One of the features of the modern world was "reductionism": the belief that complex things can always be reduced to simpler or more fundamental things. To reduce something is to take it out of context and to take it apart. Church leaders have become experts at reductionism. Ministries that are successful in one context are reduced to "models" that we try to duplicate in other contexts. Sometimes such reductionism is effective. But when we use reductionism indiscriminately, we end up in a world so simplified it is barely recognizable.
So in a modern world, we tend to reduce the complexity and diversity of the Scriptures to simple systems, even when our systems flatten the diversity and integrity of the biblical witness. We reduce our sermons to consumer messages that reduce God to a resource that helps the individual secure a reduced version of the "abundant life" Jesus promised (John 10:10).
And the gospel itself gets reduced to a simplified framework of a few easily memorized steps.
As you might have guessed by now, if that's what is meant by gospel, then yes indeed, I believe our gospel is too small.
People are not asking the traditional gospel question much anymore. Asking, "If I died tomorrow, where would I end up?" does not generate much life. But asking people, "If you had just a few years left, what kind of life would you want to live?" generates enormous energy. It is a question of hope, something our balkanized world sorely needs.
And perhaps not surprisingly, Jesus has a response to those who are asking such a question and on just such a quest. To them he says, "Wake up." "The kingdom of God is at hand." "Come, follow me."
Read the whole thing.
As a part of the same series on the site asking Is Our Gospel Too Small?, another article discusses The 8 Marks of a Robust Gospel:
I sometimes worry we have settled for a little gospel, a miniaturized version that cannot address the robust problems of our world. But as close to us as the pages of a nearby Bible, we can find the Bible's robust gospel, a gospel that is much bigger than many of us have dared to believe
What do you think of the "efficient" gospel we have created? Is it effective? How can we communicate the fullness of the gospel, that includes all of Jesus' message? Or should we try?