The news that Jesus is lord is good because God is love. If Jesus was like Zeus it would just be news.
The gospel in its biblical and cultural context is the announcement of King Jesus. Jesus, the one who was crucified and risen, is Lord. Why else did the apostolic preaching often refer to Psalms 2 and 110? It was the proclamation of God’s anointed king now coming to rule, and to restore God’s gracious kingdom of love, justice, and shalom to his entire creation.
All of our focus on our personal right standing with God, our forgiveness, and our personal destiny while important, and addressed by the gospel, are not the gospel themselves. The gospel is the good news of King Jesus, and through him, God’s restorative purposes for his entire creation….the gospel of the kingdom.
The idea that the gospel is about each individual’s relationship with God is simply not the big picture gospel that the apostles preached. The gospel they preached certainly addressed individuals and households, but it was all about the kingship of Jesus, and what God had done and would do through him in fulfillment of his promises to Israel, and to the entire world.
Do we proclaim the same message, or have we served up an individualistic, western reduction of the gospel as personal sin management, and private salvation?
That is the big picture. After proclaiming that, what did the apostles say? “Repent and be baptised.” It was a call to each individual, that individual action was required. While there are instances where whole household are baptised, we don’t know if it was a corporate baptism, or if each individual accepted the Gospel.
The proclamation of God’s Kingdom is GOOD NEWS. Part of the good news is that Salvation is a gift freely available. Part of that good news is that it is available to each, individually, irrespective of natural or man made barriers (race, gender, religion etc).
Proclamation of God’s Kingdom is GOOD News. What that means to the individual is great news.
I believe the final outcome of the gospel will be the physical manifestation of the kingdom of God throughout the earth as the government of the earth.
It’s what millions of people pray for each day, ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth…’ They don’t think His kingdom has come to the earth yet in its power and glory and neither do I.
I’ve never heard of Seven Mountains Dominionism.
Man can devise and develop all sorts of strategies to try to push God into doing something. It never works and it is wrong. I just watched part of a video of Adventism in which two leaders deduced that their lack of faith was holding up Jesus’ second coming. The year was 1901. God’s plans are not hampered by man. When He’s ready, He’ll raise up someone or a group to accomplish His desires.
When I was an Adventist I would supply things like that video to my Calvinist friends at work. I couldn’t understand why they would take one look at what I gave them and return it. Now I do, I think in large part because I have studied other theology. My Calvinist friends saw it as elevating man to a position of control, even over God’s plans. (I believe the LGT folks have taken that to a misguided extreme.) Needless to say, I don’t agree with the Adventist viewpoint anymore and I’m trying to show people who read these comments that there are other ways to look at the relationship between God and man.
I haven’t reduced the gospel. I’m sorry if you thought so but I also related how I think God’s kingdom and government will come to be manifested throughout the earth.
I disagree with your timing. This government was not set up 2000 years ago, it is yet to happen.
I believe you are wrong about the stone crushing the statue and Rev 14 occurring in ancient times.
This new creation life imparted to each believer after the death, in Christ, of our old man of sin is the wonderful truth of the gospel. I believe it is the foundation of everything we are talking about. It is claimed by faith in what Christ has done, not by keeping the law. During my time as an Adventist I don’t think I was ever taught this. Perhaps it is outside Adventist theology. I was once told by a prominent Adventist apologist that there is no difference between the conditions of salvation in the OC and NC - it is obedience to the law in both. The only change is that in the NC, the Holy Spirit has been sent to help us obey. I no longer believe that is the gospel.
The good news is much greater than that. It is God’s supernatural doing, His promise to us and so cannot fail. I no longer wonder about whether or not I will be ‘good enough’ to be saved. My faith in what Christ has done and God’s promise to me means I am a child of God. I am freed to stop fretting about my fate and look outside myself. I try to show that to Adventists who read these comments and may be in the same place I was.
I hope you mean it when you say that the result is ‘the restoration of God’s creation in love, justice and shalom/peace.’ I would only add the word ‘all’.
Peter said, ‘Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouths of His holy prophets from ancient times.’ (Acts 3:19-21)
Yes… repent and be baptized was the called for response to the announcement of the gospel… not the gospel itself. And, the call to repentance was the call to join up with Jesus by faith in God’s kingdom project to bring his gracious restoration to the world. Such a view of the gospel can get us outside of our own personal and private spiritual concerns as the main point, and connects us with the bigger purposes of God in the world.
I would like to try to clarify some things I have said.
The Bible speaks of several ages. It says we live in a ‘present evil age’ (Gal 1:4), and there are ages to come (Eph 2:7). When I wrote about the prospective leadership positions under Christ that God will select certain believers to fill in the coming kingdom, I did not mean in this age but in a future one when the kingdom is fully manifested on earth.
Even before sin, Adam was given dominion over the earth. He was to ‘rule over all the earth’ (Gen 1:26). He was given authority but always subject to God’s sovereignty. God knows we need purpose, we need something to work at and toward. The Bible gives us some idea about some of these future roles.
