Delegitimizing if not the most influential apostle to the gentiles, Paul, whose epistles make up most of the New Testament is nothing new and has been a recurring plague in the church not only during his time but even now more than ever before and so John MacArthur delivers a clear and concise exposition in response to modern day detractors in The Gospel According To Paul. He lays out that the apostle was very much focused and intent on preaching the one and the same gospel that all of the original 12 apostles were commissioned by Jesus Christ Himself as evidenced in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Not only was Paul sound in doctrine, he was deeply schooled in Pharisaic teachings and often expounded on the symbols and typology found in the Old Testament pointing to what Jesus did for all humanity on the cross.
In the book, MacArthur states that the gospel according to Paul begins with a guilty verdict, and that is “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). While the world is unaccepting of the fact that we are all devoid of righteousness apart from God, people resort to “suppressing guilt and denying their sinfulness” which does not ever make the problem of sin go away. We are too depraved no amount of philanthropic involvement as a substitute or even to mimic religiosity can ever compensate and cover up our sinfulness and make us right with God. In effect, he makes a case that the concept of imputation, whereby Jesus’ atoning death makes available to anyone who believes in Him be credited with His righteousness, is key to understanding the gospel (Romans 3:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
This is basically an abridged version of what one needs to know about the fundamentals of Christian doctrine and covers a wide range of theological points on atonement, grace, faith alone, getting right with God to mention, encompassed in 7 chapters ALL equally important, (since Paul’s writings were full of quotes and references to the Old Testament) in commentary form from a trusted source and expositor. There are also 3 appendices for further theological insights in addition to the chapters. I would recommend this book to any believer who knows or have encountered someone who may have had issues not just with the gospel, but particularly with Paul’s epistles and especially to those looking to attend Bible school as a primer on Paul, and even to skeptics looking for a compelling case that the Christian faith is one that is reasonable and grounded on actual and historically documented events namely the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and not founded on blind faith. The gospel IS evidential.
It is presented in a brown hardcover with a tactile (reminiscent of linen) dust jacket and has pages of a trade paperback. If you enjoy listening to John MacArthur’s sermons (and debates), you will find this book a valuable addition to your collection.