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It’s not about which Testament, it’s about which Gospel

I've been chatting to three different mates about their sermons this week.  In each case the commentaries they have read and the sermons they have listened to have, in the end, put us in the driver's seat.  Ironically, those commentators and preachers who make the most noise about being "God-centred" have seemed to be the most keen to put us at the centre.

And it doesn't seem to matter which testament they're preaching from.  Two friends are preaching from Psalms.  And even though the Psalmist is described in impossibly lofty terms - an Ideal King and Sufferer and Worshipper - yet the applications from the great and good leave us aspiring to approximate the Psalmist's experience.  (And Jesus is brought in at the end as someone who really approximated the Psalmist's experience rather well!).

My other friend is preaching on the parable of the man who finds the treasure and buys the field.  He is surrounded by evangelical interpretations which make us the protagonists in the whole kingdom drama.  (Suffice to say, that is not the way I take it!)

It's reminded me yet again that "Christ in the Old Testament" is just the tip of the iceberg.  We need to fight a much more basic battle - Christ in all Scripture.  Is it really all about Him?

It's also reminded me: You gotta watch those "God-centred" preachers!

5 thoughts on “It’s not about which Testament, it’s about which Gospel

  1. John B

    So, if "God-centred" evangelicals are preaching another gospel, is anathema in order for them?

  2. Glen

    Hi John, I didn't have Galatians 1 in mind at all when entitling my post. Perhaps I should have entitled it "Which Person is Central" or something. Not as snappy but no athemas either.

  3. Rich Owen

    Or perhaps you could have entitled it... "In Christ alone? Do we *really* believe it?"

    Or "no other name under heaven?"

    John, I'd not thought of it like that either... but it is an interesting point.

    I'm just wondering if Peter thought he was doing anything really wrong eating with the Circumcision. Sure, he believed in Jesus, was saved "in Christ alone" and didn't really believe he himself was adding to the gospel like they were...

    Paul's anathema was for the circumcision group - deliberate gospel plus people. I don't think that is the issue Glen is on about - adding to the gospel.

    But I wonder if the issue is more Peter like - good intentions, genuine believers just not being radical enough with "no other name" and so "acting out of line"...

    Glen?

  4. John B

    Hi Glen and Rich,

    It seems that Paul opposed Peter for conduct unbecoming, which was out of step with the gospel. It wasn't a doctrinal dispute, but rather a question about behavior. I don't see in this any wavering on Paul's part to allow for some degree of separation from the proclamation of the one true gospel. But Paul's sine qua non for the gospel was remarkably specific: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (Gal 6:15-16)

    Paul's adamance about the purity of the gospel in chapter 1 is sometimes used to justify divisions, which Paul identifies in chapter 5 as "works of the flesh"!

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