Book by QU theology professor takes first place in Christianity Today competition

Bates_ Matthew

Matthew W. Bates | Photo courtesy of Quincy University

QUINCY — Matthew W. Bates, a professor of theology at Quincy University, 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” invites readers to consider how they can transform their lives and communities through loyalty and devotion to King Jesus.

In a press release, Bates said, “The primary significance of the award for me is simple: It is the message that matters. 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 considered among the most prestigious recognitions for authors in the fields of theology, Bible, mission and ministry.

Publishers from throughout 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 (first place), a merit book (second place) and a finalist (third place).

Bates has written books about the gospel and salvation, but he said he wanted to reframe these topics practically to focus on why God gave us the gospel.

“The book seeks to show Christians and non-Christians alike why the gospel is still the best possible news,” Bates said. “This award will help others find the book, read it and share its life-giving content.”

“Why the Gospel?” has 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

For more information on the book, visit and

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