Can I get on a soap-box for just a second?
In general, would a Protestant Evangelical (which I identify as) disagree with any of the following?:
- God is the main character in the story of redemption, not you and me.
- Salvation is not primarily about you and me, but about God.
- The central message of the Bible is to tell the story of God’s redemption plan for all of the creation through Jesus, the Jewish King (specifically from the family of Abraham).
- That salvation must be as complex as the Bible itself, because if it weren’t, God wouldn’t have decided to use 66 books and a variety of literary genres, historical periods, and authors to communicate the message of the story of salvation. He is God, afterall. If he could have explained in a more concise way, he would have.
- While the Bible and salvation are complex, that even a child can understand it, because of the amazing work of the Holy Spirit to minister to the heart of a child? (it’s a miracle that anyone can resonate with the story of the Bible)
- Since the Bible is a story, and because the Bible recounts the God’s redemption plan for the world, that salvation is best articulated in the form of a story.
- The entire Bible is organized around the central concept of covenant (the Old and New “TESTAMENTS”) and because of this, the covenant must be an essential part of salvation.
- That Israel is a very important element in the story of the Bible.
- That “salvation” and the “Good News” have a whole lot in common (and can, at times, be considered synonymous).
- That the “Good News” is, first and foremost, that Jesus has dethroned sin and death over God’s creation through his death, burial, and resurrection (i.e., Christ reigns). Secondary “good news” is that we can be redeemed through faith in him.
- That Jesus talks more about the Kingdom of God than anything else according to the Gospels (even more than atonement).
- That the NT authors give Jesus the title “Christ” (meaning “King”) because they understood that the “Good News” was that “Jesus Reigns”.
I find these things to be true.
If these things are true, then why do we, as Protestant Evangelicals CONSTANTLY talk about “salvation”, the “gospel” and “the Good News” as FIRST AND FOREMOST: “MY SINS ARE FORGIVEN”?
The forgiveness of sins, atonement, propitiation, and expiation are all certainly essential to the story of salvation. It’s a part of it. It’s a part of the Bible. It’s a part of the Good News.
HOWEVER, when we read the Bible seriously, how can we NOT SEE that this is not the MAIN POINT of the Gospel?!?! We are not the CENTER of salvation, God is!
When are we going to get it?
Phew. Thanks. I feel better.