Post-metaphysical God-talk and its implications for Christian theology: A hermeneutics of religion Writing as a philosopher, and
What Is The Gospel Message?
It is a message made up of four essential ingredients. The gospel is a message about God. It tells us who He is, what His character is, what His standards are, and what He requires of us, His creatures.
It tells us that we owe our very existence to Him; that for good or ill, we are always in His hands and under His eye; and that He made us to worship and serve Him, to show forth His praise and to live for His glory.
These truths are the foundation of theistic religion; and until they are grasped, the rest of the gospel message will seem neither cogent nor relevant.
We can learn again from Paul at this point. He could take this knowledge for granted, for his hearers had the Old Testament faith behind them. He could begin at once to declare Christ to them as the fulfillment of Old Testament hopes. But when preaching to Gentiles, who knew nothing of the Old Testament, Paul had to go further back and start from the beginning.
So, when the Athenians asked him to explain what his talk of Jesus and the resurrection was all about, he spoke to them first of God the Creator and what He made man for. This was not, as some have supposed, a piece of philosophical apologetic of a kind that Paul afterwards renounced, but the first and basic lesson in theistic faith.
The gospel starts by teaching us that we, as creatures, are absolutely dependent on God, and that He, as Creator, has an absolute claim on us. Only when we have learned this can we see what sin is, and only when we see what sin is can we understand the good news of salvation from sin. We must know what it means to call God Creator before we can grasp what it means to speak of Him as Redeemer.
Nothing can be achieved by talking about sin and salvation where this preliminary lesson has not in some measure been learned.
The gospel is a message about sin. It shows us ourselves as God sees us and teaches us to think of ourselves as God thinks of us. Thus, it leads us to self-despair. And this also is a necessary step.
Not until we have learned our need to get right with God and our inability to do so by any effort of our own can we come to know the Christ Who saves from sin. There is a pitfall here. Everyone has a bad conscience about some things in his past, matters in which he has fallen short of the standard that he set for himself or that was expected of him by others.
The danger is that in our evangelism we should content ourselves with evoking thoughts of these things and making people feel uncomfortable about them, and then depicting Christ as the One who saves us from these elements of ourselves, without even raising the question of our relationship with God.
But this is just the question that has to be raised when we speak about sin. Unless we see our shortcomings in the light of the Law and holiness of God, we do not see them as sin at all."Hamartiology The Problem Of Evil Theodicy" Essays and Research Papers Hamartiology The Problem Of Evil Theodicy MLA Hamartiology: The Problem of Evil (Theodicy) The problem of evil is not a new issue to be considered or questioned.
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