Thursday, October 13, 2011

Soterian Gospel

My posts tend to generate discussion in other contexts.  A friend took the time to respond to my previous post by noting that he and his wife each received Christ for different reasons.  I think I want to say that there are many reasons why we receive Christ - in my case, I grew up in a home where Jesus was as real as mummy and daddy, and I know of no time when I did not know him - and that, of course, it makes no point claiming some reasons are more valid than others.  But what does matter, I think, is who we receive Jesus as - again, there is a list, but I’m not sure the soterian gospel Jesus presents him well.  The version I come across most often is holding out to extremely vulnerable people the benefit-focused ‘gospel’ “receive Jesus and he will take all your problems away, and your life will be wonderful”...

But my friend also made another observation: that “the Gospel has many facets, and as culture changes the Gospel can rotate a fresh facet to confound that culture...”  I think this is an important insight.  I think we need what is being called the Story gospel at this time to confound the soterian gospel, because the soterian gospel has shaped church culture in a way that distorts the gospel.  But I have no doubt that the Story gospel, while recovering much, will itself distort the gospel in its own ways; will itself create a new culture; and will itself need to be confounded, as the many-faceted Gospel rotates afresh.

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