Redeemer Lutheran

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The Gospel of Jesus in Interlochen Michigan

| May 1, 2014

“We Must start with the basic fact that there is no such thing as a pure gospel if by that is meant something which is not embodied in a culture,” ~ The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, Newbigin.

I find this statement initially troubling, What do you mean there is nothing as pure gospel! However after thinking through it the statement really is quite interesting. It is true that in order for any one to come to understand the Gospel it must be translated into their context. People who have no concept of the word Faith will not understand when you tell them that they are saved by Faith.

The challenge with this is two fold. We must not translate the gospel in such a way that the message is lost.

The other challenge is once the Gospel is appropriately contextualized the Christian must yearn to transform their world view from the framework of their society to the framework most in tune with the Gospel. For the Gospel was shared within the context of a society, and one should seek to understand that society better so that the gospel may be understood more fully. This is not to say that the Jewish people were somehow less sinful than other, it is just to say that God did choose the Jewish people to bear his message.

In the same book The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, Newbigin states “When can the missionary say, ‘Mission Accomplished!’ There must be a congregation furnished with the Bible, the sacraments, and the apostolic ministry.” We must always be cognoscente of the things that we do just because this manner is culturally helpful and what is done that is mandatory because it directly keeps the Gospel purely taught.

We at Redeemer are in a cultural context, we have been called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with this community. Part of being faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is sharing that gospel in a way that our neighbors can hear it.

This is what we seek to do at Redeemer, to be a light to this world which is, as Paul puts it in Romans chapter 8, “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” But we know the victory has been won, so we wait with eager anticipation the redemption that is ours. We also work to share with the world the redemption which is theirs through Jesus Christ the Lord!