Apr 30, 2013

What is the Gospel?

N.T. Wright, or Tom Wright when writing for a more "popular readership," is the Anglican Bishop of Durham and a renowned New Testament scholar whose work I have finally been engaging more directly with. First with Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship (1995), and now with The Challenge of Jesus: Recovering Who Jesus Was and Is (2000), my perspective of Jesus is being thoroughly and refreshingly stirred.

Krish Kandiah of the Evangelical Alliance recently interviewed Wright, covering a series of questions about the nature of "A Kingdom Gospel." The short video below provides a succinct and, I think, effective summary of where Believers need to begin when thinking about and presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The questions presented are as follows:

  1. Why do we need to ask the question: ‘What is the gospel?’
  2. What is the gospel according to the gospels?
  3. If you only had a couple of minutes, how would you communicate the gospel with someone?
  4. Do we need to talk about repentance when we present the gospel?
  5. Why do you emphasise the importance of talking about Jesus’ life, as well as his death, when presenting the gospel?
  6. Is the gospel of Paul different to the gospel of Jesus?
  7. What would your advice be to a young evangelist?

Thank you, Brett Stuvland, for giving me a copy of The Challenge of Jesus. And thank you, Glenn Packiam, for directing my attention to the interview with your recent blog post, "N. T. Wright on the Gospel, the Gospels and Paul."

Apr 16, 2013

Can someone live a sincere Christian life as a homosexual?

This question is part of an extremely divisive subject - one that has weighed upon my thoughts lately, particularly as it calls the Church to take a stance that will not only affect people, but the image of Christianity in many if not most of its host cultures. While I have had a couple rich discussions on the matter, I do not yet wish to expound on any conclusions. They are forming, but not yet ripe for textual expression.

In the meantime, therefore, I do wish to share a contrasting voice to much of what I have perceived in popular media - whether from [so-called] conservatives or liberals:

Ravi Zacharias is an incredibly respected religious scholar across the globe. To me, his response to the question is profound because it is so reasonably balanced. It seems neither blatantly reactionary nor excessively permissive. I admire his forthrightness, his confident clear expression of ideas. I admire that he treats the subject as more complex than some may attest, how he uses the great theologian, Henri Nouwen, as an example. And I admire his questions to the question.

May his thoughts add wisdom to the discussion.

[Alas, the original video in question is no longer available; therefore we'll have to be content with the following:]

Zacharias' approach to the subject through a more sociological and theological framework: