Monday, January 11, 2021

It's about the whole person!

It therefore becomes clear that we cannot with impunity “spiritualize” Jesus’s message to make it only internal, about people’s inner attitudes or states of being. Rather, Jesus is addressing the entire complex situation of his hearers, which includes both their inner bondage (which is why he called people to repent) and their oppressive external situation. So when Jesus claims that he has come to announce “good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18), or when he says in the Sermon on the Plain, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20), we need to take seriously that he literally meant to include those who were economically impoverished and politically marginalized in first—century Israel.—J. Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth, 260–61

<idle musing>
Sounds an aweful lot like social gospel, doesn't it? Might be because Jesus didn't just teach a "spriritual" gospel of go to heaven when you die but do what you want now version that is popular in the US. His was a whole-orbed gospel that includes the whole person. Systemic evil and individual evil. Wesley had it right, as does the Salvation Army, to name just a couple. The Gospel Coalition people miss it by keeping it cerebral and individual.

That's the final excerpt from this book. Tomorrow I'll start a new one, well actually an old one that I recently picked up at a thrift store. It's a bit off the normal for me to excerpt, but I think (hope?) you'll enjoy it. I am.
</idle musing>

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