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Solid Food: What Does It Mean to “Preach the Cross”?

One writer has referred to the instrument of Jesus’ death as “The Polished Mahogany Cