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The World Tilting Gospel

TWTG.jpgThe World-Tilting Gospel
By Dan Phillips
Kregel (Grand Rapids): 2011

I decided to buy this book after reading a positive review of it by Jay Adams.

Specifically, I bought it because of the first six words of his review: “There’s nothing new in this book.”

Yes. I did say that it was a positive review. As a matter of fact, the author of The World Tilting Gospel (TWTG), Dan Phillips, commented on it, “…they’re sweet, sweet words to me.”

The words of TWTG were sweet to me as I took it up and read. “The greatest need of the church today is a strategic, full-orbed, robust, biblical grasp of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its  transformative implications. We don’t need more glitz or glamour, better marketing or programs, snazzier décor or entertainment. We do need a whole-Bible grasp of the Gospel.” (Introduction, Pg. 19)

TWTG doesn’t disappoint; spelling out the Gospel clearly, and framing it biblically to show how it relates to and tilts the world.

“We’re a mess. What we need to do is rub the sleep-dust out of our eyes, pull the plugs out of our ears, get out of our recliners, and hit the Book. We need to expose our hearts to the true, howling darkness of our sin, and the blinding blaze of God’s holiness. We need to rivet our attention on the overflowing majesty of the person of Jesus Christ…” (Chapter 14, Pg. 300)

Yeah. That’s straightforward talk. You’ll read a lot of that in this book.

The World-Tilting Gospel will appeal to agnostics and theological novices for its readability and clarity, and to lay scholars and seminary students for its depth and breadth. I can think of a few mainline ministers who could use a refresher course in the summation of salvation it offers as well.  It presents the ‘old, old story’ in a fresh, appealing way. Don’t take that to mean the truth is sugar-coated; the expression ‘gilding the lily’ doesn’t apply here. TWTG is rough and rigid where the gospel is rough and rigid; and it is soft and sweet where the gospel is soft and sweet.

TWTG may be an answer to the problem identified in Michael Horton’s Christless Christianity. The churches that Horton challenges in his book would do well to study TWTG which presents the good news captivatingly, but without so-called ‘relevant’ fanfare, shock-value or worldly means. What Horton says is missing from the center of many churches is the focus of Phillips’ book – the good news of Jesus Christ.

What I like most about TWTG is that it is structured like a pyramid, with one course built solidly upon another, tapering upward toward the peak. But the book doesn’t end with just a single point. When it reaches that expected dénouement; it’s fireworks time! Instead of a single point of light, there is an explosion of truth and beauty and love and mercy and praise and glory and joy all directed at the person and work of Christ Jesus.

Before I even finished reading the book, I purchased additional copies and gave them to a few cherished friends. Buy yourself a copy and do the same.

Trevin Wax reviewed TWTG earlier this month. Doug Wilson reviewed it early last month. Aaron Armstrong and Mark at HereIBlog both reviewed it last year; and Rebecca Stark is giving away a free copy at her blog this week!

Dan Phillips is the pastor of Copperfield Bible Church in Houston, Texas. His blog is Biblical Christianity and he is a member of TeamPyro, the Pyromaniacs blog; both of which you’ll find linked in the sidebar to the right up toward the top. Dan is also the author of God’s Wisdom in Proverbs, a copy of which is sitting on my bookshelf awaiting my eager eyes.

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