Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The other day a friend and I were discussing the rising tide of “gospel-centrality” among evangelicals. More and more voices are telling us that the gospel is not something we move on from in order to grow as Christians; instead, it should always remain the throbbing center of our lives and churches.And now I just want to scream, "WHY DO WE CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THE WORD 'GOSPEL'!?!?!?" "Deeper" or "away from" depending only on how we define the word "gospel."
But, my friend asked me, what about Hebrews 6:1-2? “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.”
In other words, the author of Hebrews doesn’t move on from the gospel; he moves deeper into the gospel. He doesn’t leave the gospel behind, but instead claws his way into more and more of its riches.
So then, at least for the author of Hebrews, leaving behind elementary teachings doesn’t mean leaving behind the gospel. Instead, it means diving into the deep end instead of splashing around in the shallows.
The point of the author of Hebrews is that the salvation experience is merely the beginning of the Christian journey - not its entirety. I don;t care what words you put around it - that's what he is driving at.
And you know what I think - I think that spending time arguing the semantics around that idea is a way of avoiding the idea itself. "Oh no - I can't move on to that - I still have to figure this out!"
Hogwash - lay down and Jesus feet and get busy.