What is the authentic gospel? How do we answer the sceptics?
Christianity is not a religion, but God's good news for the world. This implies that it has both a divine origin and a human relevance: it comes from God and it speaks to our condition.
So, before we ask, 'What is the gospel?', we need to ask, 'What is a human being?'
Chapter 1: The human paradox looks at what the Bible teaches and what our experience endorses: the glory and shame of our humanness, both our dignity as creatures made in God's image and our depravity as sinners under his judgement. Chapter 2: Human freedom: what is traditionally called 'salvation', seen in terms of 'authentic freedom'. Chapters 3 and 4: The central themes of the death and resurrection of Jesus, securing our freedom. This section also looks at a number of objections and denials. Chapter 5: The far-reaching implications, both for faith and for life.
Radical indeed is the discipleship which takes all of this and Christ's lordship seriously. It's nothing short of a life-changing message.
This is in a series of short books which have been produced from John Stott's 'The Contemporary Christian'.View the range here.
Imagine being a child overwhelmed by hundreds of jigsaw puzzle pieces - you just can't put them together! And then imagine a kindly old uncle comes along and helps you put the whole thing together, piece by piece. That is what it felt like reading John Stott's The Contemporary Christian series. For those of us who feel we can't get our heads around our Bibles let alone our world, he comes along and, with his staggering gifts of clarity and insight, helps us step by step to work out what it means to understand our world through biblical lenses. It's then a great blessing to have Tim Chester's questions at the end of each chapter, which help us think through and internalise each step.
-- Rico Tice, Senior Minister for Evangelism, All Souls Langham Place, London, and co-author of Christianity Explored
I am delighted that a new generation will now be able to benefit from this rich teaching, which so helped me when it first appeared. As always with John Stott, there is a wonderful blend of faithful exposition of the Bible, rigorous engagement with the world and challenging applications for our lives.
- Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe's Church, Oxford, conference speaker and author of the bestseller God’s Big Picture (IVP)
[Re The Contemporary Christian] Vintage Stott, with all that that implies. As usual, we find him digesting and deploying a wide range of material with a symmetry matching that of Mozart, a didactic force like that of J C Ryle, and a down-to-earth common sense that reminds one of G K Chesterton. This is really a pastoral essay, a sermon on paper aimed at changing people... an outstandingly good book.
...an expository treat... Bible-based and well researched, intimate and magisterial in style. Passionately calm and generous to a fault, a beautifully written contribution to what Stott calls 'BBC':'balanced biblical Christianity'.