Friday, September 10, 2010

Everyone Has a Gospel Story

Pastor and Author Tim Chester once said “Everyone has a Gospel Story.”

Here’s what he meant. Everyone has a set of beliefs that shapes their lives, impacts their behavior, affects all of their relationships -and those beliefs are ultimately set within the context of a basic narrative. Now this is not explicit, -you can’t walk up to people and say to them “Hey, tell me your gospel story” because they won’t even know what you are talking about. But in the same way that The Christian Gospel story informs the most important areas of our lives, competing narratives, false gospel stories provide a framework that lends structure and meaning and direction to peoples lives.

Biblical theology outlines the Christian Gospel Story in this order: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation.

The creation account helps us to understand who we are. God is loving, powerful and personal. God is creator, and we are his creatures. We are made in his image that we might Glorify and enjoy him forever.

The fall answers the question “What’s wrong with the world?” or “What’s wrong with me? Mankind is sinful, our hearts are rebellious towards God. We are wicked. We, are ruled by evil desires, and trying to be our own God

Redemption helps us understand “What the solution is”. What will it take to put my life right? What will make the world a better place? Jesus Christ is the savior of the World. He came to earth to die on the cross to free us from sin, and to reconcile us with God.

Consummation points us to our ultimate source of Hope. This World is God’s, and we have messed everything up with sin. But God is redeeming the world, and someday we will be with him and he will make all things new. God is our hope.

Likewise, false Gospel stories can be outlined in this same way. For example, here’s the ‘gospel story’ preached by your typical Men’s magazine.

Creation: You were made to have lots of sex with who ever you want to have sex with! Fall: the problem is…..your pectoral muscles aren’t ‘ripped’ enough, and you look a little pale. Redemption: You need to do all the right work outs and get a tan. Consummation: If you can muster the self discipline, eat right, and tone up your body, you can be the sex-stud you were created to be!

(Women’s magazines preach a similar message.)

Here’s a ‘gospel story’ that is believed by many college students.

Creation: You were made to be rich, successful, and esteemed. Fall: the problem is… aren’t quite educated enough, your resume is a little weak, and you don’t know the right people. Redemption: You need to apply yourself to getting a high quality education, a super well-rounded resume and meeting people in high places. Consummation: If you can get into the right school, get the right degree, obtain a high paying prestigious job you will be the happy, rich, successful person you were made to be.

False Gospel stories abound all around us.

What do you believe? What is your Gospel Story?

1 comment:

  1. Another good post, JW! I always come back and read what the Betts are up to. Hug everyone for me!


    Cathy Groves