What Is the Gospel?

Below is a video interview (a little lengthier than we like these days at 13:16) in the which the Evangelical Alliance engages with N.T. Wright on various questions surrounding the nature of the gospel.

These brief thoughts are expounded in many of his books, one more recent being How God Became King (I highly recommend this book!). You’ll also find some similar thoughts in Scot McKnight’s The King Jesus Gospel.

Have a little watch and listen below. Continue reading

How God Became King & Simply Jesus

Amongst evangelicals, N.T. Wright is kind of like Marmite. If you don’t know what this product is, all I can say is that it’s basically a paste that you spread over toast and it’s made from yeast extract. Yummy…or not!

But what they say about Marmite is that you either love it or hate it. There’s not much room for in between. I’ll let you guess where I stand…

Anyways, some people really appreciate (or love) the work of N.T. Wright. Some are on the opposite side of the fence. Hence, the Marmite comparison. I am one who finds myself appreciating his work. And, whereas much of his early work was in the world of academia, he is now popping out books left and right to make available for common folk like you and I.

Two recent releases that have come to us over the past year, both in a very similar vein, are about a) the message of the gospels and b) the life and purpose of Jesus. The former is entitled How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels; the latter is called Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters. Continue reading

Now Is The Time: It’s the Year of Jubilee

Jesus walks into a synagogue in his own hometown, Nazareth. He gets up and the reading (whether planned or spontaneous, we are not certain) comes from Isaiah 61 (with a little inter-mingling with Isaiah 58:6). We know the passage well.

Jesus follows up with maybe the shortest sermon in the history of mankind. He simply states: ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’

Before the cross, before the resurrection, before his enthronement next to the Father’s right hand. Right then and there, Jesus, God’s anointed Messiah, tells them this is the time. Fulfilment like they weren’t expecting. Continue reading

The Anomaly of Evangelism (Part 8)

This is my next-to-last post in my series on the gospel and evangelism. Hallelujah! In the last post, I spent some time laying out foundational elements for evangelism and the evangelist. I specifically highlighted these few points:

  • The evangel is about the good news.
  • An evangelist is a bearer, or proclaimer, of the good news.
  • The whole body of Christ is an evangel-proclaiming community, and that works itself out in varying ways.
  • As we are all involved in evangelism, we take this message of good news wherever we go, living it out and telling it, even if we do not specifically quote a Bible verse in or conversation.
  • Yes, the evangelist will be an evangel-proclaimer. But she or he is also a gift to the church by Christ to help equip us to be more faithful and effective in our evangel-bearing (ala Eph 4:11-13).

That is a pretty sufficient summary of what I believe evangelism and the ministry of evangelist is all about.

Still, at the end of the article, I asked this particular question – How do people ‘get saved’ when they hear this simple message? Continue reading

The Anomaly of Evangelism (Part 7)

I realise that it’s now been a couple of months since my last post around the area of the gospel and evangelism. In order to jump in to my next segment, rather than do a summary of all my past 6 posts, I point you to this article that gives you the links to all 6 of my previous posts on the topic.

As a simple summary of the gospel, I would articulate that it, the evangel, the good news, is wrapped up firstly in the announcement that God has come to reign and to make his good reign known through his Messiah-King, Jesus. Looking at the Gospels, we see that Jesus came proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. And this was before the cross and resurrection event.

In connection with the hope of Israel, in accordance with the promises of the Hebrew Scriptures, God’s Messiah had come to make God’s reign known and a reality. Not just in the future, but from the moment he stepped into human history. And it is in the great cross and resurrection event of Christ that God’s kingdom was established, God’s King was vindicated. And knowing this great enthroning event, we can now enter new birth, new creation, reconciliation, be delivered from bondage and receive forgiveness of sins. This reality becomes just as much a part of the gospel because God’s reign had come in Christ and was established in the work of Christ.

Moving on now, in this particular part of my series, I want to try and work out what I believe is the best description for the word evangelist. Continue reading