The Good News?

Ever wonder why the Gospels are called the ‘Good News?  I was speaking with an ‘anti-theist’ the other day about free will and the problem of pain (the latter is the only good argument for being an atheist, but more on that later).  The Christian answer to why there is pain in the world is that we have used our free will to become very bad.  This doctrine is well known and hardly needs to be stated, but to bring this doctrine to light in the modern world, and even among Western Christians is very hard.
When the apostles preached, they could assume even among their pagan listeners, a real consciousness of deserving divine anger.  It was against this background that the Gospel appeared as ‘Good News’.  It brought the good news of possible healing to people who were mortally ill.  But all this has changed.  Christianity in the West now has to preach the diagnosis which is itself very bad news, before it can win any hearing for the good news.  Which is one of the reasons that Christianity is so unpopular in modern day America.  Because it makes no sense at all unless there is a problem.  “Jesus is a savior — from what?  Poverty, ignorance, voting for the wrong candidate?  From Sin?  Sin, what’s that?” 
So you have to preach the bad news before the good news makes any sense.  I believe sin to be a fact, and the holier a man is the more aware he is of that fact.  Who is the authority on how drunk you are: drunk people or sober people? Sometimes being a Christian in NEPA today feels a bit like working in a hospital where all the sick people are running around trying to infect the healthy people.
Explore posts in the same categories: Apologetics

One Comment on “The Good News?”

  1. Walt Says:

    Kudos to you for your courage and initiative in sharing the Good News.

    One suggestion for discussions involving the topic of sin: always keep sin connected to its end result – death. Eternal death. Infinite, endless separation from God, from love of any kind. Sin can be too narrowly associated with our life here on earth, and thus can be too easily dismissed. Sin does not have to be imagined; it can be easily seen, in others if not in us personally, and can be experienced, either against us or by us. Sin has relatively little mystique. The mystery of death is much more abstract. Serious consideration of death inevitably generates nagging – nay, haunting – ‘what-is-the-meaning-of-life’ questions. Then, hopefully, an authentic search for Truth will ensue. Perhaps then (by divine grace and mercy) the good-ness of the Good News will become evident. (An important question, however, might be: In lives filled with hyperactivity, distractions, and superficiality, just how do we get anyone to take the time to engage in truly “serious consideration” of anything anymore???)

    Also, perhaps there are deeper reasons for pain and suffering in the world:
    a) it enables us to share in the sufferings of Christ, to be “conformed to his death” (cf. Phil 3:10b NABRev) and participate in his redemptive work (cf. Col 1:24 NABRev);
    b) it provides us with an opportunity to assist those who are in need.
    But, of course, these only make sense if one has already accepted the Good News.

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