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About

"DAVID MIERS is reported to be in the top 10 cage fighters in Gosford. He has some serious dish washing skills and thinks that Elizabeth Bennet is hot. Although he thinks that his wife Rowena is hotter. David works in youth ministry for a great church. Likes to: speak in third person, watch and play soccer, eat food and surf the web. He has never watched Star Wars."

Don Carson: What is the gospel?

The Gospel Coalition site isn't yet ready - but theresurgence.com has just released the video and the audio of Don Carson's first talk: WHAT IS THE GOSPEL. It's very good. His primary text is 1 Corinthians 15:1-19. Have a listen or a watch. (Since getting broadband - I like to watch). Go subscribe in iTunes to help knock the nut cases out of the top 10! Here's something of a summary:
Eight Summarising Words
  1. The gospel is Christological.
  2. The gospel is theological.
  3. The gospel is biblical.
  4. The gospel is apostolic.
  5. The gospel is historical.
  6. The gospel is personal.
  7. The gospel is universal.
  8. The gospel is eschatological.
Five Clarifying Sentences
  1. This gospel is normally disseminated in proclamation.
  2. This gospel is fruitfully received in authentic persevering faith.
  3. This gospel is properly disclosed in the context of personal self-humiliation.
  4. This gospel is rightly asserted to be the central confession of the whole church.
  5. This gospel is boldly advancing under the contested reign and inevitable victory of Christ the King.
Taking Stock
  1. It is striking how cognitive the gospel is.
  2. The gospel is not the gospel if it remains exclusively cognitive.
  3. The gospel must transform all realms of our lives.
Check more detailed notes here.

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  • Blogger Andy M says so:
    Thursday, June 21, 2007 2:39:00 pm  

    That is SOOO Carson!
    Use words with as many syllables as possible.
    I'm not being critical - on the contrary, he manages to do it and say things in the most clear, articulate and precise manner imaginable. This, for example, is a fantastic summary of the gospel. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Thursday, June 21, 2007 2:44:00 pm  

    i used some of his outlines for a series of talks for leaders meetings.

    the person giving me feedback said after the first talk - it might be good to change the wording of the points! it was clearly not me.

    so i chnaged the wording to make it a bit more me for the final 3 talks.

    funny stuff. top

  • Blogger David Castor says so:
    Thursday, June 21, 2007 10:43:00 pm  

    Disappointing in the extreme.

    Carson's gospel is painfully reductionistic and it certainly isn't biblical. Where is any kind of corporate understanding of the gospel at all? - the way Carson presents the gospel makes it sound like little more than a self-indulgent individualistic exchange. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 7:46:00 am  

    How on earth is that so David? I can't see a hint of self indulgence there, indeed quite the opposite. Please explain yourself if you want to launch an attack like that. top

  • Blogger Andy M says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 7:47:00 am  

    Sorry, that last comment was me. Forgot to sign in!
    I await your further comment David C. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 8:58:00 am  

    Disappointing in the extreme.

    have you listened/watched? or is that based on reading the summary?

    Carson's gospel is painfully reductionistic and it certainly isn't biblical.

    it's difficult for me to understand how you could say it isn't biblical!! he's primarily preaching from 1 passage - but even then to say that what he's saying is reductionist - as i watch/listen the last word i think of is reductionist.

    he even kicks off talking about how people often summarise and reduce the gospel to terms that are less than what the gospel proclaims.

    Where is any kind of corporate understanding of the gospel at all?

    Christological.
    universal.
    eschatological.
    4. This gospel is rightly asserted to be the central confession of the whole church.

    - the way Carson presents the gospel makes it sound like little more than a self-indulgent individualistic exchange.

    i am incredibly offended by your representation of what Don Carson has said. His 3rd clarifying statement says the exact opposite of what you are claiming him to sound like 3. This gospel is properly disclosed in the context of personal self-humiliation."

    david give me your summary to counter the statements that carson makes from 1 cor 15.

    casronism
    vs
    castorism

    i look forward to hearing your response. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 9:08:00 am  

    david i've almost finished watching this talk. you are either being dishonest in your representation of it - or you haven't actually watched. therefore don't comment!

    3. The gospel must transform all realms of our lives.

    to say this point is self-indulgent individualism and with no understanding of the corporate is just wrong. top

  • Blogger CraigS says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 9:33:00 am  

    I've only listened to the first 90 seconds, but he has already explicitly repudiated a reductionistic understanding of the gospel!! top

  • Blogger CraigS says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 10:05:00 am  

    Hehe - 14th minute, Carson goes through Christus Victor and says "there is much that is true here, the problem is that it is horribly reductionistic!" top

  • Blogger David Castor says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 10:26:00 am  

    Alright, my concerns:

    (1) Carson's talk seems to simply give a Lutheran Pauline conception of the gospel - very little reference is made to the teaching of Christ on the subject of the gospel.

    (2) Only once is the Kingdom of God mentioned (at 16:24), which is strange, considering Jesus considered it so central to his ministry.

    (3) The Carsonist gospel focuses almost primarily upon the cross of Jesus, rather than his life and ministry. While it is right to affirm the cross, the gospel is reduced significantly in scope if the earthly ministry of Jesus is underplayed.

    (4) At no point were the sacraments mentioned.

    (5) To reiterate, the message was primarily individualistic. You mention that Carson refers to the gospel as being "universal", but rather he really means is that individuals all over the world i.e. without distinction may be saved in an individualistic manner.

    (6) Carson only briefly comments upon the Kingship of Jesus and his victory against the warring powers that oppose Him.

