Simplifying the Gospel?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Adrian Warnock ( has posted a couple of blogs regarding the gospel that are quite disturbing and have stirred up no small controversy and whirlwind of comment on his blog. He seems in favor of simplifying the gospel. I'm in favor of simplifying the message, but what do you boil it down to? And if you do, isn't it possible to make it so simple as to boil out some of the truth thereby making it ineffective.

For example, in one blog he suggests the following outline:
1. Everyone has Sinned
2. God hates sin
3. Sin must be punished
4. Jesus took the punishment instead of us on the cross
5. Admit you have been naughty
6. Believe that Jesus took your punishment
7. Say sorry to God
8. Ask God to be in charge of your life
9. Be baptised (note the order here)
10. Receive the Holy Spirit

And in a followup blog he writes: An even simpler gospel statement:
"I'm just a nobody who wants to tell everybody that there is somebody who can save anybody."

If it's that simple, what does that communicate that can possibly save anyone? Such a statement could apply to almost anyone...including the pope (to be)!

Following up on comments regarding the debate he sparked, he wrote "The 'Simple Gospel' Debate Continued" at What do you think?

But lo and behold, the missing elements to me were confirmed when I read his entry, "Is the Simple Gospel Really Calvinism?" ( His poor understanding of biblical Calvinism clearly removes the depth and permanency and work of grace and mercy that is offered through the cross. Clearly, the reason the gospel has to be simplified in his mind is because depravity and salvation are just to complex. What was that God said to Isaiah? "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are my ways above your ways."

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