Recently a fellow blogger put me on to the No Logo site, and it made my head spin with implications for understanding the gospel. Far too many of us advocate a gospel that favors our brand of the Church: Protestant, Emerging, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Charismatic (the most misspelled word by bloggers), Anabaptist, non-denominational, and the like.
Is there a way of finding something we can agree on?
Is there such a thing as a “no logo” gospel? A gospel that does not smack of any of these major branches of the Church, that just simply declares the good news as the plain, simple truth? Is there a way of getting to the core of it all?
I’m postmodern enough to know that our culture shapes what we see and what we want and how we say what we want to say, but I do think we can transcend ourselves enough, in the communion of the saints, to find a core expression of the gospel that should be agreed upon by all.
I suggest the following are part of a “gospel for all of us”:
First, it is the work of God (trinitarian, prompted by God’s own perichoretic love).
Second, it’s major redemptive moments are the Cross, the Resurrection, and Pentecost — and all their anticipations.
Third, its earthly manifestation is the community of faith, both universal and local; it is inherent to the communion of the saints; the gospel is performed in community and transcends the singular, individual’s relationship to God.
Fourth, its intent is to restore cracked Eikons so they can again be in union with God and communion with others.
Fifth, its impact is missional: restored Eikons love others and the world because God’s work is to draw the world into himself. That is, it turns individualists into Eikons, it turns self-centered humans into other- and world-oriented humans. It breaks the cycle of self-worship and creates a cycle of God- and other-service.
My expression for this gospel is “embracing grace” — God’s embracing of us that unleashes a cycle of restoring grace that generates in us an embrace of God and an embrace of others and an embrace of the world.
This gospel will never be unleashed if we continue to protect our own kingdoms that we create as the only or the ideal or the best form of the Church. The gospel ought to unite Christians — how can it do otherwise?