Friday, May 02, 2008
How Public is the Gospel?
Another article at CT by Colin Hansen asks How Public is the Gospel? This article enters into the debate abut the nature of the gospel based on the dissimilarities between Mark Dever and N.T. Wright.
I should also point out (with the help of Jim Hamilton) a short post by Greg Gilbert that argues that the gospel is broader than Jesus' substitutionary death for our sins. As Gilbert points out, such a definition doesn't work in Romans 2:16, Galatians 3:8, Colossians 1:5, 2 Timothy 1:10, and Revelation 14:6 (I would add Isa. 52.7 and Lk. 4.18-21; Lk. 7.22-23/Mt. 11.4-6). I disagree with Gilbert in so far that justification by faith is not the gospel. Justification by faith is Paul's application of the gospel to those who wanted to force his Gentile churches to take on Torah observance. There is no such thing as the "gospel of justification" any more than there is the gospel of redemption, the gospel of reconciliation, or the gospel of saving sacrifice. Justification is not any more or any less important than redemption or the cosmic victory which are achieved by Christ's death and resurrection. The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel, it is not the gospel itself!