Tenth Thesis – On The Gospel

(Note my clever re-interpretation of my titling method: I get to change topic and keep my initial count! Some call this the “liberal” interpretation of my titles 🙂

Since the Gospel is the introduction into and foundation of doctrine, we must  understand what it is and what it is not. Obviously this is impossible to do in any comprehensive way without resorting to the scriptures or to doctrine, which it is supposed to be prior to (my head hurts). My operating principle is a new Christian who approaches the Bible with no other knowledge but the “bare bones” of the Gospel. Thus it is safe to assume that this person has heard the Gospel from another Christian.

Recognising the circular nature of the endeavour, we consider the nature of the Gospel.

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One thought on “Tenth Thesis – On The Gospel

  1. Hahahah
    What I love about this is the idea of a Tabula Rasa, truly a joke I have not heard for some time.
    So,
    as Sheady would say, which Bible is your ‘tabula rasa’ christian picking up? A translation, well, that has to go in your schema, as it has doctrinal consideration built into it. They had better learn the original languages.
    But even then, which text, an eclectic one.. oh dear.. that has doctrinal consideration too. Well out the window with it, our poor new christian is going to have to find the autograph herself.

    As for a limited Tabula rasa, gospel and THEN blank slate, this is incredible even, dare I say it here, unscriptural ; ) So the idea is, a person hears the gospel from another christian, AND THEN STOPS TALKING TO OTHER CHRISTIANS ABOUT JESUS? Not only this, but all Christians stop talking to each other about Jesus (hmm perhaps this is a good idea, stop the fighting at least) so that they may be shaped by the pure union of their pure mind with the pure scriptures (again, if they can find them).

    Here are at least some doctrines which are conditioned into your new christian, like it or not
    a Doctrine of God
    a Doctrine of creation (world/universe everything)
    a doctrine of humanity (or at the very least some perception of themselves)
    a doctrine of salvation (assuming that they have a perception of need for positive change into the future and probably project that into their doctrine of God)

    These have to get dealt with, by the community of God’s people, with the scriptures.

    But, if you want to argue this one, and hey, you can if you like, then I’d love to see some consistent, rigourous exegesis of some scripture to make your points. Fact is, you are starting with doctrine to make the point that you have to start with scripture.
    Oh dear, these concerns of prolegomenna and method didn’t really seem to be the main concern of the Bible writers after all, seems they were more concerned with proclaiming the risen and ruling Jesus to those around them.

    (I hope you see the jest in this post, it’s very tongue in cheek)

    Look, I sympathise with where you are going, but I think trying to argue that scripture comes before doctrine isn’t the way to get there. We need more scriptural doctrine, we need to be asking the questions of God and of the world that the Bible writers were asking, Bad doctrine certainly doesn’t displace scripture, yet the Scriptures invite us as the community of the Risen Lord to make some kind of coherent sense, again as a community, of our world, our salvation, our identity, God’s identity, how our minds need to be changed and shaped, in light of scripture. At the very least we are to respond to the actual Jesus who is actually Lord.
    The kind of Hermeneutics which begins with Scripture and ends with us better exegetes misses this Lord

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