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Gospel in sound bites


Why is the sound bite gospel so popular? John over at Jesus the Radical Preacher exposes the absurdity of trying to summarize the gospel in four easy steps.

I am stunned that some Christians still defend a sound bite gospel. You know, the 4 steps, the “bridge over troubled waters” packaged presentation. The wondrous, thunderous, mind-boggling, heart-stopping gospel of the Bible and of Jesus himself is horribly reduced to bumper sticker phrases.

With what other literature or great story do we do this? None to my knowledge. Imagine the classic story (and movie) of Ben Hur reduced to…

  • Ben Hur accidently killed a Roman soldier.
  • Ben Hur was a galley-slave.
  • Ben Hur drove in a big chariot race and won.
  • Ben Hur met Jesus at the Cross when his mother and sister were healed.

Wow. I really know the story now. Do YOU believe in Ben Hur?

Read his whole post. He concludes with the following.

You say, “John, this is so silly.” I agree. But the question remains: Why do we do this with ” the greatest story ever told” and act like we’re doing something noble, even holy? It actually is stupifying. The sweeping, rumbling Bible saga and the Spirit-energized, Jesus-intense Gospels get miniaturized to…

  • God loves you.
  • You are a sinner.
  • Jesus died for you.
  • Believe in Jesus now.

Wow. Do YOU believe in Jesus? If so, you get to go to heaven when you die.

A bumper sticker gospel creates sound bite believers who parrot things rather than live into the sweeping Story of God’s amazing, amazing grace.

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