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A Bigger, More Relevant Gospel?

March 22, 2011

From Greg Gilbert’s What is the Gospel?:

Since the very beginning of time, people have been trying to save themselves in ways that make sense to them, rather than listening and submitting to God.  They have been trying to figure out how to get salvation to work–how to get the gospel to work– …apart from the cross of Jesus Christ.

That is no less true in our own day.  Indeed I believe one of the greatest dangers the body of Christ faces today is the temptation to rethink and rearticulate the gospel in a way that makes its center something other than the death of Jesus on the cross in the place of sinners.

The pressure to do that is enormous, and it seems to come from several directions.  One of the main sources of pressure is the increasingly common idea that the gospel of forgiveness of sin through Christ’s death is somehow not “big” enough–that it doesn’t address problems like war, oppression, poverty, and injustice, and really “isn’t terribly important,” as one writer put it, when it comes to the real problems of this world.

Now, I think that charge is altogether false…Nevertheless, the pressure to find a “bigger,” more “relevant” gospel seems to have taken hold of a great many people…In it’s place are declarations that the heart of the gospel is that God is remaking the world, or that he has promised a kingdom that will set everything right, or that he is calling us to join him in transforming culture.  Whatever the specifics, the result is that over and over again, the death of Jesus in the place of sinners is assumed, marginalized, or even (sometimes deliberately) ignored.

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From → Theology

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