Would you like to hear N. T. Wright answer a few questions on the Gospel, summing up in person the rich theological research he's devoted his life to developing? Whether you've read Wright or not, this 13-minute video interview is a great summary of Wright's work on seeing the Gospel in the Gospels and in Paul as a unified whole, the culmination of the salvation narrative that begins in the Old Testament.
Krish Kandiah (of the UK's "Evangelical Alliance") interviews NT Wright and asks the following questions:
- Why do we need to ask the question: ‘What is the gospel?’
- What is the gospel according to the gospels?
- If you only had a couple of minutes, how would you communicate the gospel with someone?
- Do we need to talk about repentance when we present the gospel?
- Why do you emphasise the importance of talking about Jesus’ life, as well as his death, when presenting the gospel?
- Is the gospel of Paul different to the gospel of Jesus?
- What would your advice be to a young evangelist?
The Evangelical Alliance provides the following questions for small groups and for ministry leaders. These are worth considering for reflection:
For Small Groups:
1) Before you watch the video, ask: “If you only had a couple of minutes, how would you communicate the gospel with someone? Once you’ve watched the video, compare and contrast your ideas with what NT Wright suggested.
2) Think about the times you’ve heard the gospel presented recently, how was the idea of repentance communicated (if it was)? How can we ensure that our understanding of repentance includes being part of something new as well as leaving behind something old?
3) NT Wright suggests that many people see Paul as presenting the actual gospel, with the four gospels providing the back story. What is the danger of this view? How can we ensure that our gospel includes the whole story of Jesus?
For Leadership Teams:
1) As a Church, how can we explore the question: “What is the gospel?” to ensure that the gospel we are communicating connects with the people around us?
2) NT Wright emphasises the importance of connecting Jesus’ death and resurrection to his life and kingdom agenda. Is this something we as a Church already do? What are the particularly points we need to take from this interview?
3) NT Wright encourages us to soak ourselves in the scriptures and prayer, and also to listen to our neighbours if we are to understand the gospel and what that means today. What new light have we had shed on the gospel message in the past few months? How can we go about ensuring that our understanding and experience of the gospel is always expanding?