Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus is the latest book from Jared Wilson. The more I’ve read of Jared through his books, blog and twitter feed, the more I’ve come to appreciate his quick wit, sense of humor, but, more than these, his deep love and appreciation for the Gospel.
Is another book on the Gospel needed? What makes this unique? These are, honestly, some of the questions a sensible evangelical reader might ask when a title like this comes across the radar, so as this book came out, I asked those questions, but dug in, knowing what I know about Jared and his heart. Right out of the gate, Jared had me hooked. I grew up in an environment quite similar to what he described in the introduction, where a Gospel invitation was given at the end of a service and it was for unbelievers. If not too many unbelievers were “coming forward” then the pastor would ask questions about assurance asking if we know that we know that we’re believers (whatever knowing that I know means). And it wasn’t that some of these things (Gospel invitation, pressing assurance) were wrong it’s just that, like Jared says, “We had it shallow. I didn’t understand that the Gospel was for all of life” (p.18). What drives the rest of this book, then are these Gospel Deeps, the depths of understanding that God has put in the Bible about the Gospel to help all people admire and extol Jesus for who He is and what He’s done. It is in this sense, the book delivers.
Chapter 1 really orients us to book itself, showing us the depths of the Gospel rooted in the deep love of God Himself. Chapter 2 unpacks 1 Peter 2:9 and shows us how the depths of the Gospel are oriented individually, corporately, and theologically. Chapter 3 points us to God Himself, revealed as Trinity, in its Gospel brightness, all of which leads to much practical living. Chapter 4 shows the depths of the Gospel in establishing joy in us. Chapter 5 expands the joy of Jesus going to cross by centering in how penal substitution is central to the Gospel, especially highlighted in John’s Gospel. Chapter 6 builds on the suffering of Jesus by taking us to God’s purpose in suffering, connecting it to the Gospel and giving us much practical living in light of this truth. Chapter 7 shows how glorious God’s attributes shine in the Gospel. Chapter 8 shows what Christ accomplished for us to adopt us into God’s family. Chapter 9 takes us from the here and now to the future cosmic redemption anticipated through the Gospel. And, chapter 10 take us deep into Christ himself from Hebrews 1. The brief conclusion dealt with the critique that we are to move on from the Gospel into maturity and showed how foundations don’t move. So, there were many rich Gospel depths explored which help the reader to praise God for the Gospel and more actively live in light of it.
My feeling, then, is that Jared delivered to us a very needed book to connect the rich depths of Gospel truth to our everyday living. I think if you’ll read this, you’ll be affected in the same way.