Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bumper Sticker Theology

I am reading What's So Amazing About Grace by Phillip Yancey, and I'm absolutely loving it. There's a brilliant story about a young, white pastor living in the South during the Civil Rights era. He succintly puts the Gospel in 10 words when challenged by an atheist. "We're all bastards, but God loves us anyway."

The words are powerful, but the story that Yancey shares from it is beyond powerful. It was amazing, and I'll be sharing it it an upcoming sermon series about Grace.

10 Word Gospel...That wasn't bad for 10 words. Here are some fellow bloggers who are trying to capture the Gospel 10 words.

I guess I've always had a problem with what I call "bumper sticker" theology. It's not that I need some erudite, uber-intelligent description of the Gospel. Not at all. In fact, I believe Max Lucado is one of the best theologians of my day, and he has been called "too simple", "shallow", "Gospel-lite."

My problem with bumper sticker theology is that it so often fails to capture the entire Good News of God. Jesus had some AMAZING sound bites: "I cam to seek and to save the lost."; "For God so loved the world..."; "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of people."; "I am the way, the truth, and the life...". Yet, with it stands that Jesus kept giving sound bites...There was never ONE that captured it all.

There's no one parable...No one Gospel viewpoint...No one Epistle letter that captures the Gospel. So why do we continue to try to "give the Gospel in 10 words or less."

It seems to me that this is a part of the Western world's sickness of "Now." We want it quick and now, and we don't want it to challenge us too much, so keep it short!!!

So, if you want to see my theology on a bumper sticker on my car...well, I'm going to need a bigger car.

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