Gospel of Life

“I don't preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, 'Now is that political or social?' He said, 'I feed you.' Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.” _Desmond Tutu

If life was a pie graph, only a sliver of that pie graph would really be of concern to the church and to the gospel... at least that is how it has been communicated. We have communicated loud and clear that theology is this "concentration" or "subject" one can either ignore or study, makes no difference either way. The gospel we preach only covers about 2% of the 100% of life's issues. The church really only cares about a few moments before you die and where you might go when you die. The world believes that the gospel is only relevant to a small sliver of life and the church has fallen for the same lie. You can hear it in our language. Whenever the gospel begins to touch on something outside the realm of classical soteriology (or soteriological ecclesiology for some traditions) or postmortem destination we work hard to distinguish it, to give it a label, so as to make sure we don't confuse the gospel for being concerned with the whole person and the whole world (the heavens and the earth). If it starts to have something to do with politics we call it political theology or "social gospel" or liberation theology in order to keep the gospel and its' definition closely knit and under control in a box.

Jesus' gospel was a gospel to the poor, not just the "hell-bound" and damned. Jesus gospel was political, social, soteriological, mental, physical, financial, geographical, sexual, spiritual, etc. His understanding of salvation was elusive, like the wind (john 3), impossible to nail down and keep under control. It dealt with all areas of life, every area of which we are conscious and all those of which we are completely oblivious. His was a gospel of all of life. Ours should be as well.

What if we need a change in definitions, starting with our definition of evangelism? Rather than settling with a definition of evagelism which continues to communicate that the church really only cares about 2% of life, what if evangelism became for us a process of communicating the whole gospel to the world--showing the world that this good news of Jesus Christ is wholistic and about all 100% of life? Can an activist be an evangelist?