The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips offers a foundational resource for local churches. It would be an excellent choice for a small group or study group to use for one or even two semesters of study. Individuals would also benefit greatly from reading it on their own.
In the first place, I don’t get asked to endorse books that often, but when I am asked to look at an advance copy of a book, I find writing endorsements for books to be hard work. To begin with, one needs to carefully read the book. Usually since the book isn’t out yet, this means working with a large stack of loose papers. I find myself highlighting, adding post-its, underlining texts, occasionally emailing an author to say, “Are you sure you wanted to say this,” etc.
Second, when evaluating an endorsement I have to consider, as a pastor accountable to God, do I want to encourage God’s people to spend their time and money on this particular book.
Finally, one has to carefully craft a few sentences that may persuade readers to invest in the book.
Lest you think I am complaining, when I am asked to evaluate a book like Dan Phillips’, The World Tilting Gospel I am humbled that I even get the chance. Throughout the time I was reading this book, I found myself smiling, learning, and being thankful. Here’s the endorsement I wrote:
The World-Tilting Gospel is the sort of foundational resource that will serve everyone from those considering the Christian faith to church leaders. With meticulous attention to the biblical text, Dan Phillips unfolds how the Cross-centered Gospel polishes a crystal clear lens through which the distorted reality of a fallen world can be tilted over and seen upside down, which is the Good News that we can be right side up with God.
Now I gave this considerable thought – - I chose my words carefully. Since I don’t have the space constraints here I had for the endorsement, let me expand that paragraph a bit to explain why I wrote this endorsement.
- “Foundational” – The goal of this book is to show how the Gospel changes everything. Because it’s about the Gospel or the Good News, it serves as a solid introduction to the Christian faith. For someone who wonders what Christianity is all about, this is an excellent choice. It will also be profitbale for someone who has been a believer for many years.
- “Meticulous attention to the biblical text”- Dan is one of the most skilled expositor’s of the biblical text who I read. Whenever I read something he has written, I immediately have the sense that this is a student of the text from who I can learn. Even this week as I prepare to preach from Romans, I am thankful for Dan’s chapter that explains what the Apostle Paul meant when he spoke of the “flesh.”
- “Cross-centered” - The best thing that could be said about any book is that it is passionately centered on the Lord Jesus Christ and this book is . . . In a section that’s worth the price of the book, Dan summarizes:
The world nears to hear the truth about the Jesus who won’t be ignored, tamed, lassoed, or co-opted. It needs to hear about Him in all His raw, rude, gate-crashing, table-bashing power. It needs to hear about his nature, His Cross, His resurrection, His crown, His warnings, His demands, His offer.
If Jesus is real, all the world’s values and plans and tidy little sand castles are doomed.
And He is.
And they are.
This is world-tilting truth.
- “Polishes a crystal clear lens” - The World Tilting Gospel is written in a way that is clear and accessible. It teaches what accords with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1).