The Gospel: Exegesis & Theology of Christ Crucified (Continued)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

There is a third issue that must be dealt with regarding the centrality of the gospel in preaching. Not only must we do our exegesis and theology well, but these must be the fuel for living it well. So there is exegesis, theology and experience. And it is the latter without which the preacher's attempts will more than likely fall upon deaf ears. It is his own experience in applying the gospel that will make his own attempts at communicating that gospel worthy of ears to hear it. Goldsworthy points out that,

"The gospel is central to our thinking in an experiential sense. Through the gospel we are brought to acknowledge the lordship of of Christ, our need, and his grace to save all who believe in him. We may have had a lot of information about the contents of the Bible, and even have entertained sincerely religious thoughts before we believed the gospel. But the gospel is our means of contact with the truth about God. Indeed, the message about Christ is the point of turning. Conversion, whether gradual or sudden, is a turning from a worldview and personal commitment in which we ourselves are at the center. For the secular mind, conversion is the point when all facts in our universe cease to be marshaled against the God of the Bible and are seen to testify to his reality. The gospel is the starting point for our eternal life with God. It is the means of becoming reconciled to God so that we may have assurance of God's favor and of the gift of eternal life. It is the means b which we are born again and know the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit." (Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, pp. 5-6)

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