Friday, June 10, 2011

The Gospel in 55 Words

What is “The Gospel” (Good News) that Jesus came and proclaimed?

How can you boil what you believe down to an all-inclusive, but concise statement?

As an assignment for a class I am taking, I was given the task of describing the Gospel in 55 words or less. guess what- it's not as easy as you might think. The cool thing, though is that it really made me take inventory and discern what what important to include and what was "fluff" and needed to be stripped away.

Here are some ideas I've culled from trusted theologians:

From John Dickson: “The gospel is the announcement that God has revealed his kingdom and opened it up to sinners through the birth, teaching, miracles, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will one day return to overthrow evil and consummate the kingdom for eternity.” (44 Words)

From Scot McKnight: “The gospel is the story of the work of the triune God (Father, Son, and Spirit) to completely restore broken image-bearers (Gen. 1:26–27) in the context of the community of faith (Israel, Kingdom, and Church) through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the gift of the Pentecostal Spirit, to union with God and communion with others for the good of the world.” (67 Words)

Here are some of my submissions:

God’s on his throne. He cares. He’s involved. He loves us so much that he sent His son Jesus to initiate His plan of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration on earth. He wants us to be in community with Him and to participate in this new order. Here and now. Let’s take part in His Kingdom!

The Gospel that Jesus Initiated and Preached…

…Communication focused solely on proclamation of:
…Individual soul-salvation…
…Prevention of damnation…
…Narcissistic self-preservation.1
…Declaration: “The Kingdom of God’s here!”2
“God’s enthroned and putting the world aright!” 3
…Demonstration: In word and deed through redemption, reconciliation, remediation.4
…Restoration: Of Lost and Broken5
…Allocation: Of Abundance 6
…Invitation: To Participation with Triune-God in Creation’s Transformation.7

1. Luke 4:18-21
2. Mark 1:14-15
3. Romans 8:19-23
4. Matthew 4:23 & 9:35
5. Luke 15
6. John 10:10
7. John 14:12; Luke 10:9; John 20:21 Tracy Dickerson, 2011©

Hot Mess

The world was so fresh.
Then we made it a mess.
But God’s goal was redress.
So He slipped on flesh.
And Entered the mess.
He made all things fresh.
Using death just to bless.
Now His quest I address.
And I redress the mess.
I know in my heart,
That I’ve been blessed…to bless.

Tracy Dickerson, 2011©

How about you? Can you do one?