Several other folks have stepped into the discussion raised on TGC, reflecting on the issue (that I still cannot believe we are discussing), whether or not Jesus preached the gospel!
I have seven propositions on Jesus, Gospels, and Paul
# 1: The Gospels are gospel, not on the basis of their resemblance to Paul, but on the basis that they narrate the story of Jesus’ career, death, and resurrection, set in the coordinates of God’s purposes in redemptive-history.
# 2: Paul’s gospel is authenticated, not by its reference to justification or imputation, but by its rootedness in Scripture and by its dependence on apostolic testimony to Jesus.
# 3: Justification by faith, just like redemption and reconciliation, is a contingent category used by Paul to explicate gospel in a way that effectively rules out ethnocentrism and works-righteousness; in other words, no one had to “do” Judaism in order to be right with God.
# 4: While the Synoptic Gospels and the Fourth Gospel all have units and motifs that can be correlated with Paul’s teaching on justification by faith, even so, they still prefer a different set of terms and types to describe the significance of Jesus and how he brings salvation.
# 5: The apostolic sermons in Acts indicate that the center of gravity in the gospel is its narration of how God’s plan for salvation has been put into effect by Jesus’ career, death, resurrection, and exaltation.
# 6: What is true of the ancient church as it is true now, is that the Gospels comprise one of the most popular and effective ways of sharing the gospel with non-Christians.
# 7: It is injurious to evangelism to equate the gospel with a particularized conception of an ordo salutis or “order of salvation,” since it confuses proclamation with a systematic explication of the process of salvation.