Posts Tagged ‘gospel


The Godless Gospel – Part 3

Things and techniques: those are the means of a godless salvation so suggests David Wells (see previous post).  In other words, people are trying to remake themselves, to “regenerate” themselves through what they possess and what they know.

Not long ago I had the chance to upgrade my basic mobile phone to an iPhone.  No suspense here, I did.  But now as I reflect back on that decision in light of what Wells is saying I see vestiges of the godless gospel at work…in me!

On the surface I had “good” reasons to upgrade, but down deeper something else was going on.  The upgrade would move me from the “basic and boring” niche of mobile phones to the “cutting edge”.  By possessing this phone my image would be remade, I would be remade; no longer would I be yesterday’s man.  Moreover, this upgrade would give me tools I did not have.  My phone was now a “smart phone” and I would be smarter because of it.  I would know when my appointments were, I would know people’s contact information, I could GPS them and a boat-load of other things.  Down time would be a thing of the past, now I could surf the web waiting in line, read the news, listen to podcasts, and more.  In my hand would be technology that I could leverage to be more than I ever was.

Do you see the godless gospel at work?  Do you see me trying to assuage my insecurities and failings through things and techniques?

It isn’t going to work.  My soul needs a redeemer, my hurts need a healer, my vices need a deliverer and my life needs a lord.  I am not going to find that is the things I possess or the techniques that I master.  I need a God-based grace filled gospel.  They don’t sell that on-line.


The Godless Gospel – Part 2

“I am looking for help and happiness, just don’t include God in the gospel” is the stance of some that we know. Last post we noted that David Wells argues that for many today salvation is no longer understood in a moral framework but instead in a psychological one.  This has led to four significant shifts.

First, people no longer esteem virtues; personal preferences is what is valued and vaunted.  People don’t talk about the “character” of a person, instead they talk about their personality.  Third, we don’t recognize our shared human nature but rather view life from our individualistic perspective.  And finally the experience of guilt from  violating God’s law has been replaced by private shame for which treatment not confession is necessary.

The gospel that is proclaimed to those that want deliverance without a deliverer is one based on things and techniques.  Without God we are left saving ourselves and our means is through the things that we possess and the things that we know.

Sound bizarre?  Next post I will talk about how the godless gospel showed up in my life.


The Godless Gospel – Part 1

Think of the people that surround you on a regular basis.  Do they not want happiness and security?  Do they not want wholeness and hope?  Do they not want to be delivered from disease and despair?  Do they not want affirmation and significance?

The people that surround me do!  And that which would provide all of that would be considered by them to be good news, it to them would be “gospel”.  However, what they don’t want (or so they think) is a God-based gospel.  Good news yes, God no.

David Wells, argues that when one removes God from the picture, there remains no adequate basis for moral absolutes.  Salvation is no longer understood in a moral framework but instead, he argues, in a psychological framework.  People are not seeking deliverance from sin and its effects, rather they desire to be saved from their inner angst.  Have you seen that?

In the next post of this series we will talk about some key shifts that have accompanied a move from a God-based gospel to a godless one.


And Peter (Mark 16)

This post’s title reflects the words that caught my attention as I worked through Mark 16.

The angel was telling the women that had come to finish the burial rights that the Jewish sabbath had interrupted that Jesus was no longer grave-bound but had risen!  This amazingly good news these very first ‘apostles’ were to tell “the disciples and Peter” (v. 7).

Why did Peter need to be singled out from among the disciples as one that needed to hear the good news that Jesus was alive?  I suspect it is because he, more than the rest, had miserably failed Jesus.  He had boasted, the night of the betrayal, that although the others might abandon Jesus he would not.  Yet he did.  He abandoned and denied that he even knew Jesus.

The good news is that is exactly the kind of failure the risen Jesus can deal with.  Jesus’ death, from an earthly perspective was a sham, but from God’s side it was the love of God fulfilling the requirements of his holy justice.  Deciding to willfully line up behind Jesus as our Lord brings with it forgiveness from sin and empowerment to live life rightly, wholly and eternally.

Have you ever failed Jesus?  Despair not, the good news of Jesus’ resurrection is for you!


This blog is a place to wrestle with loving, leading and labouring according to the Jesus Way.


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