QOTD: The Bible ≠ The Gospel?

I think we might all know this instinctively but for some reason we seem to want to resist such a notion.  Consider the following.  Neil Williams writes:

For Christianity to remain transformative we need a distinction between the text of Scripture and the gospel story….. The gospel story is seen in, but is distinct from the biblical text.  It is this continuing story that gives Christianity the ability to adapt and remain good news through the changing millennia.  A casual observer may conclude that Christianity, chameleon like is either camouflaging its true intentions or simply changing to fit into its surroundings.  On closer examination, Christianity is remaining true to the gospel, which is inherently a narrative—a developing story of God’s inbreaking into creation, a story that emphasizes particular realities working out in history, such as the image of God, freedom, justice, humility, resurrection, and the impartiality of God.  These themes are primary and essential—the life avenues of the story.  If they are undermined the heart of the narrative stops beating, and the story collapses, for it is no longer good news.

You can go to the link to read more but I wanted to share this because I come from circles of Christians who make this mistake.  They equate the Bible with the very Gospel message itself or the various “distinctive” doctrines as though they were the gospel themselves.  When they are not.  The gospel is the Jesus came to save sinners, not some finer point of doctrine drawn from the text of Scripture.   It is something I am having to teach myself and ask the Lord to ingrain in to me for I know it will transform and deepen my relationship with Him.  It will allow it to be more dynamic and less dogmatic or static.

I guess I see myself as always in process.  While I am not a process theologian, I know my theology is always in process as I ever grow in understanding “the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13).”

What about you?

HT: Peter Enns


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