Monthly Archives: October 2014

Counterfeit Gospels by Trevin Wax

Counterfeit Gospels

Do you know the true Gospel? Do you know it well enough to tell it apart from a counterfeit? 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” Ever since Jesus ascended into heaven in Acts 1, men have done just what these verses describe. What about you? Have you turned towards people who just “tickle your ears?” Have you turned away from the truth, maybe even without knowing it? This is what Counterfeit Gospels is all about: helping you come to a clearer understanding of what the true gospel is as well as identifying a number of counterfeits.

Trevin Wax does an amazing job spelling out how counterfeit gospels differ with the true gospel. Where does the need for a book such as this come from? Trevin calls it a threefold crisis within the church: 1- Lack of Gospel confidence, 2- Lack of Gospel clarity, and 3- Lack of gospel community (p. 14-15). So how do we understand the true gospel? He then describes the gospel as a “three-legged stool” with the legs being: the gospel story, the gospel announcement, and the gospel community (p. 16). “Cut off one of these legs, and the whole thing tips over” (p. 17).

The counterfeit gospels in the church today resemble the biblical gospel in some ways, and yet fail to incorporate and integrate all that the Bible says about the good news. Each counterfeit is like a colony of termites, eating away at one of the legs of the stool and therefore toppling the stool and damaging the other components as well. (p. 17)

Each leg is necessary and as the author explains each counterfeit, you are able to see and understand how they miss one of the legs necessary. Many of these counterfeits have infiltrated the church and many self-professing Christians would not know the difference. This is dangerous to the church because there are many who label themselves “Christian” and yet they have no idea how to explain the gospel to someone. As a youth pastor, it is easy to see why this is a problem: many people who call themselves “Christians” have put their faith and trust in a false gospel that is leading them straight to hell, even though they believe they are saved. If you cannot see the peril in this, maybe you too have fallen for one of the counterfeits.

I have said this about a number of books I have reviewed and this book is no different. Counterfeit Gospels would be beneficial for any pastor, ministry leader or volunteer to read through. Or, if you want to just read it to get a more firm grip on what the gospel is, then this book is definitely for you. I will use it as a reference for a long time. Even though it is already 3 years old, published in 2011, the truth within the pages is spot on. Pick up a copy and use it to help you grow in your knowledge of the gospel and then share it with others so the Kingdom of God is grown.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for this review. 


The Atheist’s Fatal Flaw

atheists fatal flaw

While studying at Liberty University Theological Seminary, I took a number of Philosophy courses in hopes of better understanding life and how to defend the faith I claimed to have. Until then, I knew there were opponents to the Christian faith, but in many ways, I had never thought to actually learn what it is they believe. Many times, Christians are said to claim some outrageous beliefs. However, on the other side of that, there are many other religions whose claims are just as outrageous if not more so. This book, as you can gather from the title, focuses on the beliefs of atheists so you can be better equipped to carry on a conversation with an atheist without looking like you have no idea what you are talking about.

The Atheist’s Fatal Flaw is a book that will truly help you understand how you can “give an answer for the hope that you have.” Not only will it do that, it will help you see and understand some of the conflicts within the very claims or beliefs atheists make. If you want to educate yourself in this manner, I would recommend you get this book. Let me quote the synopsis on the back of the book because it makes a great statement about the book and the reason you should pick it up:

This unique book faithfully represents what atheists say they believe about the nature of God, evil, and human autonomy and stands back to watch as the natural inconsistencies in that worldview inevitably rise to the surface. Anyone who wants to be able to speak with confidence to an atheist about the fundamental conflicts in their beliefs will find this resource indispensable.

This book also covers submission and favor, death and faith, guilt and rules, punishment and pardon, hell and heaven, inconsistencies to responses and objections. As you can see, it covers a ton of material, all of which is helpful and meaningful. As you read through it, you could find yourself drowning in the arguments and discussions and quotes from prominent atheists, but the authors do a great job of helping the reader grasp what they need to know.

With that said, this is a brief review of a book I highly recommend for the young believer to the mature believer. Every Christian can benefit from this book, especially because many atheists were at one time, people who claimed to be Christians. So grab a copy, allow your brain to be stretched and get ready to learn and be challenged. Why? Because if we truly want to reach the world for Christ, it involves loving our neighbors as ourselves and in some cases, our neighbors will be atheists. We need to educate ourselves will how to interact with them.

 

Disclaimer: In accordance with FTC regulations, I received this book from Baker Books in return for a review of the book.