Monday, September 26, 2011

A partial gospel?

Do you know what it's like to have ideas bouncing around in your head that you haven't had time to put into words and then you scroll through your reader and find that someone else beat you to the patent?  I had one of those moments.  Check out this post from Josh - God’s purpose for man is in the earth « Called to Rebuild:

Here is a teaser

" the popular evangelical gospel being preached from most pulpits every Sunday spells out a very simplistic gospel which says little more than this: “God is holy and you are a sinner. Jesus endured God’s wrath in your place so one day when you die you will have Jesus’ perfect righteousness trasmitted to your account and you’ll get into heaven.” And it is precisely this kind of partial gospel that is failing to bring forth the full purpose of God in the earth. It may get people to an altar, it may give them an assurance that one day they’ll go to heaven when they die, but it is not producing a people in the earth who are conscious of God eternal purpose for their being here and who are living towards the realization of that purpose with every ounce of their being. "

So what do you today's "gospel proper" inadequate for producing true salvation from sin and to God?

'via Blog this'


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Very good and yes on the whole what we preach as the gospel of good news today is not nearly good news enough! We preach a human-need shaped gospel instead of a God's glory/eternal purpose shaped gospel. Sadly, we have fashioned a personal god who exists to serve us rather than the other way around. For the consumer Christian culture we find ourselves in, the average "Christian"'s concern does not extend beyond themselves. We emphasize coming to Christ, and give lip service to being crucified with Him. Discipleship is optional so the gospel has been stripped of it's social and global implications and non-transformative in behavior.

  3. The idea that there is a just and holy God who must punish sin etc. is perfectly true and valid. I think the greater issue is that we don't follow up with actual discipleship, i.e. "teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you". It is an easy thing to do, to swing either to a works based salvation model or a functionally antinomian model that tells people they are saved and little else.

  4. Randy,

    there have been attempts to counter the man-centeredness of this partial gospel by the Calvinist tribe by making salvation a monergistic work performed by God, through Christ to the praise of His glorious grace with little if any mention of man's responsibility of repentance, faith and subsequent works. Faith is numbed down to believing in the atonement and propitiation by Christ on our behalf when it should build beyond that into faith in His indwelling presence and power in our lives.

  5. Arthur,

    do you think that the works-based/antinomian divide would be better combated by preaching the news of Christ in you and all things coming more into conformity with Him via faith? As I understand it, this is Godls eternal purpose in creation and an emphasis on this would take away our boasting in works while empowering us to walk in them. What do you think?

  6. I'm not sure how much of the salvation is true or not, I am still exploring my understanding of that :). I think the core problem is a combination of the hardness of people's hearts and the lack of understanding of God's eternal purpose. People think that heaven is the goal, but God's desire is the New Jerusalem, which comes out of heaven.

  7. ID: Kat Huff

    This partial gospel which you speak of is based and viewed from the human flesh perspective and prevents the dying of the self. In other words, eliminating the work of the cross. This is the gospel of death, it only appears as though it is life. Without the work of the cross we cannot know death to the old self, thus we cannot know the other side of the cross, which is the Life of Christ, Resurrected Life. This partial gospel is seen through the eyes of preserving the old nature, the nature of the individual self, and promotes separateness and division, centralizing on the sole individual instead of Christ and His body as one. The final goal of this partial gospel renders a sole individual goal of going to heaven when that one person dies, and so if the goal is individual, then all that goes along with that goal is individual.

  8. Peter,

    " People think that heaven is the goal, but God's desire is the New Jerusalem, which comes out of heaven."

    Right on, it is about God's desire for His glory on earth, not man's need of a Savior.

    Do you thing there may be a misunderstanding of God's "kingdom come, on earth as it is..."?

  9. Kat,

    I agree that it is necessary for a person to not only believe in our being crucified with Christ but to have that truth somehow experienced in order to come into His resurrected life and reach spiritual maturity. I also understand that these things happen in a community of shared life. Thanks for mentioning those things.

    What makes you say that the exchange of our sin for Christ's righteousness on the cross is news that is "from the flesh perspective"? Also, how does this preserve the old nature?

  10. Maybe, but I think the major problem is that people have completely missed God's desire. They think God just wants people to be saved from hell and to do good things. Certainly, those things are true, but those are only parts of His ultimate purpose. Another example is people's obsession with the "Great Commission", which is just the beginning of something even greater.

  11. Peter,

    God's desire is key and you're right, the great commission is merely a step in the direction of answering God's desire.


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