Friday, February 16, 2007

What is the Gospel?

I'm taking an online class on Evangelism and Discipleship through North Park, and one of our first assignments was to write our own definition of the gospel in 55 words. It was not easy, and some of the other people in class did a way better job than me, but I'm pretty happy with mine, so here it is. Sorry it smacks of academia so much with the footnotes and all.

Q: What is the Gospel?

A: God reconciles everything to himself[1] by sending Jesus Christ to absorb[2] the sin/suffering of the world through his death[3] and make a new creation through his resurrection,[4] empowering the believing community with the Holy Spirit[5] to bless the world[6] with God’s truth and love,[7] toward the renewal of all things at our Lord’s return.[8]

[1] Colossians 1:20.
[2] Scot McKnight. Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us, Paraclete: Brewster, MA; 2005, p. 91.
[3] Allister McGrath. Christian Theology: An Introduction, Blackwell: Malden, MA; 2001, p. 349.
[4] 2 Corinthians 5:15-17, N. T. Wright. The Resurrection of the Son of God. Fortress: Minneapolis, MN; 2003, p. 305.
[5] Acts 2:38.
[6] McKnight, Embracing Grace, p. 120.
[7] Matthew 28:19-20.
[8] Matthew 19:28, Rob Bell. Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith, Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI; 2005, p. 150.

Other sources consulted but not cited:

Broyles, C. C., “Gospel (Good News)” in The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, eds. Intervarsity: Downers Grove, IL; 1992, pp. 282-286.

Hybels, Bill, Just Walk Across the Room, Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI; 2006, pp. 133-146.

McKnight, Scot, The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others, Paraclete: Brewster, MA; 2004, pp. 274-282.

McLaren, Brian, More Ready than You Realize: Evangelism as Dance in the Postmodern Matrix, Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI; 2002, pp. 38-42.

Stott, John R. W., Basic Christianity, Intervarsity: Downers Grove, IL; 1971, pp. 81-105.


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