From My Editing Work: Neglecting the Gospel

9781631992162This is from the forthcoming book The Incredible Shrinking Gospel by Lee Wyatt. Formatting progress doesn’t allow me to tell you the precise page number.

Oddly, his [Jesus’] ministry as we find it in our canonical gospels suffers considerable neglect in North American churches at present.  Conservative churches tend to find their theological center in a view of Paul and his teaching largely shaped by the issues of the Reformation in the 16th century rather than the 1st century Jewish setting he actually lived in.  Thus they work out their theology in a rather surprising neglect of the gospels.  There is nothing wrong with Paul, of course, understood in his own setting.  But he himself, by his own testimony, builds on the foundation which is Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).  So I believe we ought to return to that (oft neglected) foundation ourselves.

Liberal churches focus more on Jesus but tend to treat him largely as a moral example and inspiration for our own efforts to be faithful Christians in the world.  But surely the Jesus we meet in the gospels is much more than, though certainly not less than, a moral example for us to follow.  This reading misses the fullness and depth of the drama of the Jesus story.  Thus, a rereading of the Jesus story certainly seems in order.

Followed by this comment in chapter 2:

What I am calling “The Incredible Shrinking Gospel,” got that way by virtue of both a “shrunken” biblical story and, in consequence, a truncated theology.  Somewhat Esau-like, we have “despised (our) birthright” (the biblical gospel) in favor of tasty “red stuff” (the incredible shrinking gospel) that promises to slake our immediate hunger but will leave us thirsting to eat again very soon.

This book will be on pre-order on Energion Direct by tomorrow morning and I’ll publish a direct link at that point.

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