Information Drops Out/Adds In

One advantage of a message expansion approach to gospel proclamation is the emphasis on sharing more about who Jesus is, and what makes him so special. 

Any sharing of the gospel should include information from four categories: (1) who Jesus is; (2) who we are; (3) what Jesus did; and (4) what we should do in response. Message efficiency usually involves cutting back on what is shared from each of these categories. For example, most efficiently packaged gospel presentations do not bother to talk about Jesus' exaltation as Lord at the right hand of God, or about his return someday to restore all things, two critical plot points of the overall story. Some don't even bother to mention his resurrection.

Message efficiency also results in sharing precious little information from the first category, who Jesus is. Often people mention that Jesus is God, or the Son of God, and they move on, never actually establishing a more rounded portrait of who he is. I believe this is why so many people who have heard the gospel presented in this way feel comfortable with saying in response: "I'm sure that works for you, but it doesn't work for me!" or "I believe in Jesus; I just don't believe he is the only way to God!" When someone is told a more complete account of who Jesus is in relation to God's overarching plan for the world, any suggestion that there could be another way to God doesn't make sense. Either Jesus is the Seed of the Woman and Savior that God promised to send, or he isn't. There is no third option.

In the end, sharing more of who Jesus is, along with more of what Jesus did, increases the possibility of "appreciative" love for him. Appreciative love is a term coined by C.S. Lewis to describe love that is motivated by what is true of the person being loved, rather than by the eye of the beholder. The point is, the more we know about Jesus and what he did; the more impressed we are deep in our hearts with his worthiness of our faith and devotion. 

 

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NEWSLETTER
Randal Gilmore