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Friday, September 28, 2012

It's About the "Kerygma"

Wikipedia is not always useful, but I rather like their short post on the term "kerygma" that I linked to in my last post. I had referenced this term because I believe the resurrection of Christ is a core part of the Christian kerygma, or message, and that to raise questions about a Christian teacher's commitment to the resurrection is to raise questions not merely about their standing as an "evangelical" but to their central identity as a follower of Christ. Wikipedia says, I think correctly, that "the term kerygma has come to denote the irreducible essence of Christian apostolic preaching" and in summarizing that "irreducible essence" they draw on the writing of C. H. Dodd to highlight six elements of the Apostle Peter's preaching in Acts:

1.              The Age of Fulfillment has dawned, the "latter days" foretold by the prophets.
2.              This has taken place through the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
3.              By virtue of the resurrection, Jesus has been exalted at the right hand of God as Messianic head of the new Israel.
4.              The Holy Spirit in the church is the sign of Christ's present power and glory.
5.              The Messianic Age will reach its consummation in the return of Christ.
6.              An appeal is made for repentance with the offer of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and salvation.

Notice the significance of the resurrection to this list. No wonder Brian was so emphatic when I asked him if he had ever written or said anything that would lead one to wonder if he believed in the resurrection of Christ. Mattingly’s flippant reference to Brian as an example of someone who is “foggy” about whether the resurrection really happened or “avoids answering” questions about the resurrection is an affront to Brian’s core identity as a follower of Christ and a preacher of the Word of Life.

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