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What is The Gospel™?

May 12th, 2020 | 2 min read

By Caleb Wait

What exactly is the gospel? Is it merely the message that Jesus is king, or is the forgiveness of sins and justification also constitutive to the gospel? The entire cast and crew are here to discuss the resuscitated debate between Matthew Bates, Scot McKnight and Greg Gilbert as to what the gospel truly is, pointing out strengths and weaknesses and political proclivities on both sides.


Summary of the debate between Bates, McKnight and Gilbert et al [0:00 - 7:15]

Is the stated debate really the debate, or is the debate more political? [7:15 - 16:05]

The conflation of movements and groups in evangelicalism [16:05 - 24:00]

The errors of an individualized gospel [24:00 - 31:15]

Biblical theological and systematic connections between the kingship of Christ and justification [31:15 - 36:50]

The integral and effectual call in the gospel [36:50 - 39:00]

If either of these sides’ views were preached on a Sunday, would it count as preaching the gospel? [39:00 - 44:20]

Matt suggests all churches preach from the lectionary and describes why this debate is really a sign of decadence [44:20 - 47:16]

Resources mentioned: 

Article: Good News? Are T4G/TGC Leaders Starting To Change Their Gospel? by Matthew Bates

Alastair's Daily Biblical Reflections


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Finally, as always, follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.

Caleb Wait

Caleb Wait (MATS, Westminster Seminary California) is a writer and the producer of Mere Fidelity. He and his wife Kristin have two children and live in Northern California. You can follow him on Twitter @calebwait and he invites you to email him at