Minimalist Evangelism

I have been discussing the cultural nature of the 4 Spiritual Laws and I have criticized them for being a North American understanding of the Gospel. So can there ever be a non-cultural Gospel? In other posts I have asserted that there is no such thing as an uncontextualised theology but is there a uncontextualised understanding of the Gospel.

Strictly speaking, being that we are reading the Gospel as human beings, and have all the same difficulties that reading any text brings–the author not being present to clarify being just one–the answer would have to be “no”. We cannot be sure that we are reading the text correctly and without a doubt we do bring our culture to the text.

However, I do think that it possible to say that what God did in Jesus Christ is the Gospel.

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. I Corinthians 15 gives us the heads up:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

This is the communicated Gospel: God acted to save us in Jesus Christ. This not ideology, philosophy or even, in some sense, theology. This is the historical actions of God, in Christ for the sake of humanity.