Have you ever noticed that when you eat certain types of food, particularly spicy foods, that the scent from the food stays with you well after the meal? If you were to happen to exercise the next day all of those around you would be aware of your spicy culinary experience. This is the unfavorable sweat.
But, I have also learned to appreciate what I will call, “Gospel-Sweat.” This is a sweat that comes from people marinating in the goodness of the gospel. When you find people like this you want to keep them close. When you find books by people like this then you want to keep their books close. You want to learn from their thinking and experiences.
Milton Vincent appears to be one of these guys. In his short but powerful book A Gospel Primer Vincent models a faithfully engaged Christian who is aiming to be daily overcome by the glory of Christ in the gospel.
The largest chunk of the book is really just a bevy of implications of the gospel. Like a soldier with an infinite amount of shells Vincent just keeps firing gospel truth at you. This is so good because we are so forgetful. In these short (2-3 paragraph sections) we have a number of facts that are true because of what Christ has done for us. There are too many to name here but for example, we have: My Daily Need, Transformed by God’s Power, A Cure for Distrust, Freedom from Sin’s Power, Resting in Christ’s Righteousness, etc. It is great. What I love about this section, in addition to the truth captured in the paragraphs, is the truth in the Scripture as cited in the footnotes at the bottom of the page. The book is loaded with Bible. This is good.
The rest of the book is A Gospel Narrative. Vincent writes in the first person in such a way that shows a deep meditation and delight in the gospel. Its style is conducive to memorization and further meditation.
Finally, in the last section the author, himself a pastor, writes about is testimony of God’s goodness in making him to see and savor the goodness of God in the gospel. This is great stuff.
I can see many uses for this book. It is singular in purpose (helping us to live in light of the gospel) but it is wide in its scope. For example, it is good for a new Christian and for a reminder to a more seasoned believer. It’s good for one struggling in legalism or one prone to licentiousness. It is good for Dads, Moms, sons and daughters. It is for pastors and lay-people. It is for seminarians or nursery workers. If you are a Christian this book will help you. It has, is and no doubt will continue to help me. I cannot commend it highly enough.
A Gospel Primer is available at Westminster | Amazon.
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