who actually know something about science, only to conclude that any way to read Genesis is okay, except for an evolutionary view (theistic or otherwise), and Chandler's view of Genesis is superior to them all. While that might be an interesting thing to put in a book, it's totally out of place in this one.
I really wish this book was as great as it ought to have been. So if you read it, be wary: There's a lot of sifting to do to get the gold out of this stream, but it's certainly there.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clear and Biblical Explanation of the Gospel April 19, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Every once in a while I will finish reading a book and know that will not be the last time I read it. The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler and Jared Wilson is one of those books. In fact, I knew after the introduction I would be reading this book again.

Everything in churches these days seems to be gospel-centric. `Gospel centered' this and `gospel centered' that plaster the websites and ministry descriptions of countless churches everywhere. The word gospel has become soaked into evangelical Christianity that its possible some of its true meaning has been watered-down or not completely understood to begin with.

Being `gospel centered' is a great thing, however, its important to make sure the true meaning of gospel is applied and understood. In The Explicit Gospel, Chandler explains what the gospel is and how it is applied in our own lives as well as offers warnings towards abuse of gospel.

As the pastor of a large church in the Dallas, TX, Chandler is all to familiar with people misunderstanding the gospel as something that is earned and not simply the gift of grace from God. This mode of thinking has been commonly referred to as Christian Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. "The idea behind moral, therapeutic deism is that we are able to earn favor with God and justify ourselves before God by virtue of our behavior (13)."

This mode of thinking has become popular in churches today. It offers the facade of being Christian, but is ultimately nothing more then religion. Chandler warns this way of teaching only leaves the hearer with an assumption of the gospel, not a complete message of it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Loved this book. Very we'll written and entertaining too. The author has a gift of teaching. A must read for every Christian
Published 3 days ago by Wesley G. Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Read for all Real Christ Followers
Matt nails it on how the Gospel has become watered down, mostly by all the so-called Christians in America. This should be a must read. Read more
Published 11 days ago by ToddC
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!!!!
I loved the simple biblical explanations, very though provoking and very helpful. I'd recommend this book to any one who wants the gospel explained simply.
Published 14 days ago by JMH0319
5.0 out of 5 stars a fresh look into the Gospel's for eyes that have known the Gospel...
this writing will give you perspectives that you already thought you have had!
this book will remove the cobwebs in your mind you never knew were there already. Read more
Published 16 days ago by John J. Wedrall
5.0 out of 5 stars A textbook for every Christian!
Nobody can argue against the gift of preaching that Matt Chandler has. His good exposition of the Bible and his Gospel-centered ministry at The Village has a great impact. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Faur Iosua
5.0 out of 5 stars Answer to prayer v
Very good. Helpful for anyone at any stage in Christianity. A strong grace message without the errors of hyper grace. Very balanced.
Published 18 days ago by Benjamin Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Bible Study book
A true bible study which was a slap in the face wake up call belief in God. The shipment came quick with no problems.
Published 20 days ago by Tina Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Scriptural Truth
I loved this book as it was hard hitting and Scripturally based. The pure power and truth of the Gospel and its effective work was clearly taught. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Kathleen Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for believers who don't want to offend and often find an...
For years we have been living lives motivated by an assumed gospel.......it impacts our lives, but is wrapped up like a treasure for our own consumption. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robert Griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars just amazing!!!
Just amazing it is like poetry to my broken sinful heart. Praise God for this brother. Convicting, inspiring and life breathing. An absolute must read.
Published 1 month ago by Jeffrey S. Blake
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