Preach the Gospel, not the enlightenment

Here’s a quickie idea for preaching and for reading the Bible from the pulpit.

Never, ever, use words such as “salvation” or “saved” or “redeemed” etc. Never.

Use “deliverance” or “rescue.”  Say “liberator” rather than redeemer, just as most translations do for Moses in Acts 7.35 (but hats off to the ESV for being consistent).

Also, in Samuel and Kings, there is no such thing as a “Temple.”  There is a palace, or rather two–one for YHWH and one for Solomon side by side using exactly the same word.  If you want to be extra literal, use “great house,” but I think palace will work fine.

The point here is that the Bible was written long before “religion” got reduced to a special (and perhaps marginal) area in life and society.  All our “religious” vocabulary teaches a lesson that does not come from Scripture.  At one time, “salvation” was a term that could apply as much and as easily to the healing of a disease, or the discharge of debts, or the killing of a tyrant, as it could to escaping eternal condemnation in the afterlife.  But with the modern turn certain words have been associated with either one side or the other of an alleged divide.

Do your part to break down the dividing wall.

One thought on “Preach the Gospel, not the enlightenment

  1. Paul Baxter

    Hey Mark,

    this reminds me of something I read yesterday. I’ve been reading Donald Gowan’s Eschatology of the OT. He does a word study on “messiah” in the OT, and his finding was that in all of the uses of this term, there is NEVER any use of it in terms of some sort of future savior. The word nearly always just refers to a king. The passages about a future hope (e.g. the latter Isaiah passages) don’t generally speak about a king, or when they do, do not speak of him in a prominent role. Thus, the idea of a “messianic hope” was not something which developed until just before the time of Jesus.

    Check out Gowan’s book when you get a chance. He’s very good.


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