Christianity Today’s “Christian Vision Project,” a 3-year series of essays continues this month with one from pastor Mark Labberton. The question for this year is: “Is our gospel too small?” Here’s his essay.
He addresses the smallness of the church’s love and the truth that for God to show his love in a particular calling (Abraham) and a particular deliverance (Israel) and a particular Messiah/Savior/Lord (Jesus Christ) is the most true and real way to acheive a universal end (“For God so loved the world that he gave his Son…”).
“The specificity of the gospel is the way God leads us to see what is universal. This is obvious in ordinary experience. We come to know the meaning of love by loving and being loved by particular people in particular places and times. We don’t come to know love first as a broad category and then as a particular instance. Rather, only if we are loved in particular do we gradually come to love more broadly. The absence of the particular leads most likely to the absence of the general ability.”