For I am not ashamed of the gospel
for it is the power of God for salvation
to everyone who believes,
to the Jew first and also to the Greek
It is a word made impotent by its vague familiarity. Like ‘love’—which sells hamburgers, promotes athletics, and expresses marital bliss—‘gospel’ has become a filler word. It is often used, but little understood. Don’t believe me? Just ask a Christian what the word is, and wait for the stammering to begin—uh . . . well . . . hmmm . . . you know . . . it’s the gospel.
The gospel is often assumed. Rarely defined. Abstract, not concrete. It is a good word to use in church, but it is a word more quickly said than studied.
Such gospel assumption—or it is amnesia?—impairs our witness and our worship. Therefore, we need to ask some questions about the gospel: Who needs the gospel? Christians or non-Christians? What do we do with the gospel? Is it a message to be believed and preached? Or is it a way of life to be lived? Are there variations of the gospel? Or is the message singular? How do you define the gospel? Continue reading