Gospel, central to Systematic Theology

M. Bird:  “The centrality of the gospel is evident from the very grammar of the New Testament that points to the gospel as being integral to Christian belief.

(1)  Theology proper seeks to understand the ‘God of the gospel’ (Rom. 1.1; 15.16; 2 Cor. 11.7; 1 Thess. 2.8-9). John Webster states: ‘The matter to which Christian theology is commanded to attend, and by which it is directed in all its operations, is the presence of the perfect God as it is announced in the gospel’.

(2)  Christology is outlining the ‘Gospel of Jesus Christ’ (i.e. the life and ministry of Christ [Mk. 1.1]) and the ‘gospel of Christ’ (i.e. the person and work of Christ [Rom. 15.19; 1 Cor. 9.12; 2 Cor. 2.12; 9.13; 10.14; Gal. 1.7; Phil. 1.27; 1 Thess. 3.2]).

(3)  Ethics means living a life ‘worthy of the gospel’ (Phil. 1.27) and exercising obedience that accompanies ‘confession of the gospel’ (2 Cor. 9.13).

(4)  Pneumatology focuses on new birth as the promise of the gospel (Acts 2.38; Rom 5.5).

(5)  Soteriology seeks to unpack the polyphonic richness of the gospel of salvation (Rom. 1.16; Eph. 1.13).

(6)  Apologetics is the ‘defence of the gospel’ (Phil. 1.16).

(7)  Ecclesiology is the doctrine of the gospelized.

(8)  Missiology is the science of gospelizing.

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