Paul warned us that men would come into the church preaching a different Jesus, a different spirit, a different gospel … a counterfeit gospel.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (NASB)
In Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope, Trevin Wax addresses the issue of counterfeit gospels in a two-fold way: defining the true gospel while at the same time explaining the characteristics of some of the counterfeits that permeate the religion of Christianity today.
The author sets the stage for the entire book in the opening pages:
- The Threefold Crisis in the Church
- The Gospel as a Three-Legged Stool (the Gospel Story, the Gospel Announcement, the Gospel Community)
The book is broken into three sections basically explaining each aspect of the gospel as an essential leg of the true and entire gospel using the analogy of a three-legged stool … remove any leg and … well, you know what happens.
Throughout the three sections, he outlines six very specific counterfeit gospels (therapeutic, judgmentless, moralistic, quietest, activist and churchless) …
- Defining the counterfeit
- Listing and describing the evangelical versions of that counterfeit
- Explaining why we find the counterfeit attractive
- Then equipping us to counter the counterfeit
Having read the book, I now believe I have a much clearer picture of the gospel – the entire gospel – and how best to live and proclaim it in today’s culture. I also believe I am better equipped to discern the different or counterfeit gospels. And I must admit, at one time or another (and in some instances even today) I have believed in and embraced aspects of each of the counterfeits. So this was a very insightful, eye-opening and convicting book.
Thank you Trevin Wax for another important book for the body of Christ (Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals was also an excellent teaching).