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Gospel Wakefulness Paperback – October 6, 2011
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“Gospel Wakefulness was a joy to read. My eyes filled with tears and my heart flooded with joy on numerous occasions. It’s been a long time since a book created the emotion in me that this book has. The chapters on brokenness and sanctification were humbling and beautiful reads. I am praying that Gospel Wakefulness falls into a lot of hands and hearts.”
—Matt Chandler, lead pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; president, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; author, The Mingling of Souls and The Explicit Gospel
“Is it possible that in our evangelical desire for bigger, better, faster, shinier, and louder we’ve actually dulled our spiritual senses? What can wake us up? Only the astonishment the Spirit brings through the gospel of Jesus. In his new book, Jared Wilson beautifully keys in on our need to be bowled over by the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God and helps us seek real amazement in God’s ‘amazing grace.’ Writing with passion and clarity, Wilson shines the light of Christ on every page.”
—Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism, Wheaton College
“Anyone hungry and thirsty for righteousness will be refreshed by the invigorating streams of truth that flow from Gospel Wakefulness. Jared Wilson wants us to delight in the gospel to the point that sin becomes bitter and Christ becomes our supreme treasure. May this book awaken your affections toward the Savior who deserves all praise.”
—Trevin Wax, Managing Editor, The Gospel Project; author, Gospel-Centered Teaching, Counterfeit Gospels, and Holy Subversion
“To paraphrase Solomon, of making many books (about the gospel) there is no end. And I’m glad of it! I pray we never reach the day when we grow weary of writing and reading books about the gospel. That is why I’m profoundly grateful for Jared Wilson’s contribution to this growing genre of Christian literature. He awakens us to the power of the gospel—that alone brings hope in the midst of brokenness and joy—in the stunning truth that a holy God is actually for us. If you need to wake up to the beauty of the gospel (and who doesn’t?), this book is for you. If you’ve ever wondered how the gospel quite literally and radically changes everything, both now and tomorrow, Gospel Wakefulness is must reading.”
—Sam Storms, lead pastor for preaching and vision, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
“Gospel Wakefulness is one of the most theologically faithful, refreshingly honest, pastorally sensitive, and eminently practical books on the gospel I have read in a long time. Accessible without tiresome clichés or self-serving anecdotes, Jared writes as a man astonished at the riches of God’s grace, committed to the maturing of Christ’s church, and engaged with the advancing of God’s kingdom. The gospel is more clear and precious to me for having read Jared’s book. I cannot think of a greater compliment to be able to offer.”
—Scotty Smith, Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee
“How many of us really understand the power of the gospel? It’s about more than just knowing the facts; it’s a deep-down realization that something amazing and wonderful has taken place. Jared Wilson explains that our lives will overflow with incredible joy and thankfulness when we truly comprehend the gospel. Jared’s book changes how we see the gospel and reminds us of just how amazing grace is.”
—Greg Surratt, Pastor, Seacoast Church
“By God’s grace this book will help ignite a burning obsession with the always-overwhelming, always-underrated, and always-powerful gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t read this book unless you are ready to be ignited with a passion for the gospel in an extraordinary way.”
—Burk Parsons, Copastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida; Editor, Tabletalk magazine
“You’re a Christian, but you’re lagging. Joy is elusive. You struggle to get as excited about your faith as you do about Monday Night Football or lavishly dressed housewives. As sinners, we will all find ourselves in this position at some point. What we need is a fresh vision of the gospel, a new savoring of God’s grace in Christ. Jared Wilson gives us just this gift in Gospel Wakefulness—a book that makes us laugh even as it makes a mark.”
—Owen Strachan, associate professor of Christian theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; coeditor, Designed for Joy and The Pastor as Scholar, the Scholar as Pastor
“Jared is a brilliant writer with an important message, calling us back to the power of the gospel. He reminds us that we don’t need to desperately try to make it attractive because it already is the most attractive thing in the universe! Wilson demonstrates how we can simply and powerfully proclaim the gospel through our lives and ministries. I feel liberated by this much-needed call to gospel wakefulness!”
