Monday, 22 October 2012
Dan Phillips, of PyroManiacs fame, wrote “The World-Tilting Gospel” as a corrective of the broken “Gospel” that has infected much of the visible Church. It seems many professing Christians cannot articulate the Gospel, and even if they can, they don’t seem to understand it and its repercussions rightly. When sharing the Gospel many of these same people will water it down, leave out the offensive parts, or try to sweeten it by adding to it. All of these reduce the Gospel to something that doesn’t save, and doesn’t “tilt the world.”
Phillips gets the outline and content of the Gospel as Paul gives it in 1st Corinthians 15:1-11. This amazing passage articulates the Gospel well, but can be lacking if people don’t understand the context that the Gospel fits in. That is why Phillips wrote the book. He thoroughly examines the Gospel, starting with who God is, how God created the earth and its inhabitants, and then moving quickly to the fall of man and its repercussions to and in us.
Once the problem is clearly stated and understood, with clarifications of the consequences of misunderstanding these things, Phillips moves on talk about God’s character, His foreknowledge, His justice and wrath, and His love for us. God didn’t create us only to be surprised when we fell, and God cannot let our sin go unpunished, but God also loves us. This of course is a real problem, and Phillips focuses on this. If we misunderstood any of these things we will misunderstand the Gospel and the need for it. Then he goes on to talk about the cross, where Jesus paid for our sins, satisfying God’s wrath, and giving us His righteousness.
From there, he moves on to how we live according to the Gospel. How God renews our minds, sanctifies us, and how the Christian life is lived. Considerable time is spent correcting misunderstandings of sanctification and our submission to the Lordship of Christ. As one might expect if they read the PyroManiacs blog, Phillips addresses mysticism masquerading as Christian living, those who try to add works, and those who fail to understand the need for repentance.
Finally, Phillips addresses dealing with the flesh, and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
I would highly recommend this book. In fact, were I a pastor I would make it required reading for membership in the church. The book is a very thorough Gospel presentation that seeks to correct any misunderstandings, and it does a good job at that. Hopefully it would make a more informed congregation that understands and can share the Gospel. I will be suggesting exactly that to my pastor.
I think I would even give it to a non-Christian who was willing to try to understand what Christians believe, with hopes that the Holy Spirit would work through the Gospel presentation and save the person.