Our generation is blessed to experience an increased desire to learn the Word of God in depth and specifically to see a large-scale return to gospel-centeredness in our churches. But this growing interest in understanding the gospel inevitably forces the question, Just what does a gospel-centered church look like? In what ways can we see the gospel at work in the life of a congregation? What are some of its leading marks?
Noted pastor and author Ray Orlund addresses this question in the latest volume in the 9Marks series of books, The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ – a wonderfully stirring account of the gospel of Christ individually and corporately considered. As the subtitle suggests, a gospel-centered church is an attractive and beautiful thing, and Ortlund explores in broad categories how that is so.
One of the fascinating things about the book is that it is so very basic. It is just the gospel applied on the local church level. And yet any Christian who reads it must come away not only deeply moved but also thinking, “That is what I want for my church!” It is at once elemental gospel truth and a high ideal toward which we all feel the need yet to strive.
A wonderful, truly exciting book to read with its happy prospect of how the gospel we all have embraced can and should shape us corporately. I say without any exaggeration, every church would do well to buy it by the case and put it to wide use. We used it for a series of lessons in our adult Sunday School class.
Excellent. Highly recommended.