Statement of the Gospel

So, I have attempted to condense my understanding of the gospel of Jesus into a three-run-on-sentence format. I am not attempting to be reductionistic but rather to be concise. Anyway, let me know what you think. How does this view of the gospel differ from what you have been taught about what the gospel is? How is it similar?

In the beginning God created the cosmos intending that image-bearing humanity would be in peaceful relationship with God, creation, others, and self; but these “looking-after-creatures” have chosen both personal and systemic injustice, influenced directly by fallen powers. The Creator so loved the creation project that rather than to let evil have that last word, he implemented good news for the poor, the sick, and the victimized through the ministry of the kingdom as taught and demonstrated by Jesus the Messiah. In death, Jesus substituted his life in the place of fallen humanity to endure the full wrath of both personal and systemic evil, and in resurrection he disarmed the powers; thus every human is invited to become a new creation by following the ‘victorious one’ and joining God’s mission to gather up all things in anticipation of the full expression of justice: “a new heaven and a new earth.”

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  • Mason

    Really enjoyed this, seemed to hear a lot of echos of Bell and Wright .
    Especially liked the line “In death, Jesus substituted his life in the place of fallen humanity to endure the full wrath of both personal and systemic evil, and in resurrection he disarmed the powers”
    Good balance there.

    • Kurt Willems

      You caught me! I have been shaped by much of what N.T. Wright teaches. I have found that many of the people i read for school and in my own private study reflect much of the same slant in theolgocial perspective. As for Bell, he is my favorite pastoral bible teacher. With that said, I would venture to say that he has echo’s of wright, moreso than I have echoed Bell. :-)

      As for the lines about the atonement… Read Mark Baker’s book; Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      This book had a section that outlined the atonement as seen in the book, Lion Witch and Wardrobe by CS Lewis. Aslan is the substitute for the traitor who has given into the lure of evil, and yet he is ‘resurrected’ which disarmed the evil witch of her authority and power. So, I guess I would combine a substatutionary atonement with Christus Victor. (Just to clairify… I do not hold to PENAL substatution which teaches that the Father poured out his wrath on the Son. I do however hold to substatutionary atonement which still demonstrates that the Son endured the full wrath of evil, even unto death, on my behalf. What jesus endured was not the result of God’s anger, but of the full consequences of evil.)

  • udowa

    Interesting. It looks good. I’m still working on it all and trying to understand verses that seem to point to penal substitution. I definitely understand that the word “wrath” used by Paul is not an emotional wrath (plenty of OT examples of God’s emotional anger) but a consequential one, so I have no problem with talks like Bell’s “The God’s Aren’t Angry” DVD and tour. I don’t think God is angry at us as I see his fullness reflected in the life of Jesus. The idea of the wrath coming from evil and not God sounds enticing and appealing and one I still am working on.

    • Kurt Willems

      I will recommend two books:

      Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament & Contemporary Contexts by Joel B. Green and Mark D. Baker

      Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross: Contemporary Images of the Atonement by Mark D. Baker