KitKat relayed all of the Scripture reading at mass today and it spurred a question in my mind that I've been talking with a friend about.

Okay, not question...more of a "challenge".

Define "gospel".

Is the gospel the "good news" to the lost? does it stop at baptism (confirmation, whatever)? How do you preach the gospel to the lost? to believers?

Please leave your thoughts! 😉

(I asked a friend a few days ago if she, as a Christian, knew how to give the gospel to her boyfriend. Her, not really)

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8 thoughts on “Define:

  1. Hi Ellen! Thanks for stopping by my little blog. That is a great and challenging question. This is a copy of the response that I left for you on my blog:

    "Ellen, that is a great question. And no, I do not take that as an attack. 🙂 I guess that my personal definition of the "Gospel" comes mainly from my LCMS upbringing. I view it as the Greek definition of "good news" (of salvation) and from the four books of the New Testament that are traditionally considered "authoritative" in their stories of the life of Christ: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

    Good question, and I think that I see the point that you are making. Other folks may have a different definition. I guess that mine is rather narrow."

    Do I know how to give the gospel to a friend. Hmmmm....goodness, I hope so. I usually start with story of Jesus. When it comes right down to it, that is really all that matters, IMHO.

    Thanks for making me think. 😉

  2. Hi again Ellen, I loved your challenge so much that I linked back to you on a new post on my blog. I hope that this is ok with you. If not, I'll take down the post. 🙂

  3. Hi Ellen, Coming by way of KitKat's blog with my two cents...

    The Gospel is the good news of salvation in Christ for those who believe.

    You are asking some of the very questions that I've been thinking about lately myself. I think that the church makes a big mistake when it regards the gospel as merely for the lost. As sinners, we need the comfort of the gospel message all our lives.

    Wish I had more time to expand on this! But that's my definition in a nutshell.

  4. Kelly

    Candy let one of my comments through on her blog which touched on this. She said that her husband never "heard the Gospel" in his 30 years in the Catholic Church. Others were replying that "the Gospel" is read every Sunday.

    As KitKat said, a Catholic would naturally think of "the Gospel" in a narrow sense, as the four books of the Gospel. Many other Christians would think of it as telling someone of the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Which, as I told Candy, you would not hear at a Catholic Church.

  5. Ellen, I know you have been there on my blog when Catholics answer this question with a "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John". My bias is, if you can't explain the gospel to me, then how could you have accepted it yourself.

    I see alot of Bible scholars on Discovery Channel and the like that read and know the Bible very well. But as you listen to how they talk, it is very clear they are unsaved. Bible readings or even Bible knowledge don't in and of themselves indicate a saving faith.

    No doubt the Bible has a role in Catholicism, unfortunately it is a subordinate role which ultimately leads to "another gospel".

  6. >>Many other Christians would think of it as telling someone of the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Which, as I told Candy, you would not hear at a Catholic Church.

  7. I suspect that Ellen is driving at something like this:

    As a Roman Catholic for over 30 years, I was taught from the Catechism that salvation was by faith plus baptism, the sacraments, good works, law keeping, the sacrifice of the Mass, indulgences, purgatory and penance. According to God's word this is another gospel that leaves Catholics with a false hope. Only when Catholics trust the Lord Jesus Christ as their all-sufficient savior will they know they are saved completely and forever!

    To paraphrase Carrie, it isn't about what you know, but Who you know. We can all stand to be more patient with folks who answer Ellen's question with "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John."

    Let's not forget that while we differ on soteriology and on ecclesiology, we are in agreement on the nature of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity.

    It comes down to answering the question, "How does God's grace come to me personally?"

    Through prayer? Through Bible reading? Catholics say "Yes."

    Through sacraments? Catholics again say "Yes."

    One of the blessings of Ash Wednesday goes "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel" - based on Mark 1:15. What does it mean to be "faithful to the gospel?"

    To believe the gospel, to believe in Jesus Christ, first and foremost (1 Cor. 15:2-8, to believe Christian doctrine - those are not really three separate things - and to act like you believe it.

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