The premise of this book is that the gospel saves. That sounds obvious, but it means that the gospel starts the life of the disciple, and keeps the disciple going until death or Christ returns. The gospel that justifies is the same gospel that sanctifies.
The book is in three sections. Part one looks at why the gospel is essential for unbelievers and for believers. Those who come to Christ don’t need something new, but to go deeper into the gospel and become integrated disciples. Many books on discipleship focus on developing our vertical relationship with the Lord or horizontal relationship with the world — but Dodson argues for the gospel to be in the centre so we avoid the extremes of piety or performance.
Part two looks at the heart and how legalism (rule-keeping) and antinomianism (rule-breaking) fail. The gospel-centred way is to see the wonder of Christ’s love for us. That gives us the desire to obey, takes the word seriously and repents much. The Holy Spirit helps move us on in the decisions we face and in the circumstances we face.
Part three looks at how the gospel must be applied and how we need to be converted three times! You’ll have to read the book if you want to understand. Dodson argues for triplets to help in the fight against sin, and shows how the text of the Bible creates a theology that impacts our life.
I found it an easy read, and while not convinced by the fight club concept, this is a book that seeks to keep Jesus and the gospel at the heart of our living and serving. Discipleship is an area where many people go astray, but I would recommend this if you are wanting to grow as a disciple of Jesus.