Question #5: “What Is The Gospel?” (McLaren’s “A New Kind of Christianity”)

In this series of posts we are taking the questions Brian McLaren addresses in “A New Kind of Christianity” one by one.  The method will be to ask the question, look at how McLaren believes Western Christianity answers the question, how McLaren answers the question himself and lastly how I would answer the question.  In this post, we will address the 5th question McLaren mentions in the book.

The Question:  What is the Gospel?

Western Christianity’s Answer:  Western Christianity’s answer, McLaren believes, would come mostly if not solely from the Book of Romans.  The Gospel according to Western Christianity is justification by grace through faith.  The Gospel according to Western Christianity is about how to escape earth and get to Heaven.  The Gospel is about avoiding Hell.  Ultimately, the Gospel is about me, me, me.

Brian McLaren’s Answer:  Brian McLaren wants to say that the Gospel is about the Kingdom of God coming to earth.  He emphasizes that what Jesus preached and talked about in the Gospels was the Kingdom of God being at hand.  McLaren then goes through the Book of Romans, which has so often been used to propound the “Gospel is about me” mindset, and he shows how he sees the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in it.  McLaren’s interpretation is as follows: Continue reading