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Confession and confusion: Jenson on the Gospel and other messages


The Reformation Wall (Geneva)

"The church understands itself as a community sent into the world to speak there a certain message. But since the church is a real historical community, people will, over the years, affiliate with it for reasons irrelevant to its mission, and those people who are authentically related to the church may partly forget their original purpose. Since there are words other than the gospel which must be spoken in the world, and many more which can and will be spoken, the church is permanently tempted to confuse its gospel with other messages: to proclaim hope in names other than that of Jesus, and to talk about Jesus in ways that evoke despair rather than hope. From time to time, the possibility of perversion becomes so pressing that the matter must be fought out; this usually happens when an epoch in the gospel's history demands radically new preaching of the gospel, and many in the church are not sufficiently freed by the gospel to take the risk."