In the fullness of time, the good news of Jesus Christ came into our world. At some point we began treating it like a commodity – as something that some possessed and others did not possess. Those who possessed it read their scripture and decided that they needed to go out and share this possession with others, and make disciples of all nations.From there Bush skips to William Carey the early nineteenth century missionary to India. After Carey and a scattering of American evangelists such as Billy Graham are dismissed with the tongue in cheek understanding that the good news has already been preached to the whole world, Bush has two main points:
Once the evangelical commotion of the modern church is turned down for a moment, the wisdom of other people of faith can be heard again.And:
Once the evangelical commotion of the New Testament is turned down for a moment, the wisdom of our foundational faith can be heard again. Micah 6: O mortals, God has told you what is good: To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your GodIn answer to Bush’s dissolution of the mission of the Church and his disregard for the completeness of the word of God, there must be a proper definition of the good news as well as a proper exegesis of Micah 6. (Bush does attempt an exegesis, but because he disconnects it not only from the New Testament but also from the Old Testament it is not helpful to the question of proclaiming the good news.)
So biblically speaking what is the good news?
It isn’t just that God loves unconditionally, nor that God is seeking through humanity a world of goodness and righteousness—these concepts or ideas are simply modern religious versions of political ideology and/or modern views of parenting. Instead one must go to Christ and his word.
The writer of Colossians explains that not only were all things created by Christ, but all things were created through him and for him. All that is, and that will be, exists because of and for Jesus Christ. So the mission of the Church, her proclamation of the good news has its beginning and purpose in Jesus Christ. This good news begins with God’s gracious act in Christ, “for he rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin.” (Col. 1:13-14)We are taken out of an evil kingdom and secured in a righteous place which belongs to the Son.
In the life, death and resurrection of Christ those individuals who are reborn, changed, made new, make up the Church which is Christ’s. Christ makes even creation new, but through the transformation and resurrection of his people.
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth until now. (Romans 8:19-21)