The gospel is the declaration that Jesus is Messiah and Lord and that gospel declares that the Story of Jesus completes the Story of Israel in a way that saves. This gospel counters the shallow and superficial gospeling today that reduces the gospel to four simple points and eliminates the confession that Jesus is Messiah and Lord. Contemporary evangelicals have built a "salvation culture" but not a "gospel culture." Evangelicals have reduced the gospel to the message of personal salvation. This book makes a plea for us to recover the old gospel as that which is still new and still fresh. The book stands on four arguments: that the gospel is defined by the apostles in 1 Corinthians 15 as the completion of the Story of Israel in the saving Story of Jesus; that the gospel is found in the Four Gospels; that the gospel was preached by Jesus; and that the sermons in the Book of Acts are the best example of gospeling in the New Testament. In the Beginning was the Gospel ends with practical suggestions about evangelism and about building a gospel culture.
The editors are promising that this book will be somewhat controversial. From the description and what I have read so far, I think it will cause a stir. But I think it will be a good stir that will generate some much needed conversation on about the nature of the Gospel.
In the front of the book Scot makes mention that Ashland Theological is among those to whom this book is dedicated. We invited Scot here in 2009 to be our fall lecture series speaker. Some of what is in this book was developed from those lectures.
I look forward to reading and reviewing this book here in the coming weeks. Many thanks to Zondervan for sending me a copy in advance.