Kevin DeYoung (coauthor of Why We’re Not Emergent and Why We Love the Church, both highly recommended) has a great post today: The Gospel Old and New. He outlines the typical presentation of what he calls the New Gospel (my summary):
- Start with an apology for how terrible all [other] Christians are.
- Appeal to “God as love,” with no reference to his wrath.
- Give an invitation to “join God’s mission,” defined as working for peace and justice on earth.
- Close with a “studied ambivalence” on eternity: Is there a hell? Who am I to say? But let’s work for the here and now.
This is no small issue. And it is not just a matter of emphasis. The New Gospel will not sustain the church. It cannot change the heart. And it does not save.