A review of the book by J.D. Greear
“If the gospel is not above all, it loses its power to change us, our families, our neighborhoods, our places of work, and our world. In fact, if the gospel is not above all, it’s not even the gospel anymore.” (p 4)
Pastor Greear has written this book to expose how less important things have “displaced the gospel as the main focus” of the church. After a carefully written description of the gospel, he identifies the effects of returning the Gospel to its primary place. The book is built on these marks.
The Gospel promotes change. “When the gospel gets ahold of our hearts, we can’t keep it to ourselves.” We don’t see this or hear this because “too many preachers are big on oratory and small on the gospel.”
The Gospel and mission. The numbers of people in a church are not the measure of success. Success is measured by how many Christians are making and training disciples. Greear does not stop with oratory here but suggests 3 commitments that will lead to success.
Gospel multiplication. This chapter has an excellent description of the church doing greater works than Jesus. Three convictions motivate those works.
Gospel grace. The author graciously presents the common perils of judgmentalism. “The antidote to judging is a culture saturated with gospel grace. A culture that feels like Jesus.”
The Gospel must be above culture, preferences, and politics.
One of the best parts of the book is its illustrations. They are personal, sensibly chosen and reasonably applied.
Living with Gospel above all will cost us. The challenge is to ‘occupy ourselves not so much with what we are losing but with how much we are gaining.’