Contending for the Gospel: For the Glory of Christ and the Sanctity of His Church
By Mike Gendron
Proclaiming the Gospel, 2019, 288 pp.
In this recently published book, evangelist Mike Gendron compares the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone with Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Gendron leads a Gospel outreach ministry to Roman Catholics called Proclaiming the Gospel (see here). While this book is not as well-structured as “The Gospel According to Rome” by James. G. McCarthy (see here), it is still, overall, a very good analysis of the irreconcilable theological differences between the Gospel of grace and Rome’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. In this book, Gendron also addresses the accommodation, compromise, and betrayal of the Gospel by ecumenical “evangelical” Judases who eagerly accommodate and embrace Rome and its false gospel.
Chapters are as follows:
- The Foundation for the Gospel
- The Message of the Gospel
- The Person of the Gospel
- The Exclusivity of the Gospel
- The Promise of the Gospel
- The Compromise of the Gospel
- The Opposition to the Gospel
- The Departure from the Gospel
- The Catholic church and the Gospel
- The Urgency of the Gospel
- The Proclamation of the Gospel
- The Response to the Gospel
I’m very grateful for this new book and for Mike Gendron and his ministry to Roman Catholics. However, I do have a few minor qualifications: 1) As in the later editions of Gendron’s previous book, “Preparing for Eternity,” there’s nothing in the title or the cover graphics of this new book that would indicate that it’s a rebuttal of Rome’s false gospel. That’s obviously by design, but I’m not in favor of that kind of roundabout stratagem. 2) Gendron warns his readers to be cautious of Roman influences seeping into the evangelical church, yet favorably quotes A. W. Tozer on multiple pages. Huh? It was Tozer who introduced Catholic mysticism into the modern evangelical church, and now hipster, mega-church pastors are offering “contemplative, centering prayer” and “spiritual direction” classes to their congregations. In a book that warns about accommodation with Rome, why was Tozer chosen as an oft-cited favorable reference? Gendron should know better. 3) As in other materials I’ve read from Gendron, he scolds those who exhort lost souls to “accept” Jesus as their Savior, something that I do quite regularly. He objects to the word because he sees it as promoting Arminian free-will. However, it’s abundantly clear from Scripture that in order to appropriate the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus, a person MUST receive/accept it!!! Check your concordance. Receiving/accepting (Greek, λαμβάνω, lambánō) Christ is a thoroughly Biblical doctrine.
“I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept (lambánō) me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.” – John 5:43 (NIV)
“But to all who did receive (lambánō) him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” – John 1:12 (ESV)
Gendron admonishes his readers to use only “believe in Christ” in Gospel outreach, but I don’t choose to use “believe” because every Catholic argues that they certainly “believe” in Jesus. An argument over this kind of tertiary preference doesn’t belong in a book like this.
Those minor qualifications aside, this is an excellent book that would benefit both Roman Catholics who are curious about Gospel Christianity and believers who are interested to know the basics of Rome’s false gospel. Mike Gendron is generally not well-received within today’s mega-church “evangelicalism” where pastors would rather teach theological cotton candy than warn and equip the sheep regarding false teachers and false gospels. Order from Amazon here.