Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Gospel


The book of Romans provides a general outline of the gospel.

The gospel 

1.  Belongs to the One True God.  “the Gospel of God”.  Romans 1:1 – the gospel is first of all, "God's gospel" - the message of the one true creator God, who is a Trinity. Romans 1:1.   This necessitates teaching on the character and attributes of God and what the Bible teaches about God’s nature.  (The doctrine of the Trinity is suggested by Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14 and is fully taught by sound hermeneutics and proper theology of all the relevant passages of Scripture that relate to the issues of the doctrine of the Trinity.)

2.  Secondly, it was promised in the OT Scriptures (Romans 1:2).  The gospel affirms the OT as God-breathed Scripture.  (2 Timothy 3:15)  I would argue that it also means that the NT is God-breathed – the “all” of verse 16 of 2 Timothy 3, expands it to the NT from the OT in verse 15. 2 Timothy 3:15 is about the OT, and 2 Timothy 3:16 is about the NT also; even though a few books were yet to be written at the time that Paul wrote 2 Timothy.  ( 1 Timothy 5:18 shows Paul put the NT on same par as Scripture as the OT; and 2 Peter 3:16 show that Peter affirms all Paul's letters as God-breathed Scripture.)

3.  Thirdly, it includes the teaching of the two natures of Christ. Romans 1:3-4.  That Christ is 100% God and 100% man.  That includes the doctrine of the Virgin Birth.  (Luke 1:26-35; Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 7:14; Hebrews 2:17)

4. The gospel is meant to be preached to all the nations, by the goals of discipleship and church planting.  (Romans 1:5)  The “obedience of faith” includes more than just “professions of faith”, but relational discipleship with the goal of seeing churches planted in their culture, with elders from their particular culture.  (see also Luke 24:46-47; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 14:21-23; Titus 1:5)

   The "for" of Romans 1:18 causes us to see the connection to 1:16-17 and connects the rest of chapter 1 through chapter 5 to the gospel and begins a long explanation of sin, condemnation, God's wrath, the propitiation of the cross (Romans 3:25-26), justification by faith alone (Romans 4), and the substitutionary nature of the atonement.  (Romans 5)

5. The gospel focuses on the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross, His burial and His resurrection ( 1 Cor. 15:1-9; Romans 5).  This includes an explanation of what we are “being saved from” (1 Cor. 15:2) and what sin is.  “Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3) necessitates explanations of the nature of sin. (Mark 7:18-23, Genesis 6:5, Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 5:21-30)

6. Since it is "good news", it presupposes understanding the bad news first, that we are all sinners, guilty, condemned, lost, under the just wrath of God, already on our way to hell (Mark 9:48; Matthew 5:21-30) without Christ, and without hope without Him. (John 3:18; Romans 1:18; Ephesians 2:1-3; John 3:36)  This necessitates teaching on repentance from sin.
(Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:8, Acts 3:19; Acts 26:20; Luke 13:1-5; 2 Cor. 7:7-10) 

7.  The gospel also includes the teachings of salvation by grace alone and justification by faith alone, explicated for us in Romans chapters 1-5, among other passages. (Galatians 2:16; Romans 1:16-17; 3:28; 4:1-16; 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9; John 20:30-31; 3:15-18; Acts 16:31; Acts 13:38-39)

Romans 4:16 shows us that salvation by grace alone necessitates justification by faith alone. 

8.  Preaching the gospel in the context of discipleship, and gathering believers into a local church necessitates teaching on sanctification and the role of the law and the ministry of the Holy Spirit and God's sovereign plan. (Romans chapters 6-8)  This then feeds into questions about God's Sovereignty and the Jewish people (Romans chapters 9-11); and then discipleship continues in teaching about church life and behavior (Romans chapters 12-16.)

38 comments:

Nick said...

Jason Stellman on his Creed Code Cult Blog is actually going through Romans, chapter by chapter, challenging the whole Protestant paradigm on what the Gospel is.

Just letting you know in case you were interested.

Ken said...

Thanks for that reminder. I am still wanting to comment on more stuff from his interview, but life and other apologetic issues (Islam, Word of Faith heresy, homosexuality) are all around us also.

I saw where he has a couple of articles on Romans 4 and Romans 2, but I don't see Romans 1 or 3. Am I missing something?

Granted, I did not look closely; but I hope to as the Lord allows time.

Nick said...

