THE NOVEL GOSPEL
Jamaal W.M. (2016). The Novel Gospel.
Reviewed by: ADEIFE Victor, GHGS, Nigeria.
The novel gospel is an excellent book for every believer (new convert and others) because, it gives us an important highlight of the dealings of God, with the saints of the Old Testament, from which present-day relevant lessons is drawn out. The book also provides us with explicit information and understanding of Jesus’ earthly conversations among mankind, what happened at the resurrection of Jesus and the early history of the Church’s existence.
The fascinating introduction was superb as it brings the secular mind to see the big picture, the importance and essence of faith in God above the works of man. It also challenges the religious mind till it observes whether or not its characteristics align with what God expects from man. The theme of the book centres around the ministry of Jesus, His teachings and His works on earth, on the cross and upon resurrection which is the basis of faith of the believer.
Personally, the part of the introduction that riveted my attention and made me interested in reading was that “the resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate proof of God’s existence”. This was carefully proved upon the latter parts of this book.
Though, I am a Christian, a Nigerian, the topic of the book. The phrase “novel gospel” would have put me off. Going by my religious background in this part of the world we believe everything associated or linked with God is spiritual and must be treated sacred. So we don’t toil with calling anything related to God with any secular tone. I will be like, how can he call the gospel a NOVEL? (And I can say that is general here in Nigeria.), though I would have missed an opportunity to be edified. I must say, it was an opportunity for me to read the bible without chapters and verses. I learnt more about the essence of the importance of the state of my heart because God looks towards the heart. I also learnt the application of the statements and parables of Jesus as regards our present-day living in relating to others. I gained a lot from the understanding of how God dealt with the people in the times of war in the Old Testament which helped me set my view of God aright as one who is altogether interested in the affairs of man.
Many things stood out but this outclasses them all. The suspense introduced from the beginning was the driving force that kept me interested in reading the entire book, how that THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST IS THE ULTIMATE PROOF OF GOD’S EXISTENCE. I believe an atheist who is willing to learn will also be very much interested in this explanation.
This book would be of great benefit in convincing the atheist because its final submissions is a great tool as it depicts the existence of God from the standpoint of Christ. If sectioned, it can be given to kids in high school and children department of the church. The earlier church kids and guys learn basic truth concerning Jesus, the better their future will be and will ultimately lead to a better generation as it stresses our responsibility to one another and God, a knowledge that will foster peace, togetherness and love in the world at large.
Countries of the world can adopt some of the ideologies spelled out from the scriptures and the statements of the Lord Jesus to foster peace and unity within their people and among nations of the world – this ideologies were explained in the commentaries. This book will enlighten believers and cause a shift in their focus from mundane things to faith in Christ, absolute dependence on God which is what pleases God and also saves man.
My reservation however is concerning those who will be saved. I don’t agree that God knows those who will ultimately believe in Him and those who would not. What we see in scriptures is that God knows HOW MEN WILL BE SAVED NOT THE NUMBER OF ALL WHO WILL BE SAVED. God gave every Human the will, which is the ability to make choices that’s why he allowed Adam choose, man’s failure which is disobedience is the cause of the fall. If God knows how many people will be saved, why will Jesus ask us to preach the gospel in other that men may believe and be saved? Truly, Jesus said all who come to him are brought to Him by God but Jesus also said to the people “come to me all ye that labour…” How do we know who will be saved? Those who believe! It is painted all through the scriptures that FAITH IN CHRIST’S RESURRECTION IS THE CAUSE OF SALVATION.
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
I would like to make this contribution to one of the questions that was asked in the book. What is the difference between Jesus receiving the spirit at Jordan and at the right hand of the father?
The difference is that in the former, Jesus received the spirit for himself as He was about to kick start his ministry (Acts 10:38, Luke 4:18) but in the latter, Jesus received the Spirit for us who believe. Just as He said he was going to send the comforter to them. He received Him to give to us (Acts 2:38-39). Since the promise of the Spirit was to Him (Gal. 3:14,19, John 16:7,16), he shared Him with us who believe such that now we have all Jesus had while He was on the earth so we can do his work (Acts 1:8). Now we can do the works of Jesus in the Spirit and by the Spirit. We can act like he did while he was on the earth.
I would recommend this book and encourage everyone, Christian or not, who wants to know about God and Jesus Christ because it contains the essential truths concerning Jesus that everyone must know. The commentaries also gave present day application to the problems of humanity e.g. wars, inter human relationship etc. from the events spoken of in the bible.
I’d like to speak with the author personally too.
(review of free book)