If you asked the average Joe in your church, “What is the gospel?” how would he respond?  Maybe he would say, “It’s the good news!”  Or maybe he would say, “It’s believing in Jesus so we can go to heaven.”  Certainly these answers are true, but they leave out so much of what Christ came to do.  I agree with Brian McLaren (on this point anyway) that our contemporary gospel has been reduced to information on how to go to heaven after you die.

Let me ask you, have you narrowed the gospel to a neatly packaged message that emphasizes a private, personal decision?  Or do you think of the gospel as God’s holistic work of rescuing and restoring his entire creation through Christ?  Tim Keller and Scot McKnight say it best.

The Gospel is the Good News that God Himself has come to rescue and renew all of creation through the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. ~ Tim Keller

The gospel is the work of God to restore humans to union with God and communion with others, in the context of community for the good of others and the world. ~ Scot McKnight

If this is true, how should it change the way we “do” church?

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