Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review: No Other Gospel

No Other Gospel: 31 Reasons From Galatians Why Justification by Faith Alone is the Only Gospel. Josh Moody. 2011. Crossway. 288 pages. 

In the heart of everyone lies an atheist. Not perhaps the kind that thinks in a strict literal sense that God does not exist. There may be some in church like that. When Christians gather, we are never to assume that all believe; rather, we are to hope that those who do not believe come so that we might present the truth of God in word and deed. 
There may be some reading these words who struggle with the reality of God when difficult things are happening and times are tough. But the kind of atheist I am talking about, which lies in my heart and in yours, is the kind which believes not that God does not exist but that God is not able. We are practical, not theoretical, atheists. We come to church. We are busy in God's work. We serve. We talk the talk; we even walk the walk. But we tend to act as if God and the gospel are not sufficient to achieve what needs  to be achieved. We are people who have the gospel but for whom the gospel has become a starting point rather than the reference point for all our efforts. We are religious; we may call ourselves to evangelicals, but the evangel (that is the gospel) does not impregnate every aspect of our theology nor every part of our lives.
Would I recommend this one? Yes! What did I like about it? Well, I liked how detailed and structured it was. I liked how it examines the book of Galatians verse by verse by verse. In 31 chapters, readers get a detailed tour through Paul's epistle. Is No Other Gospel difficult to understand?  I wouldn't say that it was. It seeks to help readers appreciate and understand Paul's letter, and well, Paul's letter is complex. (Part of what makes it so complex are the references to the Old Testament to the Law to the Jewish religion/faith.) I would definitely recommend that readers take the time and effort to read and reread (and reread and reread) the book of Galatians yourself as you read No Other Gospel. I read Galatians about six or seven times while reading through this one. And I think it helped. It helped me keep the big picture, to stay connected. It worked better--for me--to read this as a companion to the Bible.


© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

2 comments:

Cynthea Loo said...

Becky, I wish I had the time to read the way you do! And I appreciate the book reviews because you help me to know if this book is for me or not. Galatians is a hard book to understand at times, yet sooo rich. I haven't studied it yet but you make it sound so appealing through this review, especially with the suggestion of reading (and re-reading and re-reading) through Galatians at the same time. What a great idea! I am going to put this on my "I want to read" list :) Thanks!
(p.s. is reading and book reviewing your job? I'm just wondering because you go through an amazing amount of books in a short period of time. I think I want that job lol!!!)

Becky said...

Cynthea

No, this isn't my "job" as in something I get paid for. (Though *some* of the Christian books I review here at the blog are review copies I've received from publishers.) I do this because I love to read, and I especially love to read Christian books. I have found that reading Christian nonfiction can be very rewarding and enlightening and just as satisfying as fiction.

Becky