Sunday 9 May 2010

John Webster on the Gospel (again)

Having earlier referred (here) to a dictionary entry on the ‘gospel’ by John Webster, I recently came across a longer essay by him…

John Webster, ‘What is the Gospel?’, in Timothy Bradshaw (ed.), Grace and Truth in the Secular Age (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 109-18.

Here is his summary:

‘The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ, who is its sum and substance. In Jesus, God intervenes in human history, putting an end to the disorder of sin and reconciling all things to himself. The gospel is good news because it is God’s action in disorienting goodness. It is good news because it is God’s act of eschatological deliverance. And it is good news because in its particularity it is comprehensively true and meaningful. The church is what it is because of the gospel. The church is assembly around the gospel, a spiritual event and not only a structure of human society. As assembly around the gospel, the church’s most characteristic activities are praise, prayer, hearing the Word of God, celebrating the sacraments, proclamation and service. The church’s vocation is to hear, and then live and proclaim, this good news.’

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