I think his take is a healthy one, although I would say that Paul does at times "define" the gospel, he offers a perspective as to how the gospel is played out in light of the situations he's addressing in the book of Romans. See, For example, Romans 8:39; "neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." But overall, McLaren's in the better hermeneutical perspective. Look to the gospels to see the gospel, look to the epistles for what the epistles have to offer. What do you think?