In a previous post, I shared a summary of the gospel which I constructed based of another summary written by New Testament scholar Dr Matthew Bates, which you can find here as a well as a revision which you can also read here. The original summary was from his Dr Bates excellent 2017 book Salvation by Allegiance Alone which made a great impression on me. I was particularly impressed with the care and nuance he showed in outlining what the gospel precisely is according to the New Testament (NT.) The minor differences in my summary from his were inspired by his commitment to precision, which I followed to try and craft an even more finely tuned summary. In this post, I will explain some of the more significant differences between our summaries. Continue reading “Explaining My Gospel Summary”
Put all this together, and what do we have, as the central, shaping marker of the new worldview, taking the place and bearing the weight that the Jewish symbols had borne within the worldview of Saul of Tarsus? We have precisely the gospel, the euangelion, the ‘good news’, rooted in the ‘good news’ spoken of in the Great Prophet [Isaiah], confronting the ‘good news’ carved in stone around Caesar’s empire. We have the symbol by which Paul declared that he was himself defined, the anchor of his own vocational mindset: Paul, an apostle, set apart for the good news of God; I am not ashamed of the good news, because it is God’s power for salvation to all who believe; the Messiah did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel; woe to me if I do not announce the good news; I do it all for the sake of the good news; let me remind you of the gospel which I announced to you, which you received, in which you stand firm, through which you are saved; the gospel of the glory of the Messiah, who is the image of God; your confession of faith in the Messiah’s gospel has brought you into proper order; let me remind you that the gospel which was gospelled by me was not something I received from other people; I did it so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you; my calling is to gospel to the gentiles the unsearchable riches of the Messiah; what has been happening to me has been for the advancement of the gospel; let your public life be worthy of the gospel of the Messiah; don’t move away from the hope of the gospel; our gospel was not in word only, but in power, in the holy spirit, and in full conviction; I wanted to keep Onesimus with me, to serve me on your behalf in the bonds of the gospel. The gospel, the gospel, the gospel. It defined Paul. It defined his work. It defined his communities. It was the shorthand summary of the theology which, in turn, was the foundation for the central pillar for the new worldview. It carried God’s power. That was just as well: the worldview, and those who lived by it, were going to need it.
One of the most impactful pieces of biblical scholarship on my own thinking has to be Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works and the Gospel of King Jesus (Baker 2017) by Dr. Matthew Bates. As part of his goal to explain what “faith” is in the New Testament, he provides a wonderfully clear explanation and incisive summary of what the gospel actually is. Over the last couple of years re-examining my own understanding of the faith and trying to determine what are its core tenets, Bates’ summary of the gospel was exactly what I was looking for. It perfectly captured in a clear and concise manner what I had come to consider as the very centrepiece of the Bible and the foundational message of the faith. Now using his summary of the gospel as a template, which you can read here, I have attempted my own below. Continue reading “The Good News in Summary”
The gospel is the fundamental message of the Christian faith. Continue reading “Our Lord”
The release of Kanye West’s gospel album “Jesus is King” last year was one of the biggest events in music and pop culture worldwide. The release of any new music from Kanye garners a lot of attention anyway being one of the biggest and most influential contemporary musicians today. What made the release of this album such a phenomenon is that it was in some sense the culmination of his very public transformation from Yeezus to a servant of King Jesus.
The Christian world has warmly received this once improbable addition to Christian music. In a way, he is fulfilling his mission of being here “to convert atheists to believers” by making millions of people around the world, including non-Christians say, “Jesus is King.” Many have reviewed the album and commented on what their favourite songs are. My favourite song is the final track “Jesus is Lord.” It is probably the least talked about track and I have heard no one call it their favourite. I will explain why I love it and why it is the most important song on the album. Continue reading “Yes Kanye: “Jesus is Lord””