Mistakes in Narrating the Gospel

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : March 30, 2007

Scot McKnight has some wonderfully practical thoughts on how to articulate the Gospel meaningfully in our world:

1. Avoid beginning with the story of the Fall; begin with humans as Eikons in Genesis 1 before we get to the “cracked Eikons” of Genesis 3.

2. Avoid skipping from Genesis 3 to Romans 3: the story of covenant, Israel, and Law are inherent to the story of God.

3. Avoid thinking all problems are solved on Good Friday: we need the life of Jesus, the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit to resolve the problem of the “cracked Eikon.”

4. Avoid defining sin as merely guilt for offending law; sin is rebellion against God manifested in four directions — against God, self, others, and the external world.

5. Avoid thinking convincing of guilt comes before casting the kingdom vision of Jesus.

6. Avoid rooting the gospel in a God of anger and wrath instead of rooting the gospel in the perichoretic Trinitarian God who seeks to draw us into that dance.

7. Avoid resolving the problem in one direction — with God — instead of resolving the problem in all four directions.

The only thing I’d add is that we must avoid talking about the Gospel in primarily the past tense.  We must share the Gospel as eschatological (the future inbreaking of perfect shalom) hope, as well as to embody and narrate all the radical ways in which Christ is present in our midst.  After all, the Good News is the Kingdom reality–which is Christ’s presence and reign as King.  And that reality is an in-breaking eschatological reality.

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2 Responses to “Mistakes in Narrating the Gospel”

  1. Anna on March 30th, 2007 4:10 pm

    I like the summary but the last paragraph was a little theologically dense with big words.

    So, to sum up: We get in on doing the Stuff with Jesus, now and later on a better earth n’ heaven. Sound good?

  2. jazztheologian on March 31st, 2007 12:16 pm

    I am convnced that if we even come close to sharing the Gospel as outlined then it might actually be good news!

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