In the July/August issue of Relevant magazine, N. T. Wright says,
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The Gospel is news about news.
Ironically, many Western churches think of the Christian message as a system for how you do something—namely how you get saved, or how you behave, or some combination of the two. They conceive of faith as a system that is timelessly true, rather than news about an event that happened in history.
There has been a tendency to flatten down the uniqueness of something that happened into a system that merely happens to be instantiated back then.
The Good News
There are a thousand different ways of describing the good news—the Gospel—but the shortest way is the one Jesus Himself announced: “The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is arriving” (Mark 1:15).
In other words, it’s all about how God became King. It’s about the actual inauguration of God’s Kingdom on earth as in heaven. And since many Christians think the Kingdom of God is simply a fancy way of saying “Heaven,” they miss the point: that something actually happened that changed the way in which God is now in charge of the world.
For the past few weeks, I have introduced various themes in my book One Gospel for All Nations. Obviously, Wright’s statement is very relevant to the subject of the book.
Contextualizing the gospel entails that we know what is the gospel.
Wright gives us a starting point that looks a bit different than the message found in standard gospel tracts. The quotation above does not at all contradict the doctrines typically presented in most evangelical presentations. However, he frames the gospel in a quite different way.
What do you think? Is he right?
Photo Credit: Relevant Magazine, July-August Issue