How Do Counterfeit Gospels Affect the Gospel Story?

Counterfeit Gospels Chart: How 6 Counterfeits Affect the Gospel Story, Announcement, and Community

The best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the real thing.

When it comes to the gospel, the best way to spot a counterfeit gospel is to know the biblical gospel – not only to master it in a cerebral, objective sense, but to be captured by the beauty of what God has done for us in Christ.

Earlier this year, I listed nine “counterfeit gospels” that I considered writing about in Counterfeit Gospels. Then, I asked readers of Kingdom People to participate in a poll, choosing the six most prevalent among evangelicals today.

Later, I described the biblical gospel by using the analogy of a three-legged stool.

  • There’s the Gospel Story – the grand narrative of Scripture (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration).
  • Within that overarching framework, we make the Gospel Announcement about Jesus Christ (His perfect life, substitutionary death, resurrection, exaltation).
  • The gospel announcement then births the Gospel Community: God’s church – the embodiment of the gospel, the manifestation of God’s kingdom.

In the book, I describe a counterfeit gospel as a colony of termites, eating away at one of the legs of the stool until it topples the whole thing. Below is a handy chart included in the book that lays out the six counterfeits we deal with in the book and how each counterfeit affects the gospel Story, gospel Announcement, and gospel Community.

Take a look at the chart below and let me know what you think.

Does your heart drift toward any of these counterfeits? Why or why not?

Which counterfeits do you see as particularly dangerous in our day and age?

Article is Used in Its Entirety by Permission of Trevin Wax, Nov 2012, copyright 2012 The Gospel Coalition.  You might want to consider purchasing Trevin Wax’s book, Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope, Moody 2011. Here is the link to his blog Kingdom People:  Living on Earth as Citizens of Heaven, where the excerpt from his book is located.  Many thanks to Trevin Wax for his permission.

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