I have a problem. I am drawn so powerfully to the idea of the Kingdom of God and people like Dallas Willard who says in The Divine Conspiracy that we need to live and share a faith beyond "bar code" Christianity–where only getting to heaven is the focus. The problem is that I am not ready to become an advocate of the so-called "social gospel" where we are here to make the world a better place. In reading the book, A New Kind of Christian, one chapter deals with exclusivism. The argument is that our doctrine of hell is exclusive. I think some good points are made in that book, such as the ones about salvation being more than being saved from hell. However, exclusivity is not in us or in who is or isn’t going to hell. Our exclusivity is in the person of Jesus–only Jesus. And, since Jesus called us to more than just a waiting game until He returns, we see that the gospel is good news to the whole world.
I love reading Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog (Emerging Evangelism). His latest string of posts about evangelism and the emerging church are very thoughtful. Are we heading towards a new form of "social gospel" forged under new terms, faces and institutions? Or, are we seeing that fundamentalism rejected too much, such as the Kingdom of God being present and real? I can stomach Dallas Willard, but I am having trouble with Brian McClaren. Where they both speak about salvation being "more", McClaren seems to redefine historic Christian faith.