I was recently flipping through Michael Bird’s The Saving Righteousness of God and came across this quote by Martin Luther on the content of the gospel, “The gospel is a story about Christ, God’s and David’s Son, who died and was raised and is established as Lord. This is the gospel in a nutshell” (69). This is particularly fascinating given the Protestant frustration over people like N.T. Wright articulating the gospel like this, “for Paul ‘the gospel’ is the announcement that the crucified and risen Jesus of Nazareth is Israel’s Messiah and the world’s Lord” (from “Paul’s Gospel and Caesar’s Empire”). Wright and others do indeed challenge certian Lutheran interpretations of the scriptures. However, it would seem that both Luther and Wright agree on the basics of the gospel that Jesus, the crucified and risen one, is Lord of the world. Perhaps this common ground can provide a foundation to move forward in the search for clarity concerning the content of the gospel.
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