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Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus Paperback – September 30, 2012
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“Wilson labors to make us appreciate the greatness and grandeur of the gospel and its Christ. Again and again he succeeds.”
—J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College
“Too many of us treat the gospel as somebody else’s news. We know it’s what saved us, but we encounter it only as we overhear ourselves rehearsing it to unbelievers. Or, we treat the gospel as some law of supernatural quantum physics—holding everything together but too complicated to think about very much. That’s a dry, flat, and depressing way to live. This brilliant, winsome book calls us back to the exhilarating bigness of the gospel, in a way that can spark up every day with crucified power. Read this book. It’s like a gospel fountain flowing, deep and wide.”
—Russell D. Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
“This is good leaf, grown with gospel sap, grounded in Bible soil. Drop this fresh bag from Jared in your soul’s mug, and give it a good steep. As good as the flavor was in Gospel Wakefulness, it’s even better in Gospel Deeps.”
—David Mathis, executive editor, desiringGod.org; pastor, Cities Church, Minneapolis; author, Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines
“If your faith in Christ is shallow, this is not the book for you. But if you are suffering, if you are sinning, if you are broken, and you need a big Savior, Jared Wilson’s Gospel Deeps might take you deeper with Christ than you’ve ever gone before, deeper than you’ve ever dreamed of going. Enjoy the journey.”
—Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee
“Jared Wilson’s Gospel Deeps is not just another book on the Christian life, it is a book on what gives the Christian life—the gospel. And it isn’t a mere summary of the gospel, but a plunge deep into the good news to help the reader understand the gospel’s centrality and power in our lives. Gospel Deeps helps us behold and experience the glory and goodness of Jesus Christ in ways we often forget, or may be completely unfamiliar with.”
—Joe Thorn, author, Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself; Lead Pastor, Redeemer Fellowship, St. Charles, Illinois
“Those without spiritual eyes will not enjoy Jared’s book. How could they? All he does is stare deeply into the person of Jesus Christ and his gospel work. But for those with eyes to see, what treasures await here. Jared gazes upon the gospel from angle after angle, showing how every area of theology points back to the gospel, and reminding us that the knowledge of God is like a spiderweb—where touching any one spot makes the whole thing vibrate. Jared, like the best theologians, worships as he writes and invites readers to join him. And that means this pastor-theologian’s pen is a lyrical one. Read slowly, enjoy, savor, and worship.”
—Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director, 9Marks; author, The Rule of Love
“Wilson’s Gospel Deeps offers a majestic portrait of the gospel that is far more than a solution to guilt or a one-time gate to forgiveness. It’s a path we are to walk each day of our lives, an answer to the moral corruption of our culture and entire cosmos, the power to change us into authentic worshippers of God and lovers of people, and a supernatural power given to the church to bring healing to a broken world. Multifaceted in its reflection of the many spiritual blessings promised to those united with Christ, Gospel Deeps compels us to revel anew in the excellencies of Jesus.”
—Steve Childers, President and CEO, Global Church Advancement; Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Reformed Seminary Orlando
“The gospel of Jesus Christ offers to us spiritual riches that exceed our wildest imaginations. Gospel Deeps is a delightful ledger of sorts to these riches. As one of the top writers in the church today, Jared Wilson labors hard to surface great gospel truth with clarity and brilliance, and in language that carries with it a steady overtone of delight. He says it well: ‘If Christ is true then boredom is a sin.’ Yes! And because Christ is true, and because Jared knows it, I dare you to find a boring page in this book.”
—Tony Reinke, staff writer and researcher, desiringGod.org; author, Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books and 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You
“First of all, a given: Jared Wilson is one of the finest and brightest young pastors and gospel thinkers in America. Second, a nongiven: Jared is still growing. What excites me most about Gospel Deeps is that it represents the trajectory of a heart that is continuing to come alive to the implications of the gospel. In this book, Jared is not just our gifted teacher, but also our worship leader. He bids us join him in putting our roots deeper and deeper into the garden of God’s grace. Thank you, my brother, for theology as doxology.”
—Scotty Ward Smith, Pastor Emeritus, Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee; Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee
“If you have assumed that doctrine must be dull, cool, or cerebral, Gospel Deeps will disabuse you of that notion. If you think that passionate adoration and deep dogmas—sovereign election, double imputation, inaugurated eschatology—don’t belong together, Gospel Deeps will surprise you by its blend of worshipful warmth with theological profundity. If you are beginning to realize that growing up in Christ does not mean getting beyond the gospel but going more deeply into it, exploring the implications of Jesus’s sacrificial death and resurrection on our behalf, Gospel Deeps will energize your pursuit of holiness by fortifying your assurance of the Father’s unwavering love and glad acceptance. If you thirst to know the triune God who saves you, Gospel Deeps will lead you into the Word by which he reveals himself and invites us into communion with himself. Plunge into these deeps!”
—Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California; author, Triumph of the Lamb; Him We Proclaim; and Walking with Jesus through His Word
About the Author
Jared C. Wilson is the director of content strategy at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, and managing editor of the seminary's website for gospel-centered resources, For the Church. He is a popular author and conference speaker, and also blogs regularly at Gospel Driven Church, hosted by the Gospel Coalition. His books include Your Jesus Is Too Safe, Gospel Wakefulness, Gospel Deeps, The Pastor’s Justification, The Storytelling God, and The Wonder-Working God.
Matt Chandler (BA, Hardin-Simmons University) serves as lead pastor of teaching at the Village Church in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Acts 29 Network. He lives in Texas with his wife, Lauren, and their three children.
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Just a few of the questions that come to mind as I read Gospel Deeps by Jared C. Wilson. If I'm being completely honest here... I thought this was a book by Jarrid Wilson. I picked it up because I love Jarrid's 30 Words Book and thought this book might be something good to take my teams through in a spiritual discussion. What I've encountered is something all-together brilliant. Jared seeks to uncover the true depths of the "mystery of the gospel".
He uses an analogy from C.S. Lewis (Jared references the Chronicles of Narnia and Mere Christianity multiple times throughout the book) in The Last Battle where Lucy and Mr. Tumnus begin to explore a garden that goes on and on and never ends. The farther they reach into it the greater and more miraculous it reveals that it is. It's never ending. This is what he means in exploring the "gospel deeps".
Gospel Deeps reads more like a theology text book (a good one at that) than a conversational piece. I found myself taking good use of my theological terms and apple dictionaries while reading. This book truly dives deep. It's not for the faint of heart, it's for the theological adventurer. It's not for someone looking for a pithy devotional, but exists rather as a true excavation of the gospels deepest connections to our lives and scripture. It begins and ends with Jesus, yet it goes on and on much like the Narnian Library... revealing more and more of it's wonders the deeper we travel.
Is another book on the Gospel needed? What makes this unique? These are, honestly, some of the questions a sensible evangelical reader might ask when a title like this comes across the radar, so as this book came out, I asked those questions, but dug in, knowing what I know about Jared and his heart. Right out of the gate, Jared had me hooked. I grew up in an environment quite similar to what he described in the introduction, where a Gospel invitation was given at the end of a service and it was for unbelievers. If not too many unbelievers were "coming forward" then the pastor would ask questions about assurance asking if we know that we know that we're believers (whatever knowing that I know means). And it wasn't that some of these things (Gospel invitation, pressing assurance) were wrong it's just that, like Jared says, "We had it shallow. I didn't understand that the Gospel was for all of life" (p.18). What drives the rest of this book, then are these Gospel Deeps, the depths of understanding that God has put in the Bible about the Gospel to help all people admire and extol Jesus for who He is and what He's done. It is in this sense, the book delivers.
Chapter 1 really orients us to book itself, showing us the depths of the Gospel rooted in the deep love of God Himself. Chapter 2 unpacks 1 Peter 2:9 and shows us how the depths of the Gospel are oriented individually, corporately, and theologically. Chapter 3 points us to God Himself, revealed as Trinity, in its Gospel brightness, all of which leads to much practical living. Chapter 4 shows the depths of the Gospel in establishing joy in us. Chapter 5 expands the joy of Jesus going to cross by centering in how penal substitution is central to the Gospel, especially highlighted in John's Gospel. Chapter 6 builds on the suffering of Jesus by taking us to God's purpose in suffering, connecting it to the Gospel and giving us much practical living in light of this truth. Chapter 7 shows how glorious God's attributes shine in the Gospel. Chapter 8 shows what Christ accomplished for us to adopt us into God's family. Chapter 9 takes us from the here and now to the future cosmic redemption anticipated through the Gospel. And, chapter 10 take us deep into Christ himself from Hebrews 1. The brief conclusion dealt with the critique that we are to move on from the Gospel into maturity and showed how foundations don't move. So, there were many rich Gospel depths explored which help the reader to praise God for the Gospel and more actively live in light of it.
My feeling, then, is that Jared delivered to us a very needed book to connect the rich depths of Gospel truth to our everyday living. I think if you'll read this, you'll be affected in the same way.