Thursday, May 28, 2009

gospel people: one way or many?

Excellent day with the Laidlaw (Auckland) class. What seemed most helpful was some new material I pulled together around being gospel people. (It was part of a sermon series I preached at Opawa last year, on Taking the con out of conversion, so fascinating to have stuff I preach, shaping up a class.)

What has intrigued me for a while is that the book of Acts has 20 speeches in which the gospel is being presented. So how do the early church live/present the gospel and how might that inform us today?

So I invited the class to place the speeches side by side, in particular Acts 2, Acts 14 and Acts 17.

And you very quickly see how different each presentation is. All use different resources to present the gospel (Old Testament, creation, culture). All end with a different conclusion (resurrection, God’s providence).

In other words,
- there is no one single core gospel message being presented,
- there are many resources that can be drawn on,
- there is no “universal” thing to believe/preach
- that success is the exception, not the norm.

(Here is a table I drew up to synthesise the Biblical texts).

It’s a stimulating, yet liberating realisation. Certainly lots of energy resulting, as people became encouraged to be creative and diverse.

Posted by steve at 09:41 PM

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