He posted on Ch2, Ch3, and Ch4 (which he's breaking down into 3 separate posts).

JoeyHenry said...

Ken,

Just letting you know that I wrote an article that discusses some specific topics that Jason wrote at Soli Deo Gloria http://thessalonians516.blogspot.com/

Regards,
Joey

Ken said...

Thank you Joey - I have seen your comments (when I have time) in the past at Devin Rose and Nick's web-site/blogs and you have done an excellent job at countering them in the comment boxes.

I have not had time to keep up with all of that massive amounts of material, but of what I have seen, you have been one of the few who has been able to devote a lot of time in interacting and responding to their Roman Catholic claims and exegesis and theology on Sola Fide and Imputation.

Good that you are responding to Jason Stellman also.

I look forward to finding time to read your articles more in depth. Press on brother! (Philippians 3:7-14)

James Swan said...

Nick said...Jason Stellman on his Creed Code Cult Blog is actually going through Romans, chapter by chapter, challenging the whole Protestant paradigm on what the Gospel is. Just letting you know in case you were interested.

I certainly realize that Mr. Stellman is the current prize amongst defenders of Rome, so what he says or does is popular... now. This reminds me of how popular Mrs. Bonds was for time, and then well, like the generation we are, some new person becomes the next big thing.

But here's the disconnect for me: Why should I care what Mr. Stellman says? Why is his view on anything relevant? I can certainly understand why Pope Benedict's statements are worthy of linking to, but I simply don't see the need to read what any of Rome's self-proclaimed defenders thinks what Paul's letter to the Romans means, that would also include you to Nick.

Ken said...

I can certainly understand why Pope Benedict's statements are worthy of linking to, but I simply don't see the need to read what any of Rome's self-proclaimed defenders thinks what Paul's letter to the Romans means, that would also include you to Nick.

James, this is an excellent point - ultimately, the only thing that matters from the Roman Catholic Church (from their own theology of the 1870 Dogma), is what the Pope says, since he is the only Infallible interpreter; all others may have it wrong in some way; we can never know for sure what they mean; or if they (e.g. Jason Stellman, Nick, Devin Rose, Bryan Cross, Scott Hahn, whoever) even the Pope's words have to be interpreted also.

Ken said...

ultimately, the only thing that matters from the Roman Catholic Church (from their own theology of the 1870 Dogma), is what the Pope says, since he is the only Infallible interpreter; all others may have it wrong in some way; we can never know for sure what they mean; or if they (e.g. Jason Stellman, Nick, Devin Rose, Bryan Cross, Scott Hahn, whoever) even interpreted the Pope's words right; even the Pope's words have to be interpreted also.

James Swan said...

ultimately, the only thing that matters from the Roman Catholic Church (from their own theology of the 1870 Dogma), is what the Pope says, since he is the only Infallible interpreter; all others may have it wrong in some way; we can never know for sure what they mean; or if they (e.g. Jason Stellman, Nick, Devin Rose, Bryan Cross, Scott Hahn, whoever) even interpreted the Pope's words right; even the Pope's words have to be interpreted also.

Indeed. They all seem though to be oblivious to this. It's the theology of glory in its... glory.

Nick said...

I'll just say that there is no Protestant equivalent to Called To Communion, and that is very telling in my book.

Where is the stream of well educated Catholics converting to confessional Protestantism? I know of none. But I do know of a stream of well educated Protestants converting to Catholicism.

Ken said...

"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom . . . "
Jeremiah 9:23-24

"God has chosen the foolish things of this world to shame the wise"
see I Corinthians 1:18-31

Ken said...

"See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." Colossians 2:8

In Roman Catholic theology and apologetics
1. Philosophy is put above and over Scripture and the careful exegesis of Scripture; and
2. traditions of men (which are all the traditions that Protestants object to that RCC emphasizes - they were not part of original deposit) are also emphasized

"according to the elementary principles of this world" - this Greek phrase is also used in Galatians 4. Galatians was legalism - adding circumcision and obedience to the law as conditions for justification - same thing RCC does.

Colossians 2:16-23 - elementary principles is asceticism and proto-Gnosticism- another problem that the RCC has added to its tradition and history. Mary piety grew up by adding asceticism and Gnostic sources for perpetual virginity and exalting Mary too much.

James Swan said...

I'll just say that there is no Protestant equivalent to Called To Communion, and that is very telling in my book. Where is the stream of well educated Catholics converting to confessional Protestantism? I know of none. But I do know of a stream of well educated Protestants converting to Catholicism.

