Review of Hixson, “Getting the Gospel Wrong: The Evangelical Crisis No One is Talking About” -- By: Roscoe Barnes III
Conspectus 12:1 (September 2011) p. 241
Review of Hixson, “Getting the Gospel Wrong: The Evangelical Crisis No One is Talking About”
Hixson JB 2008. Getting the Gospel Wrong: the Evangelical Crisis No One Is Talking About. Xulon Press.
At the time of the publication of this book, Hixson served as the executive director of Free Grace Alliance. He teaches theology at Grace School of Theology in The Woodlands, Texas, and Free Grace Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Hixson holds a Ph.D. from Baptist Bible Seminary, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from Houston Baptist University.
Hixson believes there is a crisis today in the presentation of the gospel, and that many churches, including their leaders, are confused about saving faith and the content of the gospel message.
In his book, Getting the Gospel Wrong, Hixson attempts to identify the problems and confusion surrounding the gospel and its presentation. In addition to analyzing some of the most popular beliefs and methods in evangelism, he defines the meaning of saving faith and presents what he considers to be the five essential components of the gospel message. He writes, ‘Saving faith is the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died and rose again to pay one’s personal penalty for sin, and the one who gives eternal life to all who trust Him and Him alone for it’ (84).
Conspectus 12:1 (September 2011) p. 242
1. Summary of the Book
Hixson presents his argument in ten chapters. In chapters one and two, he offers an overview of his topic, and a survey of what he calls the present postmodern American landscape. This, he writes, ‘will help to contextualize the setting in which the gospel is being proclaimed’ (30). In chapter two, which he titles, ‘Surveying the Landscape’, he suggests that confusion about the message of the gospel is ‘a crisis of eternal proportions’ and that the important question for humanity is, ‘What precisely must someone believe about Jesus in order to obtain eternal life?’ (38-39).
In his survey of current views of the gospel, Hixson argues that problematic and confusing views of the gospel are related to postmodern thinking which ‘provides a fertile ground for erroneous gospel presentations’ (63). He elaborates, explaining that ‘the abandonment of certainty, as well as the corresponding embracement of uncertainty, has fostered ambivalence toward accuracy and purity in evangelical soteriological methodology’ (63).
Hixson is a leader in the Free Grace Movement. In his notes for chapter three, he provides a stinging critique of the Grace Evangelical Society (GES), noting that it promotes a...
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