His use of Ecclesiastes to discuss humanity’s current plight was also enlightening. Chandler describes how Solomon had the best of what the world could offer, yet the great king was still empty. The fact that even the best of this world cannot satisfy us suggests we are made for is another world (to borrow an argument from C. S. Lewis). And perhaps that is especially good news when we find ourselves struggling to enjoy things we believe should be “good,” like work, family, and friends. Though God’s original purpose for us was to enjoy Shalom in all these arenas, humankind’s fall from grace has marred even the best life has to offer. The good news of Chandler’s Explicit Gospel is that God’s reconciliation and consummation not only make us right with God, but also will one day replace our frustrations with satisfaction eternal. Further, this benefit is not just for us, but for the whole of creation.

Stanley J. Ward is the Director of Campus Life and Ministry at The Brook Hill School in Bullard, TX. He is also author of  Worldview Conversations: How to Share Your Faith and Keep Your Friends.

Matt Chandler serves as lead pastor of The Village Church in Highland Village, TX. He describes his 7 year tenure at The Village as a re-planting effort where he was involved in changing the theological and philosophical culture of the congregation. The church has witnessed a tremendous response growing from 160 people to over 5000 including two satellite campuses (Denton and Northway). Alongside his current role as lead pastor, Matt is involved in church planting efforts both locally and internationally through The Village and various strategic partnerships. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over ten years where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. His greatest joy outside of Jesus is being married to Lauren and being a dad to their three children, Audrey, Reid, and Norah. 

Publication Date: June 19, 2012