A number of my recent posts have been exploring what we mean by “the gospel”. The following video is from an interview with N.T. Wright (from November last year) on that very topic: “What Is The Gospel?”
Specifically, he addresses the following questions:
- Why do we need to ask the question “what is the gospel”?
- What is the gospel according to the gospels?
- If you only had a couple of minutes, how would you communicate the gospel with someone?
- Do we need to talk about repentance when we present the gospel?
- Why do you emphasize the importance of talking about Jesus’ life, as well as his death, when presenting the gospel?
- Is the gospel of Paul different to the gospel of Jesus?
- What would your advice be to a young evangelist?
Here’s a transcription of what I think is an insightful look at repentance as it relates to the gospel (from 5:05).
When Jesus says “Repent and believe in the good news” towards the beginning of his ministry in Mark chapter 1, there’s almost an exact parallel to that in the Jewish writer, Josephus. He talks about a time when he went to Galilee in the 60’s of the first century and he said to one of the brigand leaders, “Repent and believe in me!” What Josephus was saying was, “Give up your way of doing stuff…I’ve got a better idea…Come with me!” That’s what those words sounded like in Galilee in the first century! When Jesus told people to repent, he didn’t mean “Have some kind of sad religious experience.” He meant “You’re going the wrong way! You’re going to have to turn around because God is doing a new thing. If you’re going to part of that new thing, you’re going to have to give up the way you’ve been going.“
What do you find helpful or puzzling in what Wright shares?