“Sometimes it seems as though we find two gospels in the New Testament-the gospel of Jesus and the gospel about Jesus. The gospel of Jesus is usually taken to mean His announcement of the kingdom and the life He embodied in His loving actions toward the world. The gospel about Jesus refers to his atoning work on the cross and His resurrection, through which we can receieve the forgiveness of sin through our faith and repentance.

“I believe, however, that the two are actually one gospel and that when we lose the tension that comes from holding both together, we experience an unhealthy and unbiblical pendulum swing in our faith.

“If all we value is the salvation gospel, we tend to miss the rest of Christ’s message. Taken out of context of the kingdom, the call to faith in Christ gets reduced to something less than what the New Testament teaches. The reverse is also true: if we value a kingdom gospel at the expense of the liberating message of the Cross and the empty tomb and a call to repentance, we miss a central tenet of kingdom life. Without faith in Jesus, there is no transferring of our lives into the new world of the kingdom.”

- Rick McKinley, This Beautiful Mess 

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2 thoughts on “Gospel Definitions: Rick McKinley”

  1. jdavidb says:

    What if there are actually three gospels (maybe a better way to put this is “three perspectives on the Gospel”) instead of two, and you’re actually missing one?

    What I’m trying to say is … if some churches can be blinded and see only one of the two, and think they have the whole, but actually be in error about that and wind up overemphasizing something, then just because we discover that these two components go together, let’s not think that we’ve eliminated blindness and aren’t actually missing something just as big ourselves.

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Trevin Wax


‚ÄčTrevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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