I keep coming across quotes on presenting the gospel, which was a hot topic of debate around here a week or so ago. Just read this from my thesis – forgot it was there!
The New Testament never offers the blessings of the gospel as separate items on a shopping list. If they are not offered in this way, then we should not preach them this way. The gospel does not invite us to take forgiveness, but to take Christ. All God’s blessings are in him: none of them are found apart from him. The whole gospel finds its coherent center in him. We either take him as he is with all his gifts and demands, or we stand apart from him. We cannot divide him in pieces. The most searching question to be asked of our preaching is not “Are we preaching forgiveness or repentance or holiness or faith?” but “Are we preaching Christ?” (Colin S. Smith, “Keeping Christ Central in Preaching, from Telling the Truth)
Reminds me a little of Piper’s book God is the Gospel. There are lots of implications if we take this idea seriously. It’s a much more relational approach. It’s similar to when I got married Charlene. She had a car and some other stuff we’ve enjoyed. But they weren’t really even on the radar. What I mostly got was Charlene. The rest was just extra stuff thrown in.