Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Counterfeit Gospels" Book Review

Ok, I'll bite.

Despite the increasingly large amount of literature written recently with the title "Gospel" in it Trevin Wax, author of Counterfeit Gospels, has seen fit to write another one. The book is about...and get this...counterfeit gospels compared to the real one.

Because of the prolific amount of literature written about defining what the "true gospel is", I will admit that I was somewhat skeptical and bored with the idea of yet another book written on this topic.

I shouldn't have had any doubts about this book.

It is really fantastic.

Wax argues that the Gospel can be divided into three legs--the story, the announcement and the community. Each leg however can have distortions. Wax's book then divides nicely into three sections with an introductory chapter on the biblical position of the gospel story, the gospel announcement and the gospel community for each section. Also, for each section, Wax provides two chapters analyzing two common distortions for each section. Wax doesn't claim to be exhaustive, just relevant, with his selection of counterfeits and I found myself seeing examples of each distortion in the church today. This made the book very pastorally relevant for myself.

Perhaps the best thing I can say about Wax's book is this--there is nothing new here. But really, is there anything new to say about the Gospel? While Wax faithfully applies scripture and the Gospel to today's church, he doesn't compromise on the essentials. He calls distortions of the gospel what they are. He does not throw the baby out with the bath water but finds the good, even in the distortions and explains why they are popular. Yet at the end of day, Wax doesn't move from the truth of the Gospel.

So new? No. Faithful? Yes. Convicting? Definitely.

In an age where it becomes increasingly easy to distort what is true from the pulpit, Wax's call is for preachers to remember what is our anchor. As a result, this book is a must read for pastors and laypeople alike.

So I bit....and I hope you will too.

*Thanks to Moody Publishing for providing me a free review copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.*

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