Guest / Limited Access /

In the Christian Vision Project's third and final year, we turn our attention to another "big question." It's the simplest yet perhaps the most important question we've asked: Is our gospel too small? This question prompts reflection on the gospel itself: Are our fiercest critics right, that the Christian gospel is narrow and exclusionary? It also prompts us to ask: Do our techniques for spreading the gospel tend to make it narrower than it really is?

In his recent book, The Dangerous Act of Worship, Mark Labberton asks whether our worship has become too small—whether it has become disconnected from God's great passion for justice and righteousness. Members of his church, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, California, rub shoulders every day with a culture that often considers the Christian gospel to be not so much threatening as simply irrelevant. In this opening response to our "big question," Labberton asks a question of his own, and we expect it's the beginning of a year of lively conversation about just how good our Good News really is.

Why does the gospel look to so many like a bowl of lima beans?

For those who find the grace and truth of Jesus Christ convincing and compelling, such a question may seem absurd, if not blasphemous. But compared to the spiciness of the cultural concoctions that swirl around us in our globalized world, Jesus can seem like bland fare. Many have the impression that the gospel is small, smooth, and tasteless. They have a culturally conditioned disdain for any homogeneous answer to a heterogeneous world. And they have seen too little evidence to the contrary.

How could it be, some believers might balk, that "the hope of the world," the One given "the name above every name," could ever ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedMark Labberton: This Is the Best of Times for Following Jesus
Mark Labberton: This Is the Best of Times for Following Jesus
The Fuller Seminary president sees the church’s moment of cultural exile as a moment of incredible opportunity.
TrendingHow a French Atheist Becomes a Theologian
How a French Atheist Becomes a Theologian
Inside my own revolution.
Editor's PickForming a Society Worthy of Humans
Forming a Society Worthy of Humans
Robert Sirico says that in order to get economics right, we must first understand what it means to be human.
Comments
Christianity Today
The Lima Bean Gospel
hide thisJanuary January

In the Magazine

January 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.