news is always in the eye of the beholder.
when a bible sits there, holding information about the gospel, the gospel that it contains information about lays dormant.
perhaps in some sense we can say that’s the actual gospel, but it is a useless one.
the news jesus taught only begins to be useful when someone learns of it and starts to put it into practice.
when someone sets their life on a path of discipleship to him, with the goal of becoming like him.
when a person does this, the actual gospel is manifest.
the “fake gospel” most people have accepted or rejected differs depending upon which “side” of church it has come from.
the evangelical right’s gospel has been more or less: “if you die today, do you know you will go to heaven?”
it has been primarily concerned about the afterlife, and talks about “heaven” as a goal.
this is something jesus never did.
now, there is much talk of discipleship in these groups, but not the kind of discipleship that jesus would recognize.
rather, they are after head knowledge. they wish to ensure their students “believe the right things” about big words like sanctification, justification and atonement.
they are in the business of “sin management” — making sure people don’t “do wrong”, so that they can “get into heaven”.
the left side, the mainline churches and more liberal denominations, have turned the gospel into a social action message. that if we all work together, we cure society’s ills by taking care of the poor better.
personal growth is all but ignored in favor of being part of the team that “cares”. little attention is paid to how individuals actually do things, as efforts are focused around building institutions that make lots of noise about doing good.
they are in the business of “society management”.
the gospel jesus taught was: “come, follow me, for the kingdom of heaven is available today.”
he taught us to live well — to live in such a manor that we obtain peace with god and with each other.
the side effects of that kind of living is salvation and a better society.
they are not goals in and of themselves.
to fully expound on this would require 400 pages, so i’ll leave off there.
hopefully some of what i have in mind has been communicated.