Christianity Today published a detailed and theologically focused statement, "The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration," last year (CT, June 14, 1999, p. 51). While not everyone agreed with the statement's particulars, many hailed it as a theological landmark, and it has gained many hundreds of signatories from a variety of evangelical streams.
Everyone agreed that the statement's length could be daunting for many laypeople. How can Christians explain the gospel in short form? Many common evangelism materials try, but often without theological precision. Most evangelicals can lead someone to Christ, says CT senior editor Kent Hughes, but very few can state the gospel succinctly.
We invited thought leaders from across the evangelical spectrum (Anabaptist, Baptist, Church of God, dispensational, Wesleyan, Presbyterian, historic black church; church and parachurch) to write 250- to 300-word statements. The responses reflect both the Bible and the authors' individual callings (some are evangelists, some are scholars, some are both). Nearly all said it was a tremendous challenge.
We hope you benefit from reading these shorter, sharper statements of the gospel. And we'd like you to try it yourself. How comprehensive can you be in a short space? Send your thoughts to Gospel Summaries, Christianity Today, 465 Gundersen Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration" appears online today. It also appeared in our June 14, 1999 issue with an introduction by David Neff, executive editor of Christianity Today.
See also today's interview with Timothy George about The Gospel Statement: how it came about, what it means.
For the church's historical creeds, confessions, and catechisms, see Crosswalk.com's area on the subject.
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