December 18, 2017

Put A Warning On The Gospels

Is it just me, or are some Christians putting too much emphasis on the Gospels?

There’s a lot of talk about the Kingdom of God in the Gospels. That gets many people off on the wrong track entirely.

Some people are always quoting the parables or Jesus’ sermons. All of these things need some further elaboration, footnotes or clarification, not to mention lots of additional verses from the rest of the Bible.

And what about all the things that Jesus keeps telling people to do? If you can’t do things perfectly, what are you supposed to do with them? Reading the Gospels could cause you to be deluded about the whole Christian life.

Then there’s all the things Jesus says are just true about his disciples. They ARE the salt and they ARE the light. All that. That makes some fans of good theology break into a cold sweat. Jesus can be all those things, but what’s the deal saying them about us?

Jesus seems to spend a lot of time accepting the unacceptable, elevating the oppressed, inviting the unwanted and including the excluded. Assuming that those things are just types and shadows of God accepting us, could someone explain exactly what we’re supposed to do with those kinds of commands and examples?

You could get a lot of wrong ideas reading the Gospels too much. You could start thinking that Jesus is in favor of some kind of social gospel where people give away lots of things, live in community, get in trouble for their radical compassion and stand outside of the religious establishment much of the time.

In fact, really….the Gospels have some good stories, but wouldn’t we be better off to study things like Romans 3 more often, so we really know what the Gospel is about?

Spending a lot of time in the Gospels could make you a person who is confused about discipleship as compared to grace. We should go to church, hear about grace, and leave much happier. If we read the Gospels too much, we’ll get the idea we’re supposed to do a lot of things that we really don’t have to do to be saved.

Let’s be careful with the Gospels. Don’t go overboard with them. They could mess up your whole religion.

I’m glad we talked about this. A lot of people could be easily confused.

Comments

  1. “That’s right. We don’t need all this theology. We should just realize that this is God in the flesh himself speaking to us. Oh, wait. That’s Christology. Can’t import that. Okay we need to realize that someone is standing before us, the Body of Christ, telling us how to live. Oh, wait. Pauline ecclesiology. Can’t import that one in, either. Okay, somebody is standing before a group of other people and telling them what they need to do if they want to follow him around while he’s teaching. And that should be enough for us to know it is of top importance.”

    You have a low view of the Gospels. We do not need Pauline Christology to understand why Jesus is important. As he says at the end of Matthew, “all authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

  2. Apparently we did need Pauline Christology to understand the importance of Jesus, or else why did God give it?

    To understand *that* Jesus is important, all you need is the Gospels. But to make sense of it all, you either needed to have been on the Emmaus road or in the upper room with Him while He explained it all (and even then they had a hard time with it), or just read Paul’s, Peter’s, John’s, & Jude’s letters, in conjunction with the Gospels.

    If God hadn’t set apart Paul for the work he did, Christianity would have just devolved into a splinter sect of Judaism, a historical curiosity which we might have called the Ebionites.

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