Your modesty is only superseded by your secretive manner.
Would you please share what insights you shared your SS class that baffled the pastors.
This I believe is technically know as ‘cherry picking’ and oft misunderstood or ignored aspect of Christian culture and norms.
This is why we have to be careful to discern the difference between:
a) culture bias - seeing the Bible through the lens of your cultural norms can cause one to misinterpret or interpret it differently than another reader
b) Bible writer context - understanding that the Bible writers recorded their messages through the lens of their culture and level of understanding in that period
c) Moral imperative vs tradition vs opinion - misunderstandings have been as a result of the inability to differentiate Biblical writings that are meant as moral requirements/principles vs. a cultural tradition or an opinion of the writer
Could it be that the underlying cause is that people are not taught how to read and understand ancient writings or writing in general from outside of their culture? I wonder if this could be the cause that creates all kinds of misunderstandings.
I was commenting more generally on a truncated gospel, not particularly on what you were saying.
Additionally, I agree that God’s rule has yet to fill the earth. The age to come will commence with Jesus’s coming. We live between the times. But the NT gospel is not predicated on the fact that Jesus will be Lord. The proclamation was and still is that Jesus is Lord. Now. Despite the many lords of this world that claim the throne. Despite the appearance that evil powers are winning the day. The truth that the Holy Spirit testifies to, and that we are to proclaim in the gospel is that Jesus is Lord. His resurrection from the dead is the evidence of this.
In the first century, the apostolic preaching that Jesus is Lord implied that Caesar wasn’t. It was perceived as a politically subversive message. It got them into trouble. If they simply preached a gospel that emphasized individual, inward transformation, they wouldn’t have run into the trouble they did. But, the NT gospel announced a clash of kingdoms and rulers that threatened the rulers of this age. It announced the victory of God and his kingdom of love and justice, that commenced with the death and resurrection of his chosen king, Jesus.
I simply believe that modern, evangelical preaching is centered around an individualized version of the gospel that emphasizes personal salvation and an exit to heaven as its chief aim. The gospel of the NT though, carries a wider power to not only change individual lives, but also calls people to join God’s kingdom project to restore his world, which will be revealed in its fullness at Jesus’s parousia.
I smell something very strange about this.
(About the pastors’ reaction, of course…)
I mentioned in SS class that there needs to be attention given to a couple bible texts to have realistic expectations regarding unity.
"The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?
"But he said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. MATT 13:27&29
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ MATT 10:34-36
13 weeks of SS teaching and leadership calls for unity and what about the texts?
What unity does one expect with 90% of SDA never have read whole bible, many do not look at the SS lesson or spend much time in devotion studies.
7000 waking minutes each week of which maybe 2 % is spent at church or spiritual emphasis and the balance in the WORLD.
The teaching methods of most churches, including SDA , with ambiguous religious lingo & clichés , just promote fanaticism, religious fantasy and unrealistic expectations.
So let everyone just respectfully disagree all over the map and as long as you can shake hands & say “HAPPY SABBATH” that is unity?
Unity is of mind, purpose & spirit.
Not hip, hip hooray for SDA!!!
Thanks, Frank for the follow up comment.
I better appreciate your viewpoint now.
"Your modesty is only superseded by your secretive manner."
Somehow I missed the “modesty”…I must go back and find it.
Leadership means to be out front not behind and push. Only slave masters are behind with a threat of a whip. Or worse. Ted is playing pin the tail on the donkey. Women sufferage began before Ted was born. The idea of beards was a token of male dominance, childish in the extreme.
I answered your List. Steve.
From the GC executive committee member…
Basically …he said people need to be able to yield up their preconceived opinions
He is one of these institutional diplomatic types who speaks in generalities and won’t go into details.
An elder right after said it was a problem of pride.
Well the GC guy said we all have pride.
So which group has more, the 60% or the 40 % group?
Dodging the issue like usual.
Another indication of inept SDA teaching with ambiguous abstract obscure teaching answers.
SO pathetic I have to rinse out the CULT taste out of my brain.
I have attended non -SDA churches where some pastors are inept &clueless as well, yet when I find a competent non -SDA preacher, he blows away almost all SDA preachers. The SDA are stuck in their institutional -cult trend and it is so childish, self-serving &sicko.
do you think he meant that people who believe in headship have to give up their preconceived opinions…
i’m sort of gathering that he didn’t mean that…
I think likewise…
Agreed, growing up Adventist this was always the response to probing questions and concerns we had on various subjects or writings in the church.
Wasn’t this always spoken by someone who believes that all the answers are known, that pursuit of Present Truth is past, just believe every traditional way of thinking you are asked.
Did that include him needing to give up preconceived ideas?
I know (and have known) lots of people who aren’t prideful. So, no, pride isn’t an issue for all.