'The Eclipse of the Gospel' by Frank Allred

Few would argue that our land is covered in spiritual darkness. As in a solar eclipse, this darkness is virtually total in some places. Unlike a solar eclipse, the eclipse of the gospel shows little sign of ending.

What has the church lost her way so badly? The author’s concern is to show that it has happened because the church has lost confidence in the gospel. The seriousness of sin is played down, the sovereignty of God and the wrath of God are ignored, and great themes like justification by faith are sidelined. Some downplay unpalatable aspects of the gospel, others seek after ‘signs and wonders’, and yet others conform the truth to political correctness.

Further, these aberrations occur even within churches that think of themselves as bastions of gospel truth. The Bible is no longer studied in depth, with the result that ministers and congregations alike are ‘blown here and there by every wind of teaching’ (Ephesians 4: 14).

The book is comprehensive in scope and yet easy to read. It has 11 chapters, covering the atonement, the glory of God, redemption, the covenant of grace, the necessity of the gospel, repentance and faith, the elect, the new birth, justification and glorification, holiness and the communication of the gospel.

Frank Allred makes a robust defence of the Calvinistic position and does not shy away from exposing common errors in the message proclaimed by many churches. But he concludes with a positive vision: ‘as we remember how God honoured faithful gospel preaching with great blessing in the past, let us beseech him to do it again’.

The book lacks indices, particularly a biblical index.

This is an important book. Do get a copy and encourage others to do the same.

John Perfect, Northallerton, England