Book Review: What is the mission of the Church? by Greg Gilbert and Kevin DeYoung

I originally picked this book up because I like how Kevin DeYoung presents the Gospel in terms that are clearly understood and, most of the time, in a witty style. What I got out of this book was so much more than that. The book started with the authors claiming that they did not have all the answers yet they knew the one who does. From the outset the scriptures are opened up to the reader in a manner that connects the bible and it’s context to the mission of the church today. The authors do not assume that any answers that can be found regarding our mission can be found apart from the revealed word of God.

So what is the mission of the church? Are we to understand that joining with God in renewing his world, or making disciples are aspects, but not the whole meaning to the question? Are we to glean from scriptures that justice and social betterment is the gospel? Are we to live in such a way that we evangelize our communities with lifestyle choices and attitudes we live in? These questions and many more are considered by the authors, not through their own lenses, but through that of Scripture and a better understanding of it. The scriptures hold the power over us, to correct any misunderstanding we may hold, even if we do not know it.

This book corrected many of my own misunderstandings of key portions of scriptures. I would recommend this book to any person who claims Christ as the Lord and Saviour, for that very reason. A correct understanding of God’s word is vital today in a world where even the church allows its culture to define its meaning. This book is not a Calvinist’s view on scripture, it’s not a tool to use to defend what the reformed community looks like, it’s a manual that scrapes the depths of scripture to find its meaning and how we can apply that meaning to our lives and our churches. Please read this book if you are involved in the church and wonder where it’s supposed to be taking you. This book isn’t a commentary on the New Testament, but it’s sure helpful for correcting those who may be too far gone on the Social Justice issue that they forget what biblical theology looks like.

If you are comfortable in your understanding of scripture then you probably shouldn’t read this book. I had to become a berean and search the scriptures for myself while reading this book to make sure what they were talking about was truly there, and sure enough it was. It doesn’t matter what theological background you come from, you need to give this book a good reading alongside the scriptures and a prayer for understanding and clarity.

Quotable Quotes:

The mission of Jesus is not service broadly conceived, but the proclamation of the gospel through teaching, the corroboration fo the gospel through signs and wonders, and the accomplishment of the gospel in death and resurrection. (page 57)

The kingdom of God is the kingdom of Jesus, and the way into the kingdom is through submission to the King. (page 123)

God hates injustice. But injustice must be defined on the Bible’s terms, not ours. injustice implies a corrupted judicial system, an arbitrary legal code, and outright cruelty to the poor. (page 159)

If we want the church to move into the city, drink fair-trade coffee, focus on ending world hunger, and feel like guilty oppressors when we don’t do these things, we’re going to have a hard time backing that up with Scripture. (page 193)

Ultimately, if the church does not preach Christ and him crucified, if the church does not plant, nurture, and establish more churches, if the church does not teach the nations to obey Christ, no one else and nothing else will.(page 238)

I received this book for free from Crossway Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review, only one that accurately reflected my views on this book. Crossway has so many great titles to choose from. Check out their selection here.

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