If a group of smart Romanists become Protestant, this doesn't make Protestantism more credible.

Sometimes both well-educated Protestants and Romanists become Atheists. Well-educated people convert to all sorts of things. "Smart Conversion" isn't a standard of truth. I don't even think it's a Romanist standard (I know of no dogmatic Romanist statement that says Rome is true because smart apostate Protestants become Romanists).

On the other hand, while this little diversion is clever, it still doesn't explain why I should care what an alleged well-educated apostate Protestant who is a recent Roman convert thinks the book of Romans is about.

Rooney said...

Many well educated people from the post Vatican II RCC also go into Sedevacantism, SSPX etc. They are fond of calling post Vatican II RCC as a "cult"/"sect".

I would definitely choose Sedeville over Post-VaticanII-ville. How could anyone even tolerate the new mass when they see the beauty of the traditional mass?
The post Vatican popes look deeply compromised compared with the "on fire" popes who infallibly declare that people of other religions will no doubt enter the fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels. Just think if Pope Benedict 14th went into a time machine and found JP2 being ecumenical.....

Off topic, but conversion statistics are not too useful at all, though atheists love using it on us.

Nick said...

My point wasn't that being well-educated makes someone correct. I only mentioned well-educated because often times people convert for the wrong reasons, without having studied the issues to see which side offers the better arguments.

On the level of apologetics, there is no online Protestant ministry that is the equivalent of Called To Communion. This is more than just being 'smart', it's about which side has the better arguments. You cannot just downplay the role of solid apologetics when it comes to conversions.

The truth is, the 'top' Protestant apologetics ministries like CARM and AOmin are in serious decline because they cannot match the good Catholic blogs.

Ken said...

Called to Communion is very educated in Latin words and philosophical jargon and spouting rhetoric terminology and formal logic terminology, and puts their ability to spout all that out and tie up the refutations over clear Scripture and argumentation that does not require Latin and rhetoric jargon. They are like lawyers and insurance salesman in that sense, in my opinion.

It is a very overboard head-knowledge emphasis to people who don't have all that education.

It is not convincing to either true believers who are also smart, but don't have that much education in Latin, philosophy, and rhetoric, and church history, and it is not convincing to true believers who admit that they are not smart, and don't have all that education.

They also don't allow comments when they deem them "off topic". They carefully control what comes through. (They have the right to do that; but just pointing that out. They always deem the Mary stuff "off target" when discussing apostolic succession, the canon, and Sola Scriptura, and other Papal issues.)

When a Protestant mentions the other issues that are all part of the unity of the "traditions of man" that Romanism has added, they cry foul. The key to their strategy is to focus on only one "tradition" at a time, atomizing it; then adding lots of Latin and rhetorical terminology; and not allowing discussion of all "the traditions of man" at one time. They get really upset when someone mentions the Marian dogmas and piety in discussions over authority or the canon or Sola Scriptura. the reason they get upset or don't allow those comments, is because by keeping the clearer "traditions of man" (1854, 1870; 1950) out of the argument, they are able to deceive people into submission to the Pope first, by not focusing on 1870, but by the combination of canon and apostolic succession and church authority; then they are seduced by the "Dark Side of the Force" to "going along with the Marian dogmas and piety".

Those former protestants allowed themselves to get sucked in by in that strategy and then later, they were forced to accept the Marian and Papal dogmas, because they got seduced by the "Dark side of the force" by their superior wisdom and education in Latin and rhetoric and quoting church fathers; by atomizing certain arguments against Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura, and canon arguments and apostolic succession or baptismal regeneration or the eucharist or the argument that "church history has to make philosophical sense (to them) under an infallible interpreter".

Nick said...

I disagree that Called to Communion uses a lot of Latin and technical jargon instead of simple Scriptural arguments. That said, many issues require us to go into the realm of systematic theology, where you cannot simply retreat back and play the ignorance card.

Ken said...

I disagree completely - their level of simple Scriptural arguments is almost zero. They are much more dependent on church history, historical theology, Roman Catholic presuppositions (reading 1870 back into Scripture and the early church, Latin, rhetoric and formal logic terms, etc. All of that stuff overpowers any simple exegesis or systematic theology. Their systematic theology is not very good, because it is dependent on the other stuff listed above.

