The Gospel of the Kingdom

If you follow my blog, you will note that I recently began a series on evangelism and the gospel. This past Sunday, I also began a series at Cornerstone on the kingdom of God, or the gospel of the kingdom.

If you would like, you can listen to my message on the gospel of the kingdom, as well as see my notes, as I have embedded both here in this post. This is not too unlike my second post in my series on evangelism. You can also download the message from iTunes. Continue reading

The Anomaly of Evangelism (Part 2)

A couple of weeks ago, I started up a series on evangelism looking to address many related points to our understanding of evangelism. And so, in part 2, I want to begin to lay out what I believe the gospel is centrally about. And I think the best place to start from is that of the Gospels and Jesus himself.

Many might be aware of Scot McKnight’s new release, The King Jesus Gospel. I haven’t read it yet, though I’ve seen excerpts quoted, and I will probably read it one day in the near future. But, from what I can tell, McKnight seems to be on the right track with a more biblically informed foundation of the gospel (which means a more Jewish understanding). And you can read almost any work of George Eldon Ladd or N.T. Wright and get the same solid focus on what the gospel is centrally about.

One point that seems to be coming through McKnight’s book is that to know the gospel, one needs to start by turning to the Gospels. But that’s not what most do, do they?

Matter of fact, I’ve seen people questioning whether the Gospels actually contain the gospel. I think this is due to the fact that a more reformed theology has dictated our understanding of Scripture and the gospel for quite some time, rather than getting a more biblically robust understanding of these. Even if you don’t consider yourself reformed, there are specifics we have inherited because of this major vein to which we are connected as evangelicals.

There is no harm in such a tradition. And I used to fall very much in line with reformed theology. But let me challenge us to read Paul’s letters and not embrace all the particular reformed definitions that exist for things like the gospel, justification, salvation,¬†election, predestination, original sin, etc. It is a very difficult task. But if we can somehow move towards that, I think it might allow us to read Paul as Paul, and the Gospels as containing the gospel. Continue reading

The Anomaly of Evangelism (Part 1)

‘The anomaly of evangelism? What in the world is that,’ one might ask?

Why would I connect the two words anomaly and evangelism?

Just recently, I was at a pastor’s meeting with leaders from different types of church backgrounds. The moderator-leader of the gathering led a discussion that revolved around evangelism. It was quite telling to hear the plethora of different responses concerning the nature of evangelism. Some of them quite good, some of them, at least I believe, quite unhelpful. Even from pastors. Continue reading