In Counterfeit Gospels, Trevin Wax attempts to provide a thorough explanation of the gospel and explain why some popular ways of understanding it aren’t accurate.
There is a lot of books already out there on the gospel. Where this one is particularly helpful is in dealing with why the gospel story (God’s redemptive work in history), the gospel message (Jesus saving work and our response) and the gospel community (the church) all matter and how these all fit together. Often discussions of the gospel are weak on one or more of the above. For example, many presentations of the gospel tell about Jesus saving work but neglect the back-story which makes it make sense.
This book is also quite helpful in how it explains the flaws of some of the things that sometimes get passed off as the gospel. I think the author strikes a good balance of being clear and detailed about the problems without descending into being overly nitpicky. In the past I have had quite a bit of exposure to therapeutic gospel type teaching where Jesus becomes a way to get your problems solved, be happy and reach your potential so it was quite a helpful reminder to consider how I may be slipping into thinking about Jesus in that way.
The book seems to be primarily aimed at Christians however it could work for non-Christians who are interested in figuring out what Christianity is all about or who have grown up in an unhealthy church or Christian environment.
I recommend this book. Getting the gospel right is so important and I think most Christians will find this book helpful in their quest to do that.
Review copy courtesy of Net Galley and Moody Publishers