How have evangelicals made the gospel too human-centric?
The point is this [gospel] is a story about Jesus and we’ve made it into our personal happiness plan.
It’s like when we root for our favorite sports team. When I watch the Bears, I root for the Bears because I want them to do well, not because of something I will get out of it. But some people watch the Bears only to see if their players are going to score fantasy points so their teams can win. That is what I think we have become.
We have become fantasy Christians. We see ourselves vested in certain elements so that when those elements do well we feel good. We don’t care about what’s going on in the pages of the Bible except to the degree that it satisfies what we want to get out of the Bible.
An example is the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan. It’s been converted into a lesson about what we have to do to face temptation. I’m sure such lessons are all good but that is not the point of the text. The point is to see something cool about Jesus. I have often told my students and audiences that when we’re done reading this narrative, we should stand up and clap for Jesus for his obedience. We can see that unlike Israel, Jesus was 100 percent obedient. The implication of that is Jesus was sinless and that we have a sinless Savior.
The first thing we read the Bible for should not be to find out something for me. Our first thing is to be absorbed in the story and glory in the fact that Jesus is the king and our champion.