Fundamentalists, Liberals, and Gospel-Centered Christianity

If you think about it, Fundamentalist and Liberal Christians have more on common with one another than either does with Gospel-centered Christianity.  While Fundamentalists and Liberals would seem to be very different from the other, almost even polar opposites, I am convinced this is true.  For both of those traditions tend to view the purpose of Christianity to be to make one a good person, or to validate a persons goodness.  Fundamentalist assume what makes one a “good” person is to keep the rules.  Liberal Christians, on the other hand, maintain that “good” people are never judgmental (except, perhaps, about judgmental people).  So both are in essence legalists.  At the center of their faith is the Law. The only thing to distinguishes them from one another is how they view and relate to the Law.  Both are driven by personal performance.

Gospel-centered Christianity, on the other hand, in line with the message of the Prophets and Apostles, and even Jesus himself, is not centered on the law nor driven by personal performance.  Gospel-centered Christianity is centered on the person of Jesus.  Unlike the other two traditions, Gospel-centered Christianity agrees with Jesus’ words: There are no good people – not when the standard is God’s holiness. (Mark 10.18)  Gospel-centered Christianity understands that Jesus, and what he has done on our behalf, is our only hope.  And Gospel-centered Christians take comfort, even delight, in that, because Jesus is the only hope and comfort we need.