The Gospel and Power
I’m struggling with inspiration and enthusiasm this week, and what little I have is going into thesis writing, so I don’t have an original blog post, but I do have a thought provoking quote from Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission by Michael J. Gorman. I’ll get round to writing a brief review of the book when I finish it, but (spoiler alert) it’s brilliant!
One cannot speak of the “good news” of Jesus as “Lord” without focusing on the countercultural religious and political claims of this story. Once again, “If Jesus is Lord, Caesar is not.” The church is tempted in every age to identify with secular power, with empire, and usually to call that power divine. When that happens, the mission of the church, even its evangelism, becomes so skewed that it is no longer a faithful commentary on its master story. Indeed we could and should go so far as to say that it no longer preaches the gospel at all. The counterintuitive, counter-imperial, kenotic God revealed in the story of Christ deconstructs that tempting pseudo-master story. Yet this pseudo-master story seems to be a cat with nine (or perhaps ninety times nine) lives, reemerging in new ways in each new culture and each new generation. Only with vigilance – and prayer and fasting – can this demon be cast out again and again and again.