Mostly what Bryan Cross and others - they overpower with philosophy, Latin, and technical jargon, church history, man made traditions that have added in - almost no sound exegesis of Scripture.

We have no problem with Biblical texts, sound exegesis, and systematic theology - that is not their strong point at all.

James Swan said...

On the level of apologetics, there is no online Protestant ministry that is the equivalent of Called To Communion. This is more than just being 'smart', it's about which side has the better arguments. You cannot just downplay the role of solid apologetics when it comes to conversions. The truth is, the 'top' Protestant apologetics ministries like CARM and AOmin are in serious decline because they cannot match the good Catholic blogs.

1) That's strike 2: you've yet to provide an explanation as to why I should care what either you or Mr. Stellman thinks the book of Romans means.

2)I don't consider CARM a "top" Protestant apologetics ministry, particularly in regard to Romanism.

3) As to CTC specifically- the truth is I don't read their stuff very often, simply because my area of interest concerns historical inquiries into the Reformation period, with an emphasis on Luther studies. There has been, as far as I've seen on CTC, very little posted in this area, particularly Luther-related issues.Every so often Calvin comes up.

4) CTC is still not "up to speed" in my book. How many live public debates do they do? Sure, Mr. Cross I think has done some things with Horton... but until they get in the ring with Dr. White, they're still just a bunch of guys with a website of no real significance. In this sense, I have a lot more respect for guys like Sungenis, Staples, Pacwa, Madrid, Etc. These are guys who are willing to actually engage in meaningful and telling interactions with the views they oppose.

Rooney said...

Are there any good debates/refutations CTC do on Islam, Atheism, Bart Ehrman etc? Or are they just a typical bunch of anti-Protestants? I searched up the term "atheism" and many of those search result articles were still quite anti-Protestant. I dont see them matching CARM or Aomin in terms of defending Christianity.

I would be happy if CTC took on some muslim/atheist blogs, like the blog [debunkingchristianity]. Its filled with hate and mockery for the faith.

If John Loftus or Bart Ehrman showed up on CTC and gets past the Father Barron level of apologetics and get really technical, there might be bombastic comments and a lot of blood......[dont get me wrong, I would support the Christian side in that situation].

CARM at least can handle the militant forms of atheism, unlike CAF, which banned atheism topics.

Nick in his blog believes "we may be living in the final decade or so of intellectual Protestantism".

So looks like by 2030, Protestant apologetics would be almost dead, being utterly demolished by Roman apologetics?

This is a very bold assertion. Any thoughts on that?

Nick said...

Ken,

I know CtC has articles refuting Sola Fide by principally appealing to Scriptural texts. I would hope we agree that appealing to a few good texts with exegesis is superior to quoting a ton of texts without any exegesis.

James,

Live debates are not the be-all of apologetics. Apologetics is about making the better argument (either to defend or refute a doctrine), regardless of what form it's delivered, be it book, blog, youtube, or live. I'm a lot less concerned about whether someone has debated live than whether they can make good arguments. Politicians debate live all the time and they love it because it's all about who presents themselves better, not necessarily who presents the better argument. Dr Cross has not hesitated to critique the best Reformed theologian's writings, including interacting in long comment box exchanges with them. White doesn't have a comment box, which has always puzzled me since he should not be afraid of opposing views. CtC allows lots of opposing views to voice their claims.

Rhology,

I said those things because I don't see Protestant blogs (including this one) interacting with the best arguments Catholicism has to offer. If this blog is focused mostly on Luther, that's fine, but I'd hope some popular Protestant blog or theologian living today would interact with issues like Logizomai. Instead, the approach seems to be to ignore Logizomai until people forget about it, but Protestant seekers are seeing through that dodge and are not going for it anymore. I am convinced that once White or any other big name Reformed comes public on Logizomai, the countdown will begin on their conversion. Until then, they're effectively hiding the Scriptures from the common man, just as Catholics were accused of doing in the middle ages.

I don't say this lightly. I have done the research. I can see just how crucial it is to hide the Biblical term Logizomai from the people. While the experts can beat almost any other Greek word to death, they universally acknowledge that Logizomai is taboo.

JoeyHenry said...

Nick,

I've dealt with logizomai and it's relationship with the theological concept of imputation at Soli Deo Gloria (http://thessalonians516.blogspot.com/). I would like to advise you that ad hominem arguments such as protestants are hiding scriptures does not help your case but merely show weaknesses to your arguments.

