The first thing I will readily confess is that, unlike my mentors, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, and Michael Phillips, I am not a scholar. The words I share will therefore be more simple. I hope that, for some, this will prove beneficial in that they will see glimpses not readily apprehended through another lens.
It is my understanding that the word we term gospel comes from two Greek words found in the New Testament. The first, a noun, is euangelion meaning “good news.” The second form is the verb euangelizo which means “to bring or announce good news.” In both cases the emphasis is on something referred to as “good news.”
I’ve heard the gospel referred to as the life and words of Jesus Christ. It makes sense. After all, the first four books of the New Testament capture the period in time when Jesus walked the earth and are collectively known as the Gospels. Jesus emerges in these accounts as the ultimate messenger of good news.
But just what is the good news Jesus brought?
I am keenly aware of the dangers that surround every effort to package mystery into tidy, definitive parcels. God simply doesn’t fit into such boxes! So please don’t take what I have to say here as anything other than what the good news has boiled down to in my own understanding. But wrestling with the question over a period of three decades has been well worth the effort for it has provided me with the sort of clarity that drives conduct.
The good news that Jesus brought as revealed in the gospels unfolds in my mind like this: You are a living thought of my Father. In creating you, he took upon himself the obligation of being your Father too. His heart is your birthplace, your home. God is love and love never fails. He will not rest until he sees you safely home again. I came because my Father sent me to you, to show you the way home and make the impossible journey back, possible. Follow me…
Not unlike any good story this is but a summary of the good news as I understand it. There is more, much more to the story as is revealed in the remarkable pages of the inestimable treasure known as the Gospels. But it is this belief of mine in what makes up the core message of the gospel that has given rise to my effort to engage you in the adventure in what my mentors would call “bold thinking Christianity.”