Keep Christ at the Center: A Review Essay on Darrell Bock’s Book, ‘Recovering the Real Lost Gospel’

Darrell L. Bock. Recovering the Real Lost Gospel: Reclaiming The Gospel as Good News. Nashville: B & H Academic, 2010, pp. 146.

Darrell Bock’s book Recovering the Real Lost Gospel advertises itself as a “biblical theology of the gospel” (2).  Beginning with God’s promise to Abraham, he traces the good news of God from its seed form in “gospel preached beforehand to Abraham” (Gal 3:8) to the fullness of the gospel, the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Gospels, Acts, and the rest of the New Testament.

In his engaging book, it is clear that Bock is seeking to correct the notion that Jesus’ death and resurrection is coterminous with the gospel. Accordingly, he describes Paul’s use of the term “cross” in 1 Corinthians 1-2 as a synecdoche “for all that Jesus’ work brings” (3).  And what does Jesus’ work bring? The Spirit and the gift of a personal, loving relationship with the triune God.  So far, so good: The gospel is a message of the cross and it is also a message of life in the Spirit.

Yet, not everything about Bock’s book is quite so good. In my estimation, he shifts the focus from Christ to the Christian, from the objective work of the cross to the subjective work of the Spirit. You can read the rest of my review here: Keep Christ at the Center (CredoMag Blog).

Soli Deo Gloria, dss