Friday, July 18, 2008

The "Core" Gospel

We're going through a series at Otter Creek currently called "Regospeling" and we're focusing on the "Core Gospel."

Are there specific ideas that people have about what ideas or responses or practices are "required" for salvation? If you want to see one idea, you can view it here (page 2). I'm not sure I agree with the diagram. I'm always thinking about the book of James and Matthew 25 where there seems to be response required/necessary to validate faith. Without it, it's not really faith. And I fear that when we make the "core" gospel about "faith only," we can lose the broader picture of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

I'm still pondering this stuff, so other ideas that people have, I would be open to them.


Rob Cox said...

Since I have not heard the lessons, I'm having a hard time deciphering the diagrams. Can you elaborate?

Phil said...

It's basically that there are four levels to the faith of a Christian: The Core Gospel, Responses to the Gospel, Consequences of those Responses to the Gospel, and Practices that come from the Consequences of the Responses to the Gospel.

The idea is that nothing can be added to the Gospel to "save" us and ultimately that people who bind certain practices on others that aren't a part of the Gospel are adding to the Gospel.

Does that help?

judy thomas said...

I had not thought of the diagram as a "faith only" gospel, but I guess it could be. I had what if questions--for example, what if, someone chose not to respond in baptism or confession or not to use his/her spiritual gift? All in all, I found the lessons very liberating having grown in the era when all those outside practices were added to the gospel.

Scott said...

With all due respect I find the diagram to be a mess. At least page 2 is.
I'm nervous about trying to say what is core and what is not outside of loving God and loving people. It is shocking to see neither of those in what is described as "core."
I can have perfect understanding of all of those things listed in the core but if they are divorced from love then it means nothing.
I think that has been the downfall of much of the church for centuries: focusing on understanding doctrinal points and a failure to truly measure our faith response to how we live in community as extensions of God.
What I see here is just an attempt to establish a new orthodoxy. I'm so over that.

john alan turner said...

I have a hard time with this whole premise since I can't find the part of the Bible where Jesus says, "Here are the minimum entry requirements for the Kingdom of Heaven."

judy thomas said...

John Alan,

Our fellowship has been teaching those "Minimum entry requirements" for years--they are on the outer circle.

Keith Brenton said...

One man's chart is another man's birdcage liner.

Faith is as faith does, says James (though perhaps not in those exact words. Forgive the compression. I used to work at an ad agency and write things like bumper stickers). If it don't do anything, it ain't faith.

And salvation, I am convinced, is an ongoing process that begins in this life and does not end. I gotta go with JAT here - there is no minimum daily adult requirement; just an unquenchable urge to be Christ in this world.

That's working out our salvation - with fear that may be as much for the souls of others as our own and trembling that may be the inescapable result of perceiving the very presence of God in our lives.

I don't know how to chart that.

I don't even know how to say it.

Thomas+ said...

Central problem with all this, in my view, is that the Gospel is Jesus Christ. And it is very hard to chart a person, or come up with what aspects of a person are "core." It seems like a terribly flawed experiment.

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