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Michael, thanks for the comments. I understand your concerns.

I have no problems with presenting the “gospel” to people in simple terms. I think it is essential to the life and witness of the church that people hear good news, are “saved” (though I think this is a misleading term), are converted, get baptized, are filled with the Spirit, live righteous lives, do good works, and so on.

I have problem, however, with framing the gospel exclusively as a message about personal salvation because I think that seriously distorts the witness of the New Testament. The gospel that the early disciples preached every day is not the gospel that mostly gets preached in our churches.

I also have a problem with the practice of misreading and mis-teaching the New Testament in order to defend our modern constructions of what constitutes authentic Christian life and ministry. There is no excuse for that. I don’t think that these difficult theological conversations will “save” anyone, but I do think that they will help us to get to a place where we can do the simple stuff in a much more robust and credible theological framework.

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