New Book: A Biblical Theology of the Gospel

Darrell L. Bock's picture

I have just published a new book on the gospel in Scripture. It is with Broadman & Holman Academic. It is a biblical theology of the gospel in the New Testament with some reference to OT promise. It is 140 plus pages. It argues that simply to present the gospel as Jesus' death for sin is to miss a key component of the message, the presence of life in the enabling indwelling of the Spirit. I think the church gets what it pays for when it treats the gospel as a momentary transaction and try to show that is not what Scripture teaches. The book should be widely available and Amazon is also a good source. It is entitled Recovering the Real Lost Gospel: Rediscovering the Gospel as Good News. Let me know what you think.


Sounds awesome!  You think there will be a Kindle version for those of us that live outside the U.S.?

Darrell L. Bock's picture

Not sure, but Zondervan often does offer a Kindle version

Dr. Bock:

I received your book via (I live in India!). I found it very clarifying; I had thought of Jesus' death-resurrection alone as the gospel so far. Your treatment of the gospel has helped me; the Cross plus the Spirit is the gospel.

Your simple sweep of the NT on the gospel was highly beneficial. And your balanced approach as to how we receive the gospel was also good. There was no name-calling of the LS proponents, or for that matter anyone else, and that was absolutely neat, I thought.

Thank you so much for your very helpful book, Dr. Bock.

I can't wait to read this book. This subject has been on mind as of late as I often think people have a wrong view of what the Gospel actually is. NT Wright often says the Gospel is not just, jesus died for our sins and rose again.  I'm curious how you would line up with Bishop Wright?  Thanks for your heart!

Darrell L. Bock's picture

Let me know what you think.

Dr. Bock:

I hesitated to ask you this question, but I could not resist. I am sorry if it comes acoss as prying! 

Why was Pastor Rick Warren asked to write the Foreword for your book? I mean, he is seen by many as a controversial figure, catering only to the felt needs of people. So, I believe you should have a certain reason to request him to write the Foreword. 

If it's alright for me to ask, could you kindly tell us why? Thanks! 

Darrell L. Bock's picture



I think some people misread Rick Warren badly. He has a solid church (I have spoken there) and is deeply committed to mission. His concern for others and that commitment to mission sometimes causes people to react to him because his outreach includes elements of compassion ministry that some (wrongly) read as social gospel. It was an honor to have him write the foreword because he is so committed to sharing the gospel

Thank you, Dr. Bock, for clarifying my concern.

I seriously wish that all Christians would be as grace-ful as you are. Some Christian leaders, I notice, are so rigid and uptight in their analysis of fellow-leaders. It is refreshing that you are so grace-ful along with being truth-ful.

Again, thanks, Dr. Bock.

Dr. Bock, 

I just got two copies of your new book from WTS in the mail this afternoon.  I am eager to dig in.  It is interesting to me that this renewed emphasis on the biblical Gospel is beginning to draw out intramural discussion.  Nine Marks offered an answer, I think M. Horton offered an answer of sorts, Chantry has already done so, and now I am eager to read yours.  Thank you very much for pursuing this subject.

Mathew Bartlett's picture

Dear Sir,

I couldn't find the book on, please could you tell me the ISBN to help my search?


Darrell L. Bock's picture

ISBN: 9780805464658


Amazon in the USA has it.



I was just on a certain Christian site which had most prominent Christians define the Gospel, and not one of them mentioned the Spirit. It was all Cross, no Spirit.

I was thinking, sad.

Darrell L. Bock's picture

For those who want the ISBN numbers for this book on the gospel, here they are.


ISBN-10: 0805464654

ISBN-13: 978-0805464658

Hi Dr. Bock,

After reading your new book (Rediscovering the Lost Gospel, etc), I am still a bit unclear on how exactly you would present the gospel to someone. In particular, following the work you do on the words faith, repentance and turning, you seem to land on the word 'trust' as the biblical condition for eternal life, but some previous statements seem to contain something beyond simple trust (e.g, a willingness to obey). What precisely would you say to the Philippian jailor, "What must I do to be saved?"

Finally, you define repentance as a change of mind, depending upon the context in view (if I understand you correctly). Does this incude turning away from one's sins as a condition for eternal life?


I thank God for His work in and through you!


Darrell L. Bock's picture

My specific message might depend, but at its core it would be to believe in Jesus and the provsion for life He offers (forgiveness plus enablement for life, a life that reconnects us to God forever and that allows us to live the way we were designed to live). 

Dr. Bock:

I was on a certain Christian site today, and read a review of your book. It was a good review in general. Along with what he liked about your book, the writer mentioned some things that he did not like, namely, Imputation not discussed, and the lack of clarity on applying the gospel in our everyday lives.

Now, candidly, I too wonder why that was not discussed.

I would very much appreciate it if you could please clarify these two things. I read quite a bit in the Christian sites about applying the gospel in our daily lives. How do we really do that?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Darrell L. Bock's picture


I know this review. I did not discuss imputation because I think only one passage may treat it (2 Cor 5:17-21) and it is indirect, saying he who knew no sin became sin for us. This could simply be substitution not full imputation. So it is not a major idea tied to the gospel the best I can tell. I see new creation as being connected to gaining the Spirit and life that gives us access to righteousness. We are declared righteous, but the text is not clear that we specifically have Christ's righteousness.

The book is full of application, although I did not call it that. It discusses what the content of the gospel is we should preach. That is application. The book emphasizes that message is forgiveness plus access to life through Christ in the Spirit is what we should preach. 

Thanks for your work in Theology. Your work on the OT use in the New has been huge for me. I've been trying to grapple through this issue trying to find some synthesis and your work has been helpful (along with Hayes'). 
My only concern is, I wonder if OT use in the New could be synthesized into a viable model? 
Do you think this is an area to pursue (trying to synthesize and model the use of OT in the New)? or do you know of anyone trying to synthesize it all together?
It seems to me that there are about 4 elements that make it possible but I'm sure i'm just thinking unclearly about it. 
Well, now I'm rambling. 
Thanks for  your work anyway.
Be blessed 
Robert Dryer (

Darrell L. Bock's picture

There is work to do there, but much has been done. See Jesus the Messiah by Bateman, Johnston and myself for a model going through OT, 2nd Temple Judaism and NT.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Blog Category: