The Preeminent Christ, God’s Beautiful and Unchanging Gospel

In this short book, Paul Washer is showcasing the greatness of Christ and the gospel. This reviewer appreciates the fact that Washer defines what he means by the gospel, especially since many authors today do not. He distinguishes between a broad use of the word, which he claims is found on every page of Scripture, and the very distinct and unique message centered in the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ (p. 13). And while it is the preeminence and gospel of Christ that is the theme of the book, Washer is careful to repeatedly write that it is not the only message in Scripture, but it is foundational and first in rank (pp. 39, 49, 53, 66, 74). John Newton is quoted as reinforcement for Washer’s views: “It is impossible that neither men nor angels can fully sound the depth of this one sentence, ‘That Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners’” (p. 7).

Chapter three is devoted to the essential elements of the gospel: God, depravity of man, Christ’s person, the incarnation, obedience, death and resurrection, Christ’s exaltation and return, and the call to repentance and faith. The author then demonstrates that the ecumenical creeds and major evangelical confessions all understood the gospel correctly (pp. 27-37). Throughout the book, Washer quotes past important Christian leaders such as, Spurgeon, Newton, Wesley, Whitefield, Calvin, Lloyd-Jones, Ryle, and a wide assortment of Puritans who taught the biblical gospel.

The great truths emphasized in this book need to be expounded clearly and often in the modern church. Much like budding artists need courses in art appreciation, most Christians need to be instructed in theological appreciation (p. 59). The Preeminent Christ goes a long way in aiding the reader to appreciate Christ and the gospel.

by Paul Washer (Grand Rapids, MI: Heritage Books, 2023), 98 + ix pp., hard $20.00

Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Southern View Chapel