Is this the good news of the gospel?


why does this video give me the creeps? It’s just explaining the gospel…

Is it the matter-of-factly stating of strange statements like ‘holy just means perfect’, that are not very accurate nor make much sense theologically?

Is it beacuse God seems everything but loving and omnipotent in this presentation (He can’t even forgive the smallest sin) and just a puppet of something called ‘justice’ that does not seem very just nor consistent with the bible?

Is it the popular semi-gnostic dualism (‘your soul is the real you’ and goes to a disembodies ‘heaven’ after this life) combined with the gnostic idea of ‘only knowledge (of the cross in this case) will save you’?

Is it because framing the whole problem of sin and it’s solution as a legal problem is missing a lot of dimensions of the story? And how do paper that give you ‘a perfect record’ make you perfect enough to not spoil heaven with your imperfectness? sounds more like cheating with administrative paperwork to me.

why is the resurrection reduced to just a sign that ‘Jesus is God’? Is good friday the most important christian holiday or easter?

I do believe in a loving God, in justice that does set things right and does not just punish all of us by default. I believe in a God who’s able to forgive sins.  I believe  that God will one day erase all evil and will be ‘all in all’ and that “God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” (C.S. Lewis)

What do you people think of this video? Am I exaggerating?

(yes, I do agree that we have to turn from evil and surrender to Jesus by the way)

Bram

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28 responses to “Is this the good news of the gospel?

  1. Hi Bram,

    I agree with your sentiments. This message sounds like good news for man (we’re of the hook) but bad news for God (He’s seems to be a frustrated book keeper).

    Some scribblings I made:
    I stole a pencil. Now I am filled with fear of hell.
    Do we exchange a record with Jesus?
    Say sorry to Jesus? Where does Jesus say: Say sorry to me?
    Our book of life has someone else’s story (Jesus’) in it? Do we really believe that?
    Angry God writes a whole library about how bad we are. Then Good God Jesus tears the pages out.
    Then God says about us: “This person was perfect”. Doesn’t that make God into a liar?
    I do agree with the end. We have to turn from our wrong ways and surrender to Jesus. But surrendering is a whole other story than what’s depicted in this video.

  2. I tried really, really hard to watch the video…but I couldn’t make it past the first minute and half…. It was just too horrible.

    The whole “you have a body and a soul; the soul is the real you” was enough to get my blood boiling!! GRRRRRR!!! Where do people get that stuff?! Did they READ the Bible? Hello?! It says that we are going to be resurrected with a REAL PHYSICAL body! (abet, the definition of ‘physical’ will be slightly different then it is today).

    sigh…

    • It’s a whole 10 minutes long… I watched it. Maybe I shouldn’t have, it’s frustrating indeed. I really don’t know if anyone is still interested n Christ after the video.

      Reading the bible? They did read some books that explained the bible for them, and thought they knew what the bible says… Ironically they put their tradition over the bible in doing that.

  3. I would add ‘perfect just means whole’ . That was the meaning of the word when the Bible was translated into English and they chose the word ‘perfect’, was WHOLE. Over the centuries the word perfect changed in meaning to mean something more like absolutely without fault. Holy means whole too.

  4. I’ve always heard that the word ‘holy’ meant ‘set apart’, ‘special’, or ‘different then everything else.’

    In that view, God’s call for His people to be ‘holy’ would mean to be a people set apart for Him, different then the rest of the world in their actions and makeup.

    This would allow for people who are ‘set apart’ for God to still make mistakes as they are in the process of being make whole.

  5. Well….it doesn’t mean that. I was told that ‘metanoia’ (usually translated as repentance) meant ‘turning around’ but it doesn’t; it means ‘to enter the greater or great mind’. Church’s make up a lot of things – you can’t trust them.

    • Ironically your comment means that I can’t trust your definition either. =P (said in good jest with no malice, btw)

      sigh…this is the problem with words and cultures. You are never quite sure what they mean or what they used to mean or what they mean today…craziness. =/

      I guess I’m off to the dictionary(s) to try to discover what ‘holy’ means. =D

    • Tiggy,

      I’m no expert on NT greek, but μετάνοια (strongs 3341) , litterally ‘after-thought’ is translated as ‘change of mind’ or mostly ‘repentance’, and indeed not as turning around, but I don’t find anything about entering a greater mind’ either. Where do you get that information?

  6. How do you get ‘after thought’ from meta noia? Meta means ‘big’ or ‘great’ and Noia means ‘mind’. It is related to the word gnosis. I get the information from scholars of the Greek of that time. I have no particular theological axe to grind; just an interest in language and the meanings of words.

    • Meta in greek is just a preposition meaning something like ‘behind, after, or beyond), as a prefix the equivalent of ‘post-‘, or ‘ad-‘ in latin; a the other meanings are from much later (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta) I remember this from the one year I had greek in secondary school. The use of ‘meta’ for a greater abstraction beyond (as in metanarrative) is a post-classical development.

      • Er….’afterthought’ sounds like a rather unimportant thing. I’m not sure God wants us to have an afterthought. At least in English it has that suggestion. If someone were invited to a dinner party just as an afterthought then they wouldn’t feel their presence there was of much importance to the host.

        Maybe they got ‘great(er)’ from ‘beyond’.

  7. and ‘after thought’ is just from the biblical dictionary, the litteral meaning.

  8. Sigh … any presentation of the gospel that does not present God as loving (and always loving) his creation, that is, does not present God as He revealed himself in Christ Jesus, does not present the gospel.

  9. I think people in the past had a different idea of what ‘loving’ meant. They thought it could also incluse beating the shit out of someone, so if you loved you child you would beat them severely to make sure they learned how to behave. I think the model of God consigning people to eternal or even temporary torment is based partly on that. God loves people so much that he will not allow injustice so he promises future torment so as to deter you from misbehaving.

  10. Hi,
    For those who master the Dutch language. Here’s my Catholic response to the video and the message.

    blessings!
    Rob

  11. Maybe Bram can give a summarised translation of the above.

  12. I don’t have the time to translate that article. You can use google translate and read it in english that would make Yoda blush…

    (And the site is called someting like (becoming catholic, if you aren’t already’, so be warned, it might be kind of evangelistic, like in trying to get us wandering protestants back ‘home’ to the RCC…)

    Very interesting article though, Rob!

  13. Wow, horrific explanation of the Gospel. Honestly, I think Christians have misunderstood something fundamental about what the Gospel is if they have to give people Bad News for 5 minutes before explaning Good News. Don’t most people already know the bad? Isn’t evil all around us?

    Jesus used the Law and Hell to confront and discomfort the religious (called Pharisees then, today they are called Conservative Christians), while his strategy with most of the non-pious seemed to be… Loving, healing, setting free and hanging out. That’s how I try to evangelize. I hope more parts of the Church will join.

    Anyways, nice blog! I saw you reply to my friend NicholasMyra on Rachel’s blog the other day. See my blog and you might see there’s some likeness to our concerns 🙂

    • “I think Christians have misunderstood something fundamental about what the Gospel is if they have to give people Bad News for 5 minutes before explaning Good News.” Now that’s a good quote… I think that there indeed is such a problem in our evangelical evangelising. there is evil, destruction and sin all around and in all of us, can’t we just point to that, instead of making this world irrelevant and God something to be even more scared of…

      But I suppose that’s the outcome of our protestant tendence to reduce the atonement to a legal transaction to solve a legal problem…

      I liked the TURNIP-acronym Nicholas/Myra posted on Rachels blog, even though I don’t think it sums up the theology of Arminius, it shows again that Non-Calvinism is much more in line with classical Christianity…

  14. Well, that was the most heretical thing I’ve seen all week…

    • Better watch the video in my post ‘a truly orthodox view of salvation’ then. I think you’ll appreciate it a lot better… (I do too, even if I’m not at all Eastern-orthodox, their view of salvation just makes a lot more sense than pop-evangelicalism!)

  15. Bram, you read my book so you know how I feel about this video. Ugh.

  16. This is perfectly Pagan! Horrible!

  17. Calvinist dribble….

  18. Being a Calvinist, I am curious how this is considered “Calvinist dribble.” I find that the reason the video bothers me is it is focused on how we have offended God (therefore putting one on the defensive from the beginning) rather than focusing on the beauty of God (therefore attracting us to the most beautiful thing in the universe.)

    I agree with the video that we are not saved by a mere confession or being dunked, but I disagree that our mere willingness or surrender is what saves us. One can surrender without liking it. One can feign willingness. It is the heart that is changed by this message that validates salvation.

    • As if a changed heart is easy to detect as a clear validation for “true” salvation.

      We are saved through baptism because this act of faith and objective means of salvation brings us into the realm of God’s incarnated gifts of salvation so we will be saved in the end after our faith has been tested through the hardships of life. (1 Peter 1)

  19. I believe baptism is important, and would cite the same Scripture you do. However, being baptized without a changed heart in meaningless (1 Peter 3:21 “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.”)

    As for detecting a changed heart, consider Zacchaeus. When he pledged to give away half his possessions and return 4 times the amount if he cheated anyone (Luke 19), Jesus responded “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

    It is not our job to judge if a heart is changed or not. If you are concerned about the validation of your salvation, read 2 Peter 1:3-11.

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