Friday, May 6, 2011

the gospel and history

The gospel is more than a message about how I as an individual can be saved.  It is a proclamation of cosmos-changing historical events.  This article by I'Ching Thomas (associate director of training at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Singapore) summarizes this so well.  Here are some excerpts:

The Christian gospel is often condensed into a story that affirms the basics of the faith: God loves us and has a wonderful plan for us.  But we have sinned and are therefore separated from Him.  Jesus Christ on the Cross is the answer to our predicament, and if we will accept him as our personal savior, we will have eternal life.  Though accurate in what it highlights, such a simplified presentation can wrongly convey the idea that the gospel is primarily about individual fulfillment and satisfaction. 
On the contrary, the heart of both the Old and New Testaments is the fulfillment of God's plan.  The story of human redemption is God's complete and multifaceted movement among history and people and nations.  

The person of Christ and the salvation he offers are meaningful to us today because Jesus is historical, because he is the same today, yesterday, and forever. 

Yet today, regardless of worldview, we seem to be unfortunately suffering from historical amnesia, where we have lost our interest and understanding of history.

Where Christ is professed crucified, where his resurrection is proclaimed, we are remembering the historical character of faith, which in turn echoes the all-encompassing sovereignty of God.  Where the invitation to follow Christ is accepted, we step into a narrative that encompasses past, present, and future.

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