In need of a Gospel-driven theology

Someone by the name of “Chris” wrote:

Do you notice how all of those four problems [within the common Charismatic focus] ultimately come down to issues around the person and work of Jesus (addressing your four points in turn):

– Ignoring the significance of Jesus.
– Misunderstanding the work of Jesus.
– Confusion over the uniqueness of Jesus in redemptive history.
– Spiritual deafness to the voice of Jesus (”My sheep know my voice”).

Go here: Cerulean Sanctum for the whole story.

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Metanarrative as Baseline

David Capener has written:  

“Theologians call this the metanarrative, the overarching story of Gods great redemptive plan throughout history.  Unless we understand the sweep of redemptive history how will we ever fully understand the need for salvation….  A grasp of the story is so so important. Otherwise reading the bible becomes like trying to read that novel without ever understanding the story.” 

Bible’s Focus = Bible’s Author

John Walton has written:  

“Focus on people rather than God: The Bible is God’s revelation of himself and its message and teaching is largely based on what it tells us about God. This is particularly true of narrative (stories). While we are drawn to observe the people in the stories, we cannot forget that the stories are intended to teach us about God more than about people. If in the end, the final point is “We should/shouldn’t be like X (= some biblical character)” there is probably a problem unless the “X” is Jesus or God. Better is “we can learn through X’s story that God . . .”

Gospel Ministry? What other sort is there?

Thomas Foxcroft on Gospel Ministry:   “Christ is the grand Subject which the ministers of the gospel should mainly insist upon in their preaching” and “In all their ministerial labors, pastors should make the conversion and edification of men in Christ their governing view and sovereign aim.”

Faith, A Regulative-Principle

Christian Cryder:  “If Justification By Faith is the heart of the gospel, and Sanctification By Faith is its lifeblood, then Worship by Faith explains the reality of our fellowship with God.  …[O]ur churches will die when we fail to understand the gospel – that we are justified by faith, sanctified by faith, and that our worship is made pleasing in faith.”

Checking out of so-called “worship”

There are times when we’re pressed (even while remaining seated in the assembly) to check out of so-called “worship,” as it turns its face from God to hope and lean upon lesser things (2Cor10.5).  No measure of earnest in what is preached apart from Christ will suffice to rightly comfort, protect, and equip the saints; nor does it render honor unto Whom honor is due. 

Sifting and Weeding Through…

I understand that many folks won’t care for Keller, nor do I fully appreciate his thinking on some matters.  But, when it comes down to apprehending and appropriating the Gospel…of all the preaching that I’ve heard that claims to be redemptive-historical and Christo-centric, Keller is among the few who go a very long way toward making clear the differences between *preaching the Gospel* and *preaching Jesus as Example/Add-on/Gap-filler*.

 

Of course there are things Keller says that give us pause, but I tend to ignore that sort of thing like I would everyone else’s statements that don’t seem to square with Scripture.  What I most appreciate about Keller is his bringing the finished work of Christ to bear upon Scripture, faith, and life.  May the Lord aide in our sifting wheat from chaff!

 

This sermon (Born of the Gospel) is a decent example of how Tim captures something of the “how” and “why” the Scriptures are to be read from Genesis to Revelation.  Here too, he helps us understand something of why folks can dabble in so-called “redemptive-historical” thinking, but never escape the grip of a functional denial of what they know Christ fulfilled and abolished!  Reading Vos, Kline, et al, without a more fundamental grasp of the implications of the Gospel, will sometimes (often) lead to more confusion and in the end result in one becoming quite frustrated with trying to do “redemptive-historical” thinking, so that, they give up on the idea and turn around and attempt to pick it apart.  (What they are picking apart is often nothing more than a caricature of a sounder and more thorough understanding of redemption and revelation.) 

 

Perhaps I’m coming to the place where… if the Gospel doesn’t penetrate a believer’s thinking and actions, tangibly over the course of time, than it probably isn’t centrally the Gospel they are hearing and trusting.  Thankfully, Keller helps tighten the weave in areas that many others (who I appreciate for other reasons) can’t seem to readily touch on.

 

Hopefully I’m learning (at least a little) to get over some of my own aversions to things less fundamental in lieu of missing what’s foundational to faith, hope, and love.