The Gospel According to ....

Whatever happened to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?

On a recent trip to a local bookstore, I noticed a trend in titles. The shelves were lined with books that labeled themselves as THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ____________. The first I found was Oprah. Then there was U2. The cast of the cartoon, "Peanuts," also had their good news to share. And don't forget Bob Dylan. Perhaps the most perplexing is Starbucks.

A simple search on Amazon.com's "Books Department" revealed nearly 5,000 titles that begin with the phrase, "The Gospel According to." While many of these belong to the original four, as well as to Christ, the search reveals that there are various interpretations of "good news" that go beyond the pages of Scripture.

We can gain insight about God and discover the gospel in today's world through all types of media. I've watched Oprah, listened to U2 & Bob Dylan, had coffee at Starbucks, and read Peanuts. There are theological opportunities in all of these arenas. There is good news with each of these and more. But sometimes certain words become so familiar that we lose the power of their meaning. "Gospel" is such a word. We all have good news to share. We can glean good news from all sorts of resources. But have we become so consumed by today's culture that we lose sight of what the gospel really is for Christians? Take time today to revisit the gospel of Jesus Christ. Spend time with Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Hear their news, then read the news of today's world. And take some time to think about the word, "gospel," and give thanks. We all have news to share and news to learn, but let us not water down the words that matter most to us as Christians.

grace to each of you,
Pastor Darian