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CriswellTR on Emerging Church

What is the Gospel?

Tim Challies is hosting a conversation based on the question posed by the Together for the Gospel Blog - "What is the gospel? What is the most serious threat to the gospel in the evangelical church today?" There are a few good thoughts but I am surprised to hear nothing about power, or the gospel as gift, no reference to the Old Testament, and no immediate return to the message that was "received and passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:3-4)

Apophaticstooges
(Image found on Ishmael's 'emphatically apophatic')

The emerging church as I have witnessed it, does not deny propositional truth in the Bible, despite what the article says. But a proposition-only gospel is not the full story - where is the resurrection power, historical narrative and missional obligation that the reception of this good news demands? The story behind the good news is just as important as the good news. They depend on each other. Its a both/and - the propositional AND the narrative. I dont feel the trauma of choosing between narrative or proposition. To me, the gospel ("good news") points to an actual historical time-space event (story) and an understandable message to represent the meaning and promise of that event (proposition) that will demand a response - either reception or rejection of the gift.

Doortohe1941-2
(Door to Heaven, 1941)

But the question still stands. What is the gospel and what threatens it today? How does the emerging church threaten the gospel? How does fundamentalism threaten the gospel?
If the emerging church has attempted to restore the Good News back to a full and healthy state by its stubborn insistence on accompanying it with a holy life, power, justice for the poor, beauty under opposition, then we have failed to be heard, at least by the men in this corner of the room. So, if you are part of the emerging church or the global non-western church [we REALLY need your voice] then go over to Challies and join the discussion. I hope the conversation over there will not become a hyped-up Calvin Kleaning of modern evangelicalism nor a nostalgic party in the Sola-torium without a fresh return to the Christ event.

Related: Internet Evangelism Day is May 7. Andrew Careaga tells me the emergent bloggers were not very involved when it kicked off last year. Should we jump in this year? What would be a good contribution?

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