Review: Counterfeit Gospels

Title: Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope
Author: Trevin Wax
Category: Nonfiction / Christian Living
Length: 240 pages
Format: Trade Paperback
Release Date: 2011
Publisher: Moody Publishers
ISBN: 080242337X / 978-0802423375
My Rating: 5 Stars

[A] counterfeit gospel will always leave our souls impoverished…. in most cases, counterfeit gospels represent either a dilution of the truth or a truth that is out of proportion. There may still be enough of a saving message to reconcile us to God, but the watered-down version never satisfies our longings. Nor will it empower us for service or embolden our witness before a watching world.

Trevin Wax’s Counterfeit Gospels is a powerful explanation of the true gospel and provides help in recognizing and responding to six common counterfeits to it.

The book begins by explaining the current crisis in the Church regarding the biblical gospel verses counterfeits , describes the three parts to the gospel (story, announcement, and community) and then details six counterfeit gospels that focus on one of those parts.

Part 1 is about the gospel story, followed by its counterfeits: the therapeutic gospel and the judgmentless gospel.

Part 2 is about the gospel announcement, followed by its counterfeits: the moralistic gospel and the quietist gospel.

Part 3 is about the gospel community, followed by its counterfeits: the activist gospel and the churchless gospel.

For each counterfeit, Wax explains the background to it, other forms of it (often describing Evangelical versions of it), what makes it attractive, how to counter it, and key Scripture truths refuting the counterfeit.

I found the structure of the book was really helpful in understanding Wax’s arguments, and I especially appreciated the “what makes it attractive” portion of the description of the various counterfeits . It made it easier for me to understand how and why believers could fall for some of them, and to recognize areas that are especially tempting for me to slip away from the true gospel. Following that section immediately by ways to counter the counterfeit is very effective and helpful.

Highly recommended.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links.