Rachel Held Evans – Donald Trump and a Tale of Two Gospels

Rachel-Held-Evans1
Rachel Held Evans

NOTES: It has been some time since I have shared on my blog a post written by Rachel. But this one is a must, as so many evangelicals in the US seem to be fooled by the perverted version of the gospel promoted by the Republican candidate to the American presidency.

And some good news on Rachel. On Feb 29th, President Obama nominated Rachel Held Evans as member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Well done, Rachel.

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As it becomes clear Donald Trump’s candidacy for president will be more than a sideshow this year, the probable Republican nominee is making his pitch to Christian voters.

You would think it would be a hard sell given the fact that the real estate mogul and reality star has boasted about his extramarital affairs, profited off casinos and strip clubs, said he doesn’t need to ask God for forgiveness, called for targeting innocent civilians in war, mocked a reporter with a disability, threatened the religious liberty of minority groups in the U.S., and gained wide support among white nationalists for consistently lying about and demeaning blacks, Mexican immigrants, Muslims, and Syrian refugees.

But polls show that despite all of this, Trump remains favored among evangelical voters. After speaking at Liberty University last week, Trump scored an important endorsement from Jerry Falwell Jr., a prominent leader of the Religious Right who, to the applause of thousands, compared Trump to Jesus and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Continue reading “Rachel Held Evans – Donald Trump and a Tale of Two Gospels”

The Spread of the Gospel

This animated map is a powerful visual depiction of the most important movement in history: the spread of Christianity. Every frame is one year in the last 2000 years of the Great Commission. This is an animated version of the data on our 24×36″ printed Spread of the Gospel Map:

westernconservatory.com/products/spread-­gospel-map

Charting the geographic progress of the Gospel over the last 2,000 years, this map shows the missionary journeys of the apostles, the outposts of the early church, the hotbeds of persecution, the staging grounds of the Church’s major theological battles, and more. See the power of the Gospel to transform “every nation and tribe and language and people,” and be inspired by the legacies of the brave brothers and sisters who faithfully carried the Gospel of Christ to the farthest ends of the earth.

The Gospel As Story – Sermon at Tbilisi Baptist Cathedral

Here is an outline of my sermon, which I have delivered at the invitation of Archbishop Malkhaz Songulashvili.. Continue reading “The Gospel As Story – Sermon at Tbilisi Baptist Cathedral”

The Great Omission – Evangelicals for Social Action

The Great Omission – Evangelicals for Social Action.

‘When any means of mission is justifiable so long as it works, we have left the gospel behind and embraced pragmatism. Essentially, we have followed Esau’s example and sold our Christian calling for a bowl of stew. To be Christian means more than saluting anything that flies the flag of the “Great Commission.” To be Christian requires saying “no” to many forms of ministry and mission because they are inconsistent, often violently, with the gospel.’

The Gospel of the Magic Book

Magic_Book_by_caglarcity
Magic book (from deviantart)

A good friend gave me a link on Facebook for this article, written by Peter Bradford Martin. I know it is going to upset many, and that is precisely why I have decided to republish it here. It is, of course, merely about American version of evangelicalism, which is really a hybris. Thank goodness, there is much more common sense in third world evangelicalism

I post it here mostly because I agree, to a large extent with the author. That is why I describe myself often as a (post)conservative/(post)evangelical. Here it is:

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The true gospel of contemporary evangelical Christianity is the gospel of the Magic Book.  

Evangelicals say they preach Christ, who is a person.  But as they say this, they hand you the Holy Handbook, God’s owner’s manual for life.  Just as you thought the substance of the Christian religion was actually a person, they caution you severely that God is content to relegate to The Book active authority on earth for literally everything that might matter to a human being.  Good news! they say.  Any question you have regarding how to live, what to think, what to do, what’s real, and what’s not—it’s in The Book. Continue reading “The Gospel of the Magic Book”

Howard Snyder – 14 Favorite Ways to Twist the Gospel

howardsnyderthumb

This comes from the last blog post of Howard Snyder, ‘formerly professor of the history and theology of mission, Asbury Theological Seminary (1996-2006); now engaged in research and writing in Wilmore, Kentucky. Professor of Wesley Studies, Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, 2007-2012. Formerly taught and pastored in São Paulo, Brazil; Detroit, Michigan; and Chicago, Illinois.
Howard Snyder’s main interest is in the power and relevance of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom for the world today and tomorrow. He has written on a range of topics including church history, cultural trends, globalization, worldviews, evangelism, and various cultural issues.’
(Source HERE)

Here is the list:

1. Interpret the gospel primarily through Romans.

2. Focus solely on “personal salvation.”

3. Make heaven the goal. Continue reading “Howard Snyder – 14 Favorite Ways to Twist the Gospel”

NT Wright on the Gospel

Thanks to Natan Mladin for the link.

