Good News vs. Bad News

The thing about the doctrine of hell, as I have known it, is that in contrast to the severity of it, nothing in this temporary life should matter. For real, given that doctrine, no enterprise should be worthwhile except standing on a soapbox warning loudly about the coming destruction. And yet, in the face that news, we are told to instead preach the Good News.

So, how about Wayne’s World? (Excellent!) When Garth and Wayne played hockey in the street, saw a car coming, and appropriately moved to the sidewalk, they yelled, “car!” They proclaimed the danger. However, if they were to preach the good news, they would have proclaimed the place of safety; they would have yelled “sidewalk!” Tactically, that does not seem like the most efficient way to get someone to move quickly out of the path of danger. So why would preaching the good news be the best way to get people out of danger… unless it was designed to do more than verbally prompt a conscious decision? The gospel alters things at a level beyond conscious thought. (Which begs questions about whether a “saving knowledge” is more of a conscious or a subconscious, or maybe super-conscious phenomenon. The term “saving knowledge” is something I once heard to describe the condition of one who has become a believer. The accuracy of the term is debatable, but the origin of the term is understandable, given the tradition where conversion is confirmed by a confession of faith.) The gospel doesn’t avoid the danger, it moves the danger. When it yells “sidewalk!” the street becomes safe.

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Clergy, Laity, and What You Catch

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