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The Explicit Gospel Audible – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 291 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 7 hours and 20 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: christianaudio.com
  • Audible.com Release Date: April 27, 2012
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007YBGCOQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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