I recently attended the Bible Faculty Summit conference on Christology which was held this year at Maranatha Baptist College. I delivered a paper entitled “Gospel-centeredness, Jesus, and Social Action.” In that paper I critique Richard Stearns’ recent book A Hole in our Gospel and the writings of N. T. Wright. In the former, I show that the definition of the gospel has been expanded wrongfully to include the so-called social gospel. In the latter, I show that the implications of the gospel are inappropriately expanded in the social direction.
In doing this analysis, I wanted to support social action for Christians (which I believe in) and not just have a knee-jerk response to liberal social gospel ethics. However, I wanted the Bible’s teaching to clearly draw the parameters and definitions. Although I greatly respect Stearns’ desire for more social action on the part of Christians, I do not believe that this need justifies expanding the biblical definition of the gospel. I have provided an excerpt below of my critique of Stearns. I am doing some additions to the paper. I hope to post a link to the completed work when I am finished.