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Over at GospelFutures, Peter Kress is on a hunt for the Gospel.

Which raises the natural question, “What the heck are you talking about?”

Kress explains that, having experienced his own faith crisis, a Gospel that encourages skepticism toward others is not good news. “When faith communities define rules of inclusion and exclusion and allocate privileges based on those rules, compassion is compromised.”

Further, the Gospel is somewhere between the two common extremes of an “absolutely knowable” commodity owned by a few, an idol that breaks easily, and “abstracted” ideas and theories disconnected from our experiences.

So, what is the gospel I seek?  I am inspired by the idea that the human enterprise is the overcoming of suffering, evil and death to fully express love, life and beauty.  I hope/believe that this human enterprise is both response to and empowered in the gospel.  I hope/believe that the dimensions of the Jesus story: incarnation, suffering, resurrection, and spirit are powerful explanations of the embeddedness of gospel in this universe. 

Maybe, Kress muses, we think small when we think “Gospel.” Maybe God in Christ is at work in ways and places we do not perceive, struck as we are in ourselves.

Happy hunting.



Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.