Recent years have seen a great increase in the amount of books written on what the Gospel is and what the implications of the Gospel are. While all the talk and writing on the Gospel is a vast improvement from the pragmatic approach of the last few decades there is also a great many people raising concerns that we are so focusing on the Gospel too much. The concern is the gospel may just become another buzzard in evangelical thought. In my opinion Christians can never talk too much about the Gospel, and the true of the matter is, I don’t think we are talking about the Gospel enough in evangelicalism.
At the forefront of the current discussion on all things Gospel-centered is Pastor Jared Wilson, pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. In his new book Gospel Deeps Jared labors to one end to help us understand that “the gospel is deep with grace abounding because Jesus is deep with grace abounding. This good news reflects the person and work of the One who is good-Christ, who is as perfect as he is complex, full as he is eternal, beautiful as he is omnipotent” (44).
Since the book focuses on the depths of the Gospel it is no surprise that Jared wants us to understand the effect the Gospel has on our lives. He explains, “The cumulative effect of the gospel is affectionate worship of the one true God. The grand design of gospel proclamation, then, is gospel enthrallment, gospel enjoyment. The best preaching exults in the Scriptures so that hearers will know that worship is the only response to who God is and what he’s done” (80). The Gospel is meant for us to bask in and enjoy not just too just sit on the sidelines and let it pass it by without consequence. Christians have been given a precious treasure in the Gospel in order to bask in the infinite greatness of our God and King who sent His Son to die, rise, and who is now our exalted High Priest, Mediator and Intercessor.
The one part of this book that will make you stop quite literally in your tracks is the following portion of the book, “If Christ is true, then boredom is a sin. Boredom is a sin so long as Christ is infinitely beautiful” (81). Jared explains that “boredom and his twin brother laziness are fundamentally theological failures, which is to say they are failures of belief” (81). One of the reasons this is important is because as Jared notes, “The Spirit takes up residence in the regenerated heart, and one of his chief products is the fruit called joy” (Gal. 5:22). Jared explains that, “The gospel frees us to enjoy God, but also to enjoy him in the enjoyment of his gifts” (85).
Gospel Deeps is an important contribution to the Gospel-centered movement. Gospel Wakefulness helped me a great deal especially on the portion on depression. Where Gospel Deeps has helped me to gain further insight into is on boredom. The Christian life is not a life of ease and comfort, but rather a life full of joy in God. God truly delights in us because of the finished work of Christ. The message that “If Christ is true, then boredom is sin” is an important one because many journey through their Christian lives thinking “okay” is good enough in the Christian life; when okay is not enough, and not the reason why Christ came, bled, suffered, died, rose and ascended to the right hand of the Father. It is precisely at this point that Gospel Deeps is such an important book because it calls us back to the exhilarating bigness of the gospel, in a way that will awaken the apathetic, and slumbering to the glories of Jesus even as it sets the Church ablaze with a fresh passion and zeal for the mission of Jesus to seek and save the lost, mend the broken hearted and make much of Jesus. I recommend you read this challenging book from Jared Wilson and sincerely pray it will help you as it has me to grow our roots deeper and deeper into the grace of God.
Title: Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus
Author: Jared Wilson
Publisher: Crossway (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Crossway book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”