Passion for the Gospel: Conversations with Greg Laurie and Chuck Swindoll. By Charles R. Swindoll and Greg Laurie. IFL Publishing House: Plano, TX, 2006. 101 pp. plus 10 prepages. Paper, np.
When I heard this new book advertised on Insight for Living, I was surprised. Why would Chuck Swindoll be doing a book about evangelism with noted Lordship Salvation evangelist Greg Laurie?
After reading the book, I believe the reason Chuck did this is because he has been to Greg’s Harvest Crusades and he considers Greg to be on the leading evangelists of our day (p. 3). Chuck even took one of his sons to observe the amazing evangelistic ministry of Greg.
Still, I wonder why Chuck was impressed by Greg’s evangelistic message. When the two of them discuss the saving message in the book, Greg speaks of confessing one’s sins, turning from one’s sins, and inviting Jesus into one’s life to be Lord of his life. Chuck, however, calls for faith alone in Christ alone and specifically says that turning from sins is not a condition of eternal life.
Here’s my guess. Chuck evidently feels that Greg’s calls for turning from sins and commitment of life are essentially calls to faith in Christ. While Chuck wouldn’t say it that way, he evidently doesn’t view Greg’s words as misleading or as a false gospel. After all, they wrote this book together as a fund raising piece for their two ministries.
I should mention that Chapter 1 is a transcript of two radio shows that Chuck and Greg did together about evangelism. Chapter 2 is about substitution and it is by Chuck Swindoll, a chapter borrowed from one of his books. Chapter 3 is by Greg Laurie and it about gospel basics, drawn from one of his books. Interestingly Greg here says that what one must do to be born again is contained in two words: follow Jesus. Chapter 4 contains some evangelistic tools from Greg and Chuck’s ministry materials. Chapter 5 is a list of some recommended resources from Harvest Ministries and Insight for Living.
I strongly recommend this book for those who enjoy the ministries of Chuck Swindoll and/or Greg Laurie. It is an easy read and quite revealing.
In order to get the book GES had to make a contribution to Insight for Living. The book was not listed for sale. Possibly that will change in the future. If not, you too may need to go the contribution route to get it.
Robert N. Wilkin
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society