Friday, 10 December 2010

Don't Assume the Gospel

What is it that excites you? What is it that excites you corporately as a church? What it is that we rejoice in and celebrate as a church shows where our priorities lie. Therefore, we must ensure that the gospel is what we are constantly rejoicing in, both individually and corporately. We never move on from the gospel. Therefore, we must never cease to let it be the centre of what we delight in. If we do not do so we begin to assume the gospel, which in turn leads to being not far from throwing out the gospel altogether. Don Carson has some helpful words of warning on this:
I have been teaching more decades now that I can count and if I have learned anything from all of this teaching, its this: my students . . . learn what I’m excited about. So within the church of the living God, we must become excited about the gospel. That’s how we pass on our heritage. If, instead, the gospel increasingly becomes for us that which we assume, then we will, of course, assent to the correct creedal statement. But, at this point, the gospel is not what really captures us. Rather, is a particular form of worship or a particular style of counseling, or a particular view on culture, or a particular technique in preaching, or—fill in the blank. Then, ultimately, our students make that their center and the generation after us loses the gospel. As soon as you get to the place where the gospel is that which is nearly assumed, you are only a generation and a half from death.