The Gospel in a Nutshell

Steve Timmis is the co-founder of The Crowded House, an international group of church planting networks, and the co-director of the Porterbrook Network, an initiative that trains church planters. I just finished listening to his Total Church training audio, and in session one, he defines the gospel. Obviously the gospel is so large and so infinite that it cannot be put into one sentence. Nevertheless, the more ways we can say it biblically and faithfully, the more we will be helpful to people. Timmis says that the gospel is that

Jesus, God’s promised rescuer and ruler, lived our life and died our death and rose again in triumphant vindication as the firstfruits of the new creation to bring forgiven sinners together under his gracious rule.

Timmis admits that this is not meant to summarize the gospel in all its glory. After all, he says, God took the whole Bible–all 66 books–to summarize the gospel. This definition, he argues, simply gets to the heart of what the gospel is, and he spends the first session of his training (in the “audio” link above) unpacking this definition. I encourage you to listen to it.

If you had to give the gospel in a nutshell, what would you say?


Staying Word-Centered

Has it really been almost a month since I’ve blogged? I apologize.

Here’s a great paragraph from Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis about staying word-centered and gospel-centered:

Imagine you are teaching the Bible to a group of young teenagers. Most of them are not taking a bit of notice. You have worked hard to be both true to the text and relevant to the youngsters. But they are just flicking pieces of paper at each other. It might be tempting to play some games to show that Christians can have fun too or to sing more songs so they will encounter God in the music. It is moments like these that we need to hold on to the conviction that God is known and God works through the words of Jesus. Christian ministry must be gospel-centered (p. 24).