Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Do You Agree?

I am reading through Graeme Goldsworthy’s book Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics for my Hermeneutics class.  I am wondering whether or not you agree with this paragraph.  If so, why?  If not, why not?

It cannot be stressed too much that to confuse the gospel with certain important things that go hand in hand with it is to invite theological, hermeneutical and spiritual confusion.  Such ingredients of preaching and teaching that we might want to link with the gospel would include the need for hte gospel (sin and judgment), the means of receiving the benefits of the gospel (faith and repentance), the results or fruit of the gospel (regeneration, conversion, sanctification, glorification) and the results of rejecting it (wrath, judgment, hell).  These, however we define and proclaim them, are not in themselves the gospel.  If something is not what God did in and through the historical Jesus two thousand years ago, it is not the gospel. Thus Christians cannot ‘live the gospel’, as they are often exhorted to do.  They can only believe it, proclaim it and seek to live consistently with it.  Only Jesus lived (and died) the gospel.  It is a once-for-all finished and perfect event done for us by another.  (Goldsworthy, 59)


  1. Fundamentally I agree with Goldsworthy. The more things we blend into the gospel, the more diluted the basic message of Christ's work of Redemption becomes. This dilution occurs because people begin to confuse the effects of the gospel with the gospel itself. For instance, someone may well think that learning to "love one another as Christ has loved us" is part of the gospel that saves instead of the result of having been saved by the gospel.

    I'm not sure I can say it very well, so go to Mark Dever's sermon at T4G 2008 "Improving the Gospel: Exercises in Unbiblical
    Theology" for clearer thoughts.

  2. First, sounds like you might need to require theology 101 before your hermenuetics class ;) On a more serious note, however, Goldsworthy does make a good point. I hope the context surrounding that paragraph explains his point a little more clearly. But I would have to agree with the point Terry made, we have begun to confuse the gospel with the effects of the gospel. We are to carry forth the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20), but the changed life we lead is a result of the gospel transforming our lives. It is something that might require a little more space and/or time to explain in detail.



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