Adams' point is that many Christians are stressing the Gospel to the exclusion of other truths relevant to
Christian living. Here are some quotations from Adams' article to set us up:
Doubtless, this idea seems strange to many Christians today, yet it is the rage in some circles. Such ideas as going deeper into the Gospel and that the Gospel is the means of sanctification, all bundled up together with a half dozen other such statements can be found—not in some backward-thinking, offbeat fundamentalist weirdo church—but in the preaching and writings of a number of big guns as well!I know for a fact that Adams is considering a very real problem, so let's us discuss it a bit ourselves — but with a twist.
It seems as if one writer is attempting to outdo the next in getting in his licks on the subject... When asked about the matter of biblical obedience, we are told such things as “Oh, it’s hard work getting into the Gospel more deeply.” Such “hard work” replaces biblical obedience to Scriptural commands.
There is a kind of Monkish mysticism in this idea. Think of all that Jesus did for you on the cross—over and over (“Preach the Gospel to yourself every day”)– and somehow or other you will be sanctified thereby. Sanctification no longer is a matter of becoming more and more like Christ by putting off sinful ways and replacing them with biblical ones. Though most mysticism is difficult to articulate, it seems that what is being said is that Gospel immersion automatically makes you a better Christian without learning and doing what God commands by His Spirit’s wisdom and power.
I know that The World-Tilting Gospel has only been available a few weeks, but I also know that a number of you have already read it. (Hey, even in Honduras!) The Scripture studied and expanded on in WTG will fully-equip any reader to respond to what Adams is talking about.
So I am focusing on you who have read the book: how would you respond to Adams' concerns? Some would respond by saying that he is downplaying the Gospel, it really is central and all-sufficient in the sense that sanctification will come almost automatically as we simply preach the Gospel to ourselves and meditate on Christ and His salvation. Others might say no, the Gospel tells us how to become Christians. Then we shift our attention to God's commands, and to obedience. That is sanctification and discipleship, and it has no relation to the Gospel, which is introductory doctrine.
WTG fully equips readers to evaluate and respond. How would you? Feel free to quote or cite.
(Others can chip in too, of course, but I'm really encouraging WTG-alumni to start using what they've learned.)