Don’t assume the gospel. Make it explicit and central.

D. A. Carson has famously written and said:

In a fair bit of Western evangelicalism, there is a worrying tendency to focus on the periphery. [My] colleague … Dr. Paul Hiebert … springs from Mennonite stock and analyzes his heritage in a fashion that he himself would acknowledge is something of a simplistic caricature, but a useful one nonetheless. One generation of Mennonites believed the gospel and held as well that there were certain social, economic, and political entailments. The next generation assumed the gospel, but identified with the entailments. The following generation denied the gospel: the “entailments” became everything. Assuming this sort of scheme for evangelicalism, one suspects that large swaths of the movement are lodged in the second step, with some drifting toward the third.

… What is it in the Christian faith that excites you? … Today there are endless subgroups of confessing Christians who invest enormous quantities of time and energy in one issue or another: abortion, pornography, home schooling, women’s ordination (for or against), economic justice, a certain style of worship, the defense of a particular Bible version, and countries have a full agenda of urgent, peripheral demands. Not for a moment am I suggesting we should not think about such matters or throw our weight behind some of them. But when such matters devour most of our time and passion, each of us must ask: In what fashion am I confessing the centrality of the gospel?

D.A. Carson. Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians. Grand Rapids, MI:Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing, 1996. Pgs. 22-28.

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About pjtibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to share life and share Jesus together with First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County.
This entry was posted in Acts29, church health, church reform, D. A. Carson, gospel, gospelizing, Quotes. Bookmark the permalink.

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