Quincy University professor of theology, Matthew W. Bates, PhD, has won the Christianity Today 2024 Book Award in Popular Theology for his new book, Why the Gospel?

Why the Gospel? Living the Good News of King Jesus with Purpose is a practical, popular-level book, written for everyone rather than specialists. It invites readers to consider how they can transform their lives and communities through loyalty and devotion to King Jesus.

“The primary significance of the award for me is simple: it is the message that matters,” said Bates. “I’m grateful because I believe deeply in the message of the book: life is above all about loyalty to King Jesus first; secondarily, this brings healing and restoration.” 

Christianity Today, founded by Billy Graham in 1956, is a leading Christian magazine that reaches 4.5 million people each month. Christianity Today‘s book awards are among the most prestigious recognitions for authors in the fields of theology, Bible, mission, and ministry. It is an international competition, since publishers from all over the English-speaking world submit books for consideration. Among the entries, a panel of five chooses a short list of books for final consideration in each category. Within the categories, three books are selected: the winner (1st place), a merit book (2nd place), and a finalist (3rd place).

Bates has previously written books about the gospel and salvation, but he wanted to reframe these topics practically. “Many books ask, “What is the gospel?” but none ask, “Why the gospel?” said Bates. “This is true because we think we know why God gave it: forgiveness, atonement, heaven, and so forth, but Scripture has deeper answers that force us to reframe, especially when we come to the stark realization, ‘I am a horrible king of my own life.’ This book seeks to show Christians and nonChristians alike why the gospel is still the best possible news.” 

Bates’ book, Why the Gospel?, has also been named to the Best Books of 2023 list by Englewood Review of Books and to the Top 10 Discipleship and Disciple Making Books for 2023 by Discipleship.org. 

To purchase the book, visit https://www.eerdmans.com/9780802881687/why-the-gospel/.