Is The ‘Cross in the Crack’ Gospel Still Sufficient?

crackcrossThe Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia summarizes the gospel message this way:

The central truth of the gospel is that God has provided a way of salvation for men through the gift of His son to the world. He suffered as a sacrifice for sin, overcame death, and now offers a share in His triumph to all who will accept it. The gospel is good news because it is a gift of God, not something that must be earned by penance or by self-improvement (Jn 3:16; Rom 5:8–11; II Cor 5:14–19; Tit 2:11–14).

If God has “provided a way” for humanity to be saved, then we can reasonably make the following assumptions:

1. God exists.
2. Humans Exist.
3. God wants a relationship with humans.
4. Something caused a gap or crack in that relationship.
5. There’s a solution.

In order to have a gospel conversation, these premises must be agreed on or presupposed by those having the conversation. In the past it was more likely that these premises were assumed and therefore didn’t need lengthy sessions for defining terms or creating a gospel sharing environment. 

Today, it’s less likely that these premises will be agreed upon from the outset of a conversation.  Not only is there willful ignorance, but complete and utter rejection of these premises.  So, where in the past a 5 minute “gospel presentation” followed by a 1 minute prayer might… emphasis on “might” have been sufficient, it is unlikely that evangelicalism’s core gospel message still is.

I’m not convinced that a rhetorical bundle of lines about doctrine was EVER sufficient, but likewise, I’ll not limit the power of the gospel message, even in its smaller chunks/truths.  The gospel message is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes it. (Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:18)

I believe the gospel, or portions of it, can be written on a napkin, sent in an email, or perhaps even shared between floors on an elevator. But, I’ll not go to the extreme of requiring a Genesis to Malachi foundation, context, or backdrop, either.

Regardless, the question: “Is the Cross in the Crack Gospel Still Sufficient?” remains…

What do you think?

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    1. I think that “the Cross in the Crack” is truly the heart and the essential core of the gospel message. It may be a part of many broader discussions and teaching about other interesting and/or important principles and doctrines; but if the gap in one’s relationship with God hasn’t been filled through faith in the substitutionary death and bodily resurrection of Christ, any other doctrinal conversation is moot and meaningless! There are plenty of well-deserved challenges and caveats regarding the effectiveness and/or comprehensiveness of many of our traditional doctrinal presentations; but my reverent fear is that, as we have emphasized the sub-points, we have neglected the Main Point. So now, we have whole cohorts of Christians that are passionate in their knowledge and zeal for the gifts, signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit, God’s promises for sufficiency, the Hebraic roots of Christianity, the difference between religion and relationship, etc., etc., etc. — but they don’t know the essential of the “Cross in the Crack.” I think we must, must, must maintain our awareness of this foundational truth.

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