The Intrinsic Nature Of The Gospel -- By: Daniel K. Davey
DBSJ 9 (2004) p. 145
The Intrinsic Nature
Of The Gospel1
Time has opened the womb of the 21st century only to find the modern world in many severe crises. There is a crisis of security so that many folks not only feel unsafe traveling outside the borders of America, but also feel a sense of reservation when moving about within the homeland. There is also a crisis of morality so that average American citizens, their politicians, and even their clergy seem confused and unable to answer rudimentary moral questions, such as, What constitutes a family? or Who can live together with civil blessing and enjoy financial benefits? or When does life begin? or Should there be terminus laws when a human life is deemed to be either a societal weight or without possibility of being socially productive? Yet the most severe crisis—maybe even at the root of all other modern crises—is the crisis of theological pluralism. To put it in the words of Okholm and Phillips, “Pluralism, or more accurately, normative religious pluralism, maintains that the major world religions provide independent salvific access to the divine Reality.”3 In effect, one who embraces “religious pluralism” refuses to accept any absolute statement of any religion that its way is the only way to salvation, Heaven, and God. He sees no
DBSJ 9 (2004) p. 146
“evidence that any one religion is soteriologically unique or superior to others.”4 In other words, the pluralistic approach to theology rebuffs any attempt to give soteriological exclusivity to any single “savior/messiah” or group that is devoted to following the teachings of that savior.
It seems to me that those who adopt this theological opinion stand opposite of the very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the clear writings of the apostle Paul, who defines and defends “the gospel of God” in his salvation masterpiece, the book of Romans.
A Word About The Book Of Romans
Paul’s letter to the Romans was “a word in season”5 when it appeared in the first century. Godet writes, “Every time that, in the course of the ages, it [Romans] has recovered the place of honor that belongs to it, it has inaugurated a new era.”6 The reason for its extraordinary influence and dominance within church history (and even secular history)7 may be demonstrated by the five-hundred-year-old words of Martin Luther wh...
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