Monday, May 12, 2008

Tim Keller has it right

In this interesting article from Christianity Today, PCA Pastor Tim Keller claims that the Gospel is more than only justification. He's right-- for generations leading up to our individualistic age, Christians have understood this. It has only been in recent years (and coinciding with-- or due to?-- the individualism of our day) that the concept of salvation has been limited to a one-time experience, an almost gnostic approach to spiritual life.

Here's a key excerpt from the article:
Keller answered this year's question for the Christian Vision Project, "Is our gospel too small?" (The article is not yet available online.) In so doing he took a stab at defining the gospel. "Through the person and work of Jesus Christ, God fully accomplishes salvation for us, rescuing us from the judgment for sin into fellowship with him, and then restores the creation in which we can enjoy our new life together with him forever."
Is God's plan to renew creation part of the gospel message? If so, is it the center of the gospel or a peripheral component of the Good News? Again, how you answer these questions affects how you will live, and how you will expect fellow church members to act.
"When the third, 'eschatological' element is left out, Christians get the impression that nothing much about this world matters," Keller wrote. "Theoretically, grasping the full outline should make Christians interested in both evangelistic conversions as well as service to our neighbor and working for peace and justice in the world."
Your salvation is bigger than just your conversion or justification, and it's bigger than just something that happens to you in isolation from others.

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