RESCUE: THE FAMILY AND THE GOSPEL
I began class with the overview that was posted yesterday. Then it is important that vocabulary be clarified and two terms that must be understood are the terms “gospel” and “gospel-centered.” Today I will clarify the word gospel and tomorrow what a “gospel-centered family” means.
As far as the proclamation of the gospel, I would invite you to click the link at the top of the page here, “The Gospel” This is a clear presentation of the good news that addresses the bad news. In class I shared the gospel in terms of the biblical story of creation, fall, redemption and consummation. It is sharing the gospel as a unified, coherent narrative of God’s Word and his ongoing work within his kingdom. After God had created the world, and after human rebellion had marred it, God set out to restore what he had made: God did not turn his back on a world bent on destruction; he turned his face toward it in love. He set out on the long road of redemption to restore the lost as his people and the world as his kingdom. The Bible narrates the story of God’s journey on the road of redemption. It is a unified and progressively unfolding drama of God’s action in history and our salvation. The Bible is not a mere jumble of history, poetry, lessons in morality and theology, comforting promises, guiding principles and commands; it is fundamentally coherent. Every part of the Bible-each event, book, character, command, prophecy and poem-must be understood in the context of the one storyline.
For learning how the Bible impacts us as a family, we have to avoid reading the Bible as if it were merely a mosaic of little bits-theological bits, moral bits, historical-critical bits, sermon bits, and devotional bits. To read the Bible in such a fragmented way is to ignore its divine author’s intention to shape our lives through its story. If we allow the Bible to become fragmented, it is in danger of being absorbed into whatever other story is shaping our family, and will thus cease to shape our lives as it should. The dominant cultural story of the secular Western world has been twisted by idolatry. If as believers we allow this story (rather than the Bible) to become the foundation of our thought and action, then our lives will manifest not the truths of scripture, but the lies of an idolatrous culture. Thus the unity of Scripture is no minor matter: a fragmented Bible may produce theologically orthodox, morally upright, warmly pious idol worshippers!
(I must give credit to Craig Bartholomew and his book “The Drama of Scripture” for some of the description of the gospel storyline)