Gospel Essentials
by Dr. Daniel R. Carfrey
Author Reputation Press

"It is important to note that the kind of life Jesus lived when he was growing up as a man, and the kind of ministry he had here on earth, was just as important to our salvation as his death on the cross for our sins."

Carfrey gives readers a primer on theology, explaining the fundamentals of certain Christian teachings from a contemporary evangelical perspective. He explains how Jesus was born of a virgin in the city of Bethlehem, noting that he’s thought to have fulfilled a number of prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures and to be the only person ever to have done so. Carfrey shares what he considers to have been the purpose of Jesus’s death—offering himself as a sacrifice for the sins of humankind to appease the wrath of God.

The author lists various proofs in support of the resurrection, such as the fact that most of the apostles were killed for their faith, and argues that the ascension of Jesus means that he is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven. Carfrey maintains that Jesus is also God and that people who believe in him will have eternal life but that people who don’t believe in him will be condemned to hell. He ends the book with an urgent plea for nonbelievers to repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus for salvation “while you still have time.”

The author’s book is a lucid and competently written look at some basic evangelical doctrines, broken down into short chapters with illustrative charts to sustain reader engagement. The author seems earnest in his desire to inform others about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and to save souls from an eternity of torment. The book adequately reflects the doctrinal beliefs and practices of many modern evangelical Christian churches. For example, he describes communion as consisting of bread and grape juice, in contrast to the traditional use of wine. In essence, the book fulfills the promise of its title, presenting an evangelical view of the gospel written with urgency and clarity.

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