Tag Archives: Christmas

74: The Gospel Doesn’t Start at Christmas

In this episode John and Gregg return to their discussion of the Christmas story (from Episode #73) and the notion that “the gospel” does not begin with Christmas or Jesus’ birth but, essentially, with a promise that God made to Abraham and the reality that the gospel is also the culmination of God’s interaction with Israel, through the covenant.

John wonders both about where the gospel story begins and what Gregg’s summary of the gospel would be.  Gregg notes his excitement while preparing last week’s notes and how both last week’s and the current discussion draw so much from N. T. Wright’s perspective, a perspective which both makes sense of the Bible (though excellent exegesis) and makes sense as a story, by encompassing the whole narrative of the biblical text and the whole story of what God has been doing with and through Israel.  As such Gregg argues that Wright’s perspective is clear and credible, and so is effective in creating the right orientation between listeners and the gospel.

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73: The Wrong Kind of Mystery

In this episode John and Gregg discuss several Christmas events that John attended over the holidays. John reads sections from the printed material from these events and then John and Gregg discuss this content.

The first piece is a concert program with a welcome message. John is struck by the end of this message which reflected on “the distance that the Creator was willing to go to redeem his creation” by sending Jesus, and how by taking such steps, this represents “His [God’s] greatest mystery.” Gregg replies that if a given subject or element is both mysterious (i.e., unclear and unfathomable) and plays a key role in in either forming or developing a belief set, then clearly we have a big problem. For example, if a particular element is crucial to maintaining belief in God but is unclear or incomprehensible then how can one reasonably (or perhaps even safely) maintain such a belief?

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