    So, there you go, I'll let people take my comments from there as they will. top

  • Blogger Andy M says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 11:03:00 am  

    OK, I haven't listened to the sermon, nor am I realistically likely to in the next 5 years (where do all you guys get the time to sit around listening to podcast sermons?!?!).

    But some brief responses using your numbering David:

    (1) Isn't Carson preaching from a Pauline text? Wouldn't you expect him therefore to have a Pauline focus. And what's with this whole Jesus vs Paul thing anyway - I'm so tired of hearing that.

    (2) As above. The theme of the "Kingdom of God" does not feature in 1 Cor 15 really. Does Carson have to mention every nuance contained in every other passage of scripture?

    (3) That's precisely because the cross is the very heart of the gospel, and indeed that is the point Paul is making in his little gospel summary in 1 Cor 15. Frankly, if you disagree with that, you've misunderstood the gospel. Why do you think the gospel accounts themselves (which you seem to want to pitt against Paul's writings) spend the greatest proportion of space dealing with the cross and the week leading up to it?

    (4) I'm all for the sacraments, and one of my gripes at times is that they are undervalued by evangelicals (I know Craig will agree with me here). But the sacraments are not the gospel. The sacraments are pictures/metaphors of the gospel, the gospel enacted, as opposed to spoken, if you like. But they are not the gospel. No bread, wine or water is going to save anyone without the saving message of Jesus. There was no need for Carson to mention the sacraments.

    (5) Well, the gospel is individualistic. Yes, I know we need to emphasise the corporate dimension of the gospel (and I haven't heard Carson's talk to hear what he says about that), but it seems to me that complaining about a preacher's individualistic focus to the gospel can easily be a way of avoiding the hard word of the gospel that requires personal repentence by individuals who can hide in the crowd.

    (6) Can't really comment on this one without listening. But again, must we keep pitting Christus Victor against penal substitionary atonement?? It all goes hand in hand. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 11:09:00 am  

    here is craig's comment from his blog:

    I'm only half way through, but it's pure gospel gold so far.

    His thesis is "What is the Gospel?" and he is answering that question from the Bible. That is, Scripture in a few places says "The Gospel is...", and he is exegeting 1 of those (ie 1 Corinthians 15).

    The gospel Carson describes is the gospel I believe. DavidC, surely that means that we (sadly) believe in different gospels??
    top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 11:11:00 am  

    (where do all you guys get the time to sit around listening to podcast sermons?!?!)

    it took me about 24 hours to listen to a 1 hour sermon!!

    i don;t have anyone else in my office... and i just left it in the corner and listened to 5 minutes here are there when i was able to multi-task! top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 11:16:00 am  

    david c.

    how would you answer the following questions:
    1) what is the gospel? (from 1Cor 15 only)
    2) what is the gospel? (from the rest of the Bible)

    thanks top

  • Blogger David Castor says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 11:34:00 am  

    1) what is the gospel? (from 1Cor 15 only)

    Well I think this illustrates just why I believe that the gospel peddled by evangelicalism is essentially reductionistic. Restricting the scope of one's enquiry to 1 Cor 15 is like saying "Describe nuclear physics to me, but only refer to your conversations with used-car salesman". Alternatively, you might ask, "Explain the writings of Leo Tolstoy to me, but you can only refer to the first three pages of 'War and Peace'" top

  • Blogger Andy M says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 11:42:00 am  

    Yeah, that's a really good analogy David. Paul's summary of the gospel in 1 Cor 15 is right on a par with the knowledge a used car salesman has of nuclear physics. Right on!

    */sarcasm off*

    Frankly, a statement such as that just shows where you are really coming from on this - do you have any regard at all for the words of Paul, Christ's own chosen apostle to the gentiles? top

  • Blogger David Castor says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 11:58:00 am  

    My point Andy, is that is you want to really know the gospel, you *start* with Jesus and then move onto his disciples from there. Is this so unreasonable? top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 12:41:00 pm  

    you still haven't answered my two questions.

    1) how do you understand the 'gospel' from 1cor 15? (ie where did Carson get it wrong??)

    2) how do you describe the 'gospel' from the entire Bible? (starting from Jesus or where ever you want!!) top

  • Blogger David Castor says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 12:58:00 pm  

    you still haven't answered my two questions.

    1) how do you understand the 'gospel' from 1cor 15? (ie where did Carson get it wrong??)


    As I said the first mistake is to suggest that 1 Corinthians 15 is THE gospel. Thus the very question "What is the gospel?" in this context is ill-directed and misplaced.

    However, if we look at 1 Corinthians 15 itself, it is clear that it says nothing of the wrath of God. Clearly, Carson has to step outside the bounds of this passage to push this agenda.

    2) how do you describe the 'gospel' from the entire Bible? (starting from Jesus or where ever you want!!)

    My blog article entitled "What is Truth?" at https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=37116884&postID=8064761057091201709 should provide an appropriate starting point. Perhaps we could discuss from that point? top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, June 22, 2007 5:47:00 pm  

    thanks david.
    i'll hopefully read that sometime over the weekend.
    peaceout top

  • Blogger David Castor says so:
    Monday, June 25, 2007 9:08:00 am  

    Sounds good.

    I should point out that the article I sent you to speaks more closely to the question of how to approach truth than the specifics of the gospel, per se, but it helps to facilitate further enquiry. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Monday, June 25, 2007 9:15:00 am  

    thanks david.

    i didn't get a chance to read it over the weekend... but i haven't forgotten - so will try to this week.

    peaceout. top