Home > Theological questions > Good news at Christmas

Good news at Christmas

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I love Jesus but I enjoy spending time with Paul, even though I have never  met Paul personally! Jesus, oh yes, we have met personally and do so often!  Of course since Paul points the way to Jesus, I greatly appreciate–value, treasure, even memorize what he has to say!

I don’t remember ever having had a crisis about Jesus versus Paul. Note: I have had many crises unrelated to theological issues! Admittedly, I was more Pauline in my early days as a Christian in a Bible Church and definitely I have become more Jesus centered in the last decade.  I value my friends who have kept me focused on the gospel, the good news about Jesus that Paul so clearly explains in 1 Cor 15.  Staying focused on the gospel helps all of us to remain centered in what is truly the good news!  Kingdom focused–yes!  Justification by faith–yes!  Scott McKnight in a CT article, Jesus vs. Paul summarizes well some tricky theological issues most of us may have missed. Following are two paragraphs towards the end that sum up what he is trying to say:

There is something here that courses through the pages of the Gospels: Jesus and John see themselves as the ones who complete Israel’s story, and their story is the saving story.  This is exactly what Paul said the gospel was. Jesus may have spoken of kingdom, and Paul may have spoken of justification, but underneath both kingdom and justification is Christology: It is the story about Jesus, who is Messiah and Lord and who brings the kingdom and justifies sinners by faith

But if we begin with gospel, and if we understand gospel as Paul does in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, then we will find what unifies Jesus and Paul—that both witness to Jesus as the center of God’s story. The gospel is the core of the Bible, and the gospel is the story of Jesus. Every time we talk about Jesus, we are gospeling. Telling others about Jesus leads to both the kingdom and justification—but only if we begin with Jesus

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