—Jud Wilhite, author, Eyes Wide Open and Uncensored Grace; senior pastor, Central Christian Church, Las Vegas, Nevada
“You may not recognize your need for this book until you read it. You won’t be sorry that you did, but be warned: Jared Wilson’s relentless focus on the wondrous grace of Jesus Christ may prompt some painful if ultimately liberating reflection on your desperate, everyday need for a Savior. Enjoy highlighting Wilson’s many pithy lines on our ongoing need for the gospel and rejoice over the stories of redemption he tells.”
—Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Blind Spots
“It’s been said you can’t commend what you don’t cherish. It is clear Jared Wilson cherishes the life-saving, life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ. In this book he also commends it, so we will do the same.”
—Elliot Grudem, Director, A29 Network; pastor, Mars Hill Church; Editor, Christian Beliefs
“Gospel Wakefulness clearly explains the difference between simply knowing the content of the gospel and being utterly captivated by it. Jared masterfully paints a picture of what a truly ‘gospel wakened’ soul looks like, all the while pointing to our inability to accomplish this ourselves. He continually points to the magnificent work of Jesus and clearly states how the good news should influence our lives. This book tells the story of how a proper understanding of the law and the gospel leads to not only a bigger view of Christ, but also to a life completely transformed by him. It challenges both new and seasoned Christians to go beyond merely intellectual Christianity and experience the full majesty of the cross of Christ.”
—Justin S. Holcomb, Episcopal Priest; Professor of Christian Thought, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; coauthor, Rid of My Disgrace and Is It My Fault?
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.
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. is the pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of several books, including the Preaching the Word commentary on Isaiah, as well as a contributor to the ESV Study Bible. He and his wife, Jani, have four children.
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This book explains in great effect what is happening in these scenarios: they are not Gospel wakened. So often we see the Gospel as a necessary for a one time conversion event and then we go forth in obedience to the scriptures. The problem is not in the conversion or the obedience; the problem is that without incessant Gospel reception we are powerless to truly obey. Yes, we can "do" what the Bible says, but if it's not driven by reliance on Christ, and truly for his glory and not our own feelings of saving ourselves from God's wrath
via obedience, not peppered all about with repentance of our stubborn insistence on self-reliance, then it is rubbish.
I love this book. I recommend it to all. If deep in your soul you question all of this Christian life, if God feels remote and you fear admitting it to yourself, or perhaps if you are quite comfortable with your Christian doings and think you and Jesus are just fine, thank you very much, then read this book. Let it drive you to Christ, that you would be awakened to the power of the Gospel. When Gospel wakeful the Bible becomes more alive, suffering no longer futile, works for works' sake palpable of the death which they are.
Thank you, Jared Wilson, for writing this.
Wilson describes Gospel Wakefulness as a revelation and as a gift. This is not something we manufacture, it is something we receive from a loving God. It begins with brokenness and results in transformed affections, which lead to a life more fully devoted to Christ and serving God's Kingdom.
As I read this book, I found myself asking God to do whatever it took to bring me to this place of what I would personally describe as true revival. Jared Wilson uses the brush and colors of Scripture to paint a beautiful image of what life in Christ can be. Yet, I feel like I see the picture through a haze. I want God to remove the fog and open my eyes so that I can more fully absorb His beauty and be totally changed by it.
This is a powerful book, and it is loaded with conviction and grace. Wilson writes from a pastor's heart. He is no elitist, he is an under shepherd trying to guide us on a journey that he himself is on.
Read the book, but be warned, God just may use it to raise a holy dissatisfaction with "Christianity as usual" in your heart. He certainly has in mine.
Wilson's work should be celebrated for its Christocentric presentation of the gospel. He delivers a death-blow to legalism and invites Christ-followers to the radical pursuit of a holy God. He uncovers the biblical reality of progressive sanctification: "We cannot continue to treat the gospel as if it is the power of God for a conversion experience but not for total life transformation." Gospel Wakefulness is a welcome addition to a growing number of books devoted to the gospel.