So I started as a Mere Christian. I didn’t care about the ins and outs and just enjoyed it as it came. Then Soapbox took my glorious innocence and warped it into a bridge diagram. I realised the deficiencies and did the typical thing of rebelling to the other side of the pendulum swing by embracing NT Wright’s very intellectual if somewhat dense “The Gospel is Christ is Lord”. As a result of Keith’s poking, I must admit that finally I have moved my position.
Any theological definition I offer for what the Gospel is has to be based around God, deals with sin both corporately and systematically and views humanity as both an set of distinct individuals and a corporate people.
I understand the Gospel works out in four ways and this is how I would put it:
1. It restores our relationship with God
2. With that fundamental relationship restored we have a security that allows us to come to terms with ourselves as we truly are.
3. At peace with God and at home with ourselves the Gospel flows out to help us forgive, forbear and enjoy others
4. Finally, at peace with God, at home with ourselves and in community with others we together can start to impact our wider world: our politics, our culture, our environment, all stemming from the restoration of who we are meant to be; friends of God.
Here then, is what I think the Gospel is. For now. Until Jaybercrow comes home and changes my mind.
The Good News is that God is finishing his restoration plan for all things from the effects of evil, including human beings who God invites to join with him as a community of people who aid him in his making-all-things-new plan.
Your Correspondent, Minister of the Western Branch of American Reformed Presbo-Lutheranism