Friday, February 22, 2008

Is Our Gospel Too Small?

I love this cover, don't you?

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Blogger Kansas Bob said...

I have five bibles on my Motorola Q smart phone. Is my gospel that small?


9:36 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

nope, bob. Your gospel is not small but your LCD screen is :)

11:13 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Perhaps the reason why the good news appear so small is that we have packaged it together with unnecessary add-ons like our cultural worldview, making the gospel a very much Westernized & foreign gospel.
Thus confusing people of every tribe and tongue that in order for them to follow Christ, they must become like us. Just like the days when the Jews wanted to force the Gentiles to become like them in order to be 'saved'.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Not only the LCD screen.. but the price was very small as well :)

You must have an expensive iPhone Alex?

10:01 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi bob,

nah, I have a very cheap handphone that can make and receive calls and have memory for phone numbers. That's all I need and want my phone to do.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi jason,

true. That may be one reason. Another is we have reduced the gospel to something really small and simple, like a ticket to heaven. A sort of gospel lite. No room for dicipleship, commitment and loving God and others.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Hi Alex,

Yes. I agree with you on this point too - about having a sort of gospel lite. Where the word "believe" is reduced to "just believe that He exist and that's enough. here's your free ticket". We forgot about repentance, the allegiance, the following and the loving. God help us.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Your are funny Alex.. I'll pray for your technological telecom lack :)

Seriously though, I do think we need to tread carefully when we speak of repentance lest we make believing in Jesus all about getting our act together.

I posted a great article on our church blog by a new believer.. here is an excerpt:

When I became a Christian, no one told me that there would be a time where I would need to give up the bad stuff, the non spiritual things in my life. No one told me that my heart would change in a way that I would want to surrender my entire life to God. (Thank you for not telling me) Even though I had a willing heart, no one told me how hard some of it would be, (I did not sign up for this part of it.)

10:15 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi Jason and Bob,

You are both right in that we have to be careful in what we say about the gospel in evangelism. We do not want to frighten people away with too much emphasis on repentance and cost of discipleship. However, neither do we want to sell the gospel cheap by making it a ticket to heaven and not share with them about where they are going and what will be involved in getting there.

BTW, thank you Bob for sharing your friend's testimony and the link to your wonderful church website.

Personally, I believe one of the problem is we using the 'bridge' illustration in sharing the gospel. Remember, Jesus becomes the bridge between sin and God? The bridge metaphor is good but it also gives the impression that (1) all you need to do is walk across, and (2) the bridge is narrow. Gospel becomes simply bridging a gap. Jesus did not say he is the life, the truth and the bridge. He says he is the way.

The Way signifies a way of life, a new way of living which is following him. I believe our understanding of the gospel will become bigger if we move away from the bridge metaphor and embrace the Way of Jesus.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

I love this Alex:

"The Way signifies a way of life, a new way of living which is following him."

Following Jesus is everything to me ... his friendship is precious ... it is the heart of the gospel ... we are no longer enemies ... we are friends from our Friend ... our royal Friend who loves us.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Make that:

are friends following our Friend

..should know better than to comment before coffee :)

9:07 PM  

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