I have been a fan of John MacArthur for more than 20 years. I don’t know if “fan” is the correct term to use but whatever he writes or whenever he speaks, I find myself drawn to reading and listening what he produces. As with everyone, I don’t know that I necessarily agree with his opinions on everything but when it comes to expositing the Word of God, I believe him to be a trusted source. Needless to say, I was excited to receive a copy of John MacArthur’s newest book The Gospel According to Paul from Nelson Books. I was given a copy of his book The Gospel According to Jesus about five years ago, and it helped me immensely in my understanding of Jesus’ ministry shown in the gospels.
After a lengthy introduction and a brief history on Paul’s life before Christ, through seven chapters, MacArthur walks the reader through the principles of the Gospel from Paul’s life and letters.
As only MacArthur can do, it’s easy to get bogged down in all of the information presented in each chapter. If there’s one thing that MacArthur does well it’s giving you more information then you thought you could ever know about something. It’s that thoroughness that separates MacArthur’s books and sermons from everyone else.
As he begins in the first chapter, he outlines what the gospel is, walking the reader through Scripture, before pointing out our condition and need for the gospel in chapter 2. For chapters 3 and 4, he tackles the issue of faith and works and what our responsibility is in believing the gospel. Chapter 5 deals with the cross and Christ’s atoning work and transitions in chapter 6 to our reward based on Christ’s death and resurrection. He closes out his main body of work in chapter 7 with an instruction on grace: what it is and what it isn’t.
Again this is a very thorough work on the gospel and quite different from its predecessor The Gospel According to Jesus. There were times when I felt like I was reading the longest gospel tract in history but at other times I found myself engrossed in the topic at hand because of the insight I was gaining.
I may be a bit biased because of my appreciation for John MacArthur and the help that his teaching has been over the years but this new book The Gospel According to Paul would make a fantastic tool for small groups and even personal study.