Thursday, November 4, 2010

Garrett East on the Timefulness of the Gospel

From Garrett's post:
The word "timeless" is often used to describe the gospel. For a while now, that has struck me as very peculiar language with which to describe the gospel. The gospel is certainly not timeless. It is an announcement of a very specific event at a very specific time. It tells the story about a 1st century man from Nazareth who was crucified by the Roman Empire. The gospel is an event in time.

Nevertheless, I think most people are aware of this at some level. When people use the language of "timeless" to describe the gospel, I think what they are trying to say is that the gospel endures. It has a word to speak into every context, every place, every language, every time. The gospel, the announcement of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is a message that has endured from the 1st century to the present and it is a message that will endure forever and ever.

I have been thinking about this lately because I think we need to get this straight in our discourse about the gospel. Basically, I think we need clarity here. We need to be clear that the message we preach is not timeless, not ethereal, not general, not abstract, but time-bound, historical, concrete, specific, and enduring.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really important point I think, and well said. In my Barth studies lately I've been thinking a lot about this problem: Conflating 'eternal' with atemporality rather than recognizing the risen Christ's 'full possession of all modes of time' lends itself to abstraction of ethics into 'timeless truths' rather than obedience to a personal God.