We have a lot of “gospel-definitions” in circulation these days. While it could be a discussion that leaves us a bit burnt out after a while I think it has been one worth having for the time being. Michael Horton is the most recent to give his take which you can find in this video here. I have summarized some main points so I welcome you to watch and then return here to discuss if you would like to do so.
– “Gospel” is not the equivalent to whatever is good and important in Christianity.
– It is a precise: “From Genesis to Revelation” it is “God’s promise of a Son that will crush the serpent’s head, forgive the sins of his people, raise them from the dead, and give them everlasting life solely on the basis of his grace for the sake of Christ.”
– Euangelion = good news related particularly to military battles. It is a
“victory report”. This makes it not only “good news because of its content” but also in the “form of its delivery”.
– It doesn’t tell us what to do; it tells us what has been done. Law is good, but not the “good news”. We don’t contribute to salvation. Horton adds that we are not an extension of Christ or his redemption in the world; we are his redeemed in the world and witnesses to his redeeming work.
I think I agree with most of this. I did find it confusing that he doesn’t see us as an extension of Christ in the world and therefore God’s saving work. I think I know what he is trying to say, but as I ponder concepts like Paul’s “body of Christ”, and his belief that he shared in Messiah’s sufferings, it does seem like we participate with God in the world’s salvation, though it is totally by God’s grace and Spirit through us.
What do you think of his presentation?