Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It's Still "News"

"God has finally come to rule the earth! Get on board with the real administration!"

If I asked 1000 random people to tell me what "the gospel" is in a sentence or two, I don't think I'd get one answer that has any similarity with the above statement. I think I might get a few like it if I limited the survey to people who identify as Christians. (I'll ask 30 PBA students tonight, so we'll see what turns up.) Now, I am not a guy that thinks there only a few ways to accurately talk about the good news that God has brought to humanity through Jesus--there are lots and lots, and even the best words can't fully capture it. In fact, I would love more people to think creatively about how to express the good news of Jesus. All that being said, though, the fact that even few Christians conceive of the gospel in a way that is at all similar to Jesus' announcement of it is, at least, worth some thought, at least for Christians.

Now, a couple of quick thoughts: Any version of the gospel is still news to me every morning when I wake up. I have to take a little time and effort to hear it right off the bat to have a decent shot of basing my day's decisions on it. I know I'm not alone in this. But what would happen, what would be different, if more and more people who already think about, remind themselves of, and otherwise try to "repent and believe" some version of the gospel started adding this version into the mix? And secondly, what if people who had never heard the gospel heard something like the above as their primary hearing? Assuming someone would still regard it as the best opportunity they had ever heard, what would they feel compelled to do in response? In addition to whatever those responses are, would the Lord's Prayer then become the standard and fitting prayer for new and old believers alike?

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