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Richard Rohr – Letting Go: A Spirituality of Subtraction – 9 – Western Civilisation vs the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Let’s just admit that much of that Jesus proclaimed have been terrible bed fellows. And we have prostituted the teaching of Jesus from the very beginning and used it to serve our own purposes, used it to protect the European societies, and invariably the society from the top. Those who were the beneficiaries of the system were usually the wealthy and the clergy. And, again and again, the gospel was read from the side of what protected the privileges of the clergy and what protected the privileges of the wealthy.

Comment – This is one of the most severe prophetic indictments of the Christian West, which has transformed the gospel of Jesus Christ into an instrument of secular power. This reality is even more distressing when clerics leave their sacramental call as advocates of the poor and the weak, for the temporary benefits of being ‘in bed’ with the wealthy and the powerful.

The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited 6

In this book I will be contending firmly that we evangelicals (as a whole) are not really “evangelical” in the sense of the apostolic gospel, but instead we are soterians. Here’s why I say we are more soterian than evangelical: we evangelicals (mistakenly) equate the word gospel with the word salvation. Hence, we are really “salvationists.” When we evangelicals see the word gospel, our instinct is to think (personal) “salvation.” We are wired this way. But these two words don’t mean the same thing, and this book will do its best to show the differences. The irony here is obvious: the term we use to define ourselves (gospel/euangelion) does not define us, while the word that does define us (soteria or “salvation”) we do not use to describe ourselves. We ought to be called soterians (the saved ones) instead of evangelicals. My plea is that we go back to the New Testament to discover all over again what the Jesus gospel is and that by embracing it we become true evangelicals. My prayer for this book is that it will revive a generation of evangelicals to become true evangelicals instead of just soterians. What has happened is that we have created a “salvation culture” and mistakenly assumed it is a “gospel culture.”

Scot McKnight, The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited (Zondervan, 2011), p. 29

Comment

Here are the simple definitions my friend Sam was asking about.

Is it clear now, or we need to clarify more?

NT Wright – Kingdom & Cross: The Forgotten Message of the Gospels

Is the Sermon on the Mount gospel? | Jesus Creed

Is the Sermon on the Mount gospel? | Jesus Creed.

I highly recommend this article of Scot McKnight, especially to my reformed and liberal friends.

I am reading, with great pleasure and immense spiritual benefit Scot’s latest book The King Jesus Gospel. I love it. Even when I disagree with some (small) points. O book recommended by NT Wright should be good, after all.

The King Jesus Gospel – Ben Witherington asks, Scot McKnight responds

Scot McKnight’s latest book, The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited, occasioned an interesting dialogue between the author and Biblical scholar Ben Witherington, that Scot published HERE and HERE on his blog. I paste them here below, in the interest of the Romanian reader.

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Q.  Let’s start with a question I get asked a lot which usually takes the form—- ‘What!  Another book by you?   What prompted you to write yet another book and why this book in particular?

Yes, I get asked that question at times, and as we enter into … what do we call this part of our careers, Ben?, because we don’t want to admit we are starting to be the veterans in the circle … the writing habit has become part of how we live. But, each book has its own genesis and this began for me years back when I began to ask myself what the “gospel” would look like if I began at the beginning of the Bible and not with Paul’s letter to the Romans. I developed that into Embracing Grace but was not entirely satisfied, and a good reading of the last two chps it may have been clear that I was probing some themes for which I did not have final answers but was exploring some things. Then I wrote A Community called Atonement to explore how atonement and gospel work together. Continue reading “The King Jesus Gospel – Ben Witherington asks, Scot McKnight responds”

40 Years in the Desert – 6. Christian Social Responsibility 1

6.1 A Holistic Gospel

One of the greatest scandals of the Evangelical world today is the multitude of distorted or partial versions of the gospel preached in our churches. Thus the good news of the kingdom of God is frequently reduced to Continue reading “40 Years in the Desert – 6. Christian Social Responsibility 1”

Sermon – Good News for the Poor

Luke 4:14-21
Sermon preached at Gorbals Parish Church, January 24th 2010 – Third Sunday after Epiphany.

Two weeks ago I was away at a Probationers’ Conference for about four days. It was really good to catch up with friends, to exchange stories from the churches where we are all working and training for ministry, and to learn about the things we will have to deal with after the end of our training. Training sessions were great, but we always seem to get a lot more from the more informal, personal interactions between and after sessions, when we discuss things in detail and we try to figure out how the theory applies in our everyday life of ministry. The whole conference was centred on the issue of mission, which fits so well with today’s Gospel reading.

Read on…

The Hole in the Gospel – UPDATE!

Rich Stearns

Richard Stearns is the President of World Vision United States, one of the entities of the partnership called World Vision International. He responded recently to a series of questions formulated by Mark Galli, editor at Christianity Today, around his new book, called The Hole in the Gospel.

Continue reading “The Hole in the Gospel – UPDATE!”