Regards,
Joey

Ken said...

Thanks Joey !!
Yes, you beat me to it -

Nick,
Joey has done a good job of refuting your article (s); it is just that I have not had time to get to thinking more about it and writing on it.

I hope to someday also write on it; and Joey's articles are really good for getting started on the issue.

Ken T.

James Swan said...

Nick that's strike three.

Nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick said...

Update, I just now noticed that Joey has finally made a post on Logizomai (after 6 posts of not really addressing it), I will take a look at what he has to say.

James Swan said...

Nick said...
Update, I just now noticed that Joey has finally made a post on Logizomai (after 6 posts of not really addressing it), I will take a look at what he has to say.


And once again, I have one simple question: why should anyone care what you think about Logizomai?

Nick said...

Because it is an important word for the NT's teaching on soteriology, as important as dikaioo.

To say that's not important is to suggest God wasn't concerned about what words were used when inspiring the human author.

JoeyHenry said...

Nick,

You keep saying that the articles didn't address it after six post which is not true and the readers know it. Theological concepts and the semantic range of logizomai are not the same which is not addressed in your argument and which should be pointed out.

Regards,
Joey


James Swan said...

Nick said...Because it is an important word for the NT's teaching on soteriology, as important as dikaioo. To say that's not important is to suggest God wasn't concerned about what words were used when inspiring the human author.

That's not what I'm asking. Once again: why should anyone care what YOU (or any other Internet layman apologist for that matter) think about Logizomai?

Nick said...

If you think a rational argument can be made one way or the other on logizomia, then you should care what I say in so far as it's an area of soteriology that I think anyone involved in apologetics should know about.

I live by this quote from Pope Leo XIII:
"Most desirable is it, and most essential, that the whole teaching of Theology should be pervaded and animated by the use of the divine Word of God. This is what the Fathers and the greatest theologians of all ages have desired and reduced to practice. It was chiefly out of the Sacred Writings that they endeavoured to proclaim and establish the Articles of Faith and the truths therewith connected, and it was in them, together with divine Tradition, that they found the refutation of heretical error, and the reasonableness, the true meaning, and the mutual relation of the truths of Catholicism."

Ken said...

I appreciate the point that James is making about the RCC authority structure and that no one can know what the official infallible opinion is and no layperson can ever get it right; since no Romanist layperson is infallible, and even the Pope has only made from 2 to 8 to 16 infallible statements in all of history. (different opinions according to different Romanists)

So, in that sense, we shouldn't care what Nick says, because he is not the one speaking for the RCC and he could get it wrong.

But I also appreciate Joey Henry's articles also - they are good. Wish I had more time to deal with all the issues and my own work and responsibilities also.

James Swan said...

Ken, feel free to make a blog post linking to Joey's entries.

My questions to Nick are epistemological, which is probably why he shuts down.

Addendum: I'm still amazed that Stellman has been a Romanist for such a short time, and we're all supposed to run off and visit his blog to see how he interprets the Bible. This sort of thing happened with Francis Beckwith as well.

Where's the wisdom with this on behalf of Romanism? Who's running the Rome show? If a new "well-educated" person who recently left Romanism came to my church, we WOULD NOT let him in the pulpit or teach adult Sunday school. We also wouldn't run off to his blog to see what nuggets of wisdom he may (or may not be) mining out of the Scriptures.

Ken said...

Here is Joey Henry's link. He gave it above.
http://thessalonians516.blogspot.com/

I still need to learn how to make it into a link. I can do it inside the software for writing articles, cause it does it for me, but never learned the actual things to type, like for italics and bold and blockquote.


Ken said...

I want to write a blog article on it when I get time; no time right now for a few days.

James Swan said...

I still need to learn how to make it into a link.

Yeah, the code is a little tricky. What you can do is make the link in a blog entry, and the go into html mode, and cut (or copy) and paste the code into your blog comment.I do that sometimes.

JoeyHenry said...

Ken, James,

Thank you for linking the article I wrote regarding logizomai and Romans 4 in particular. Just want yo let you know that over Jason's blog discussing the Phinehas account, he chose to not respond for now on the rebuttals offered on his views. He is worried that "miss his arguments" and that he might be "writing with invisible e-ink or something." I'll let the readers decide about that.

God bless ,
Joey

James Swan said...

"he chose to not respond for now on the rebuttals offered on his views."

Interesting!