Friday, January 4, 2008

Unhindering the Good News

I have recently perused an older commentary on Acts by Frank Stagg titled, The Book of Acts: An Early Struggle for an Unhindered Gospel. I love the subtitle of this commentary. It is too rare that we really consider the power of the Gospel. We have become so obsessed with the forms of Christianity that we impose structures and categories and formulas on our understanding of the Gospel of Jesus. These impositions on the Gospel are natural for us for a number of reasons that I won't explore just now. The problem is that we have become so comfortable and accustomed to these structures, categories, and formulas that we no longer realize that they are add-ons to our theology and practice. Now we suffer from an intense confusion about what is the basic to the Gospel. We have effectively read our institutions and traditions back into the Scriptures so thoroughly that we render the Gospel hindered.

When we look at Acts, even is such a brief number of years, there is a repeated effort at removing the hindrances to the good news of Jesus. These hindrances come at us from several angles, cultural, religious, institutional, and political. Perhaps our efforts should be geared toward unhindering the Gospel.

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