Many of us enjoy studying theology, but when it comes to explaining the gospel—which is the bedrock of Christianity—we tend to have a difficult time explaining it. I’m speaking of myself here, because I started to realize that when I attempted to explain the gospel to a non-believer, I ended up either speaking “Christian lingo” that they didn’t understand (why would they?), or I realized that I had so many presuppositions in my mind that needed explaining, that when these presuppositions where brought to my attention, I didn’t have answers for them.
Here is my challenge for you, as a reader/writer: I want you to attempt to explain the gospel as thoroughly and as simply as you can, without over using “Christian words” that we often take for granted. So what does this imply? Well, a couple of things.
First: If you use words like grace or atonement, explain what they mean as simply as you possibly can.
Second: Question the gospel inside and out. What is sin? Why is it so bad? How does the death of Christ save people from hell? Why would God send people to hell to begin with? Raise these questions and attempt to answer them as simply as you can. In other words if you say that Christ died for the sins of man, explain why any of that would be necessary.
I realize this is a challenging task, but I feel that we can reasonably answer these questions. Here are just 5 questions that I would like to challenge you to answer.
Q: Why is sin so serious? (And why does it separate us from God?)
Q: If God is a God of love, why does he send people to hell? (Especially moral people)
Q: How does simply believing that Jesus is God grant you the right to enter heaven?
Q: Why did Jesus have to die? (Couldn’t God forgive us without sacrificing his son?)
Q: How does the death of one man atone for the sins of all?
If you blog, try answering them one at a time (and link them to me in the comments section or email them to me so that I can read them!). I will be answering them as well, and I am certainly open to constructive criticism on my answers.
The beauty of the gospel is that it is simple enough for a child to understand, while deep and complex enough for the most philosophical mind to marvel at. I look forward to hearing your responses, and I hope you find this challenge to be beneficial.
Are you up for the challenge?