Sunday, October 30, 2011

Charles Colson on the Good News

Charles Colson on Ordinary Radical? You betcha! An excerpt from the Q Ideas blog ( as Gabe Lyons, author of "The Next Christians" and "UnChristian", interviews Colson. 

Gabe Lyons: Don't you think it really comes down to what a person's view of the gospel is or what the Good News really was about when Jesus came? I'd love for you to just share kind of how you would define what was the Good News—what is it that Jesus is announcing as He is on this earth about the Kingdom and what's to come.

Charles Colson: Well as an evangelical, the Good News is 1 Corinthians Chapter 15. The Good News is that Christ died on the cross for our sins and that we can be redeemed. That's the narrow definition that evangelicals embrace. I think we're wrong in that. I think we're too limited. What He did, particularly if you read His first words in Mark, the first 27 words He spoke in Mark were announcing the Kingdom. He said that the Kingdom of God has broken through history and that you will be seeing in My life, I believe Jesus was saying, a picture of the Kingdom yet to come.

And then in Acts 4, you see this incredible story of the community of believers coming together. No one was in need because they were sharing their wealth and they were praying and they were studying the Bible. They created a community that absolutely dazzled the world at the time of Jesus or after Jesus.

I'm one of those who believe that, while the Gospel most accurately defines the Good News as salvation, it actually goes beyond that. Catholics take it beyond it. Evangelicalism says that, "The defense of human life is a part of the gospel because man is created in the image of God." I think they got a pretty good point, to be honest with you.
I also think that when we think about Jesus ushering in a Kingdom as we pray—thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven—I think you see that the Gospel is a much broader context.
The Gospel cannot be a private transaction. It can’t just be Jesus and me. God didn't come, break through history, break through time and space, come in the person of a babe, the incarnation and then the whole salvation account. He didn't come just so you could come to Him and say, "Oh, I accept Jesus and now I can live happily ever after." That's not why He came. He came to turn the world upside down, which is why Jesus became such a radical.
I think we’ve missed that whole point, I believe. I think that's one of the reasons, Gabe, I lean on you to tell me what's going on with the younger evangelicals. I think that's one of the reasons that younger evangelicals think that the Gospel is just dried, dusty doctrine. If it is just salvation then I can go home and live happily ever after. Younger people are saying, "I want something more than that" right? Well if you see the Gospel in its fullness, it's a whole lot more. It's the most exciting radical revolutionary story ever told.

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