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Archive for the ‘The New Humanity’ Category

In creating a new blog I feel compelled to explain the background and basis for doing such a thing. I’ve kept blogs before – none of them ever being focused, but rather disheveled. The difference between then and now is that I have come to grips with key aspects of my worldview and what I believe to be the correct view of Scripture and theology. (Now, I do not mean correct as in “All others must bow before me!” but in the sense of confidence). I am firm in this approach to living as a theologian and follower of Christ and it has become a mission of mine to share my observations with whoever will listen (or read).

The phrase “new humanity” is not a new one but is the phrase that sums up my theology and in turn, my method. To understand this phrase I would like to begin a series of articles on this topic, explaining the concept in pieces and then summarizing it as whole.

The Gospel

The beginning and end of all things in life is the gospel. So in that assumption and conviction I begin the discussion of my theology with the gospel.

As I have just confessed, the gospel is the center of all theology. More than that, it is theology. We will explore that more later, but I must admit firstly that I believe the gospel is the most important thing in the universe and the way we react to it in thought and deed, or non-thought and non-deed, determines who we are. I think I know an old man who might agree (1 Corinthians 15:3-5).

Now we must define what the gospel is. If it is this important – and it is – then we must know what it is. The gospel is no less than the message about Jesus Christ that he has died for our sins, was buried and was raised again, verified by various eyewitnesses. That is the smallest the gospel gets. But we cannot stop there because it is only the beginning of the beginning. The exposition of these facts about Jesus is also part of the gospel. These implications and observations – the “fruits” of the gospel, should also be referred to as gospel. For example, when we refer to justification by faith alone we are talking about the gospel; when we talk about election, we are talking about the gospel. Therefore, when we talk about the gospel we carry a message that is much larger than a handful of facts about Jesus, although that is also what the gospel is.

Part of this message is the Kingdom of God. (There are many references made concerning the Kingdom of God in our day but often do not see that this Kingdom idea must be seen in light of biblical theology. I don’t want to get into biblical theology at this time, but I will say it is necessary for my theology.) The Kingdom of God is simply his sovereign rule through Christ over the world. This concept is clearly explained in the book of Mark. Jesus begins his ministry with the claim that the Kingdom is near and that men should repent and believe the gospel. After this quotation Mark so eloquently shows us how this Kingdom power has come in the person of Jesus through the calling of the disciples, the healing of the sick, the casting out of demons, and the calming of the sea. Christ is sovereign, having control over all things. This is because he is the creator of all things.

The Kingdom of God is not fully consummate and is therefore eschatological. The Kingdom is here through the power of Christ’s Spirit and its influence, but is not yet complete with all of Christ’s enemies placed under his feet. In this understanding we see the gospel as a message about Christ with an eschatological thrust. This end-time message is that those who do not repent and believe in the gospel will be dealt with at the end of this age – at the second coming of Christ. Simply put, if you accept Christ, he will accept you; if you reject Christ, he will reject you.

Keeping these things in mind we can now piece together a precise definition of the gospel. The best means of delivering the gospel message is through preaching (which is exactly what preaching is). So let us defined the gospel in the form of a gospel presentation.

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