Missional Journal Vol. 1 No. 9 – What is the Gospel?

What are some specific ways in which the North American church evidences reductionism in its proclamation of the gospel?

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5 Responses to Missional Journal Vol. 1 No. 9 – What is the Gospel?

  1. Stephen Fretwell says:

    The gospel of the kingdom, in modern thinking, would be analogous to announcing free visas, transportation, and re-settling expenses to individuals living in third world countries wishing that they could come live in America. The announcement would include an accurate description of what life in America is like, as well as an up-front summary of our laws and constitution.

    To do this for the kingdom of God would require some aspects currently neglected. Namely,
    1. it ought to be clear that one has to leave all they have behind, and move into a complelely new way of life.
    2. The laws of the kingdom need to be clearly stated, in summary at least.
    3. Life in the kingdom needs to be honestly and accurately stated.

    Currently, the gospel of grace instituted by Paul has, and had in his time, a terrible track record. Paul declared that he lost most of those converted by his presentation of the gospel. This in contrast to Jesus, who declared and thanked God that He didn’t lose any, except the “son of perdition.” Currently, this is reported by most evangelists, who get many commitments, but only a few presist in the faith. God help us get this right.

    Stephen Fretwell

  2. Dave says:

    I received this via email:

    Dave,

    This may be obvious, but reductionism becomes a problem for me when I operate out of spiritual habit, rather than from a daily walk with the Spirit.

    And what pushes me to live with and by the Spirit’s leading, is to be outside my comfort zone.
    Difficulties in my own life, ministry beyond my experience and training, situations in mine and others’ lives that don’t make any sense to me (suffering, sin…), all push me to rethink my reductionistic conclusions.

    Something I need to explore more is how irrational love of God leads me to a deeper walk with the Spirit and that takes me outside the confines of a reductionistic walk and belief.

    Thanks for the challenge.
    Beth

  3. DanLorch says:

    Thanks for your thoughts about, ‘What is the Gospel’. This is of paramount importance for all of us. For the past few years I have been trying to assemble thoughts from Christians at various stages of growth in order to write a small booklet titled, ‘Evidence of God’. The purpose is to present the Gospel in a clear, concise format that might be read by anyone whether or not they have ever heard any Christian outreach. If you or anyone else is interested in helping me with this work, please contact me and I will forward a copy of this document for your input.
    Keep up the Good Work. With you in Him, Dan Lorch (danlorch@msn.com)

  4. Andy Duerr says:

    The concept of biblical inerrancy and infalibility is potentially reductionistic. It makes more sense to me to focus on the work of the Spirit who operates inerrantly with errant text, thoughts, beliefs, etc…and infalibly with broken, falible human beings – than to elevate the Bible to a level often equated with diety.

    We may someday find that the Bible is indeed free from errors – but it seems a great feat for frail human minds to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the entirety of the text is without error – especially when it probably doesn’t matter – because the Spirit of God can work with broken vessels anyway.

  5. Stephen Fretwell says:

    I wish to affirm Andy Duerr’s reflections of Nov 30, that he rose up so early to share with us. And encourage others to take them to heart. Our Lord’s comment was “You search the scripture, thinking that in them you have eternal life. But they are those that testify of Me, but you will not come to Me.” In Deut, the King James and Revised King James stress that we are to obey the voice of the Lord, as we respond to the written law. We seriously stray from God’s will when we “despise prophecies,” saying “The Bible says….” instead of “God says…..” Let us petition the Lord for hearts that long to hear His voice, know His voice, be guided by His voice, hearts that love the scriptures because they make hearing easier, not becouse they add to our knowledge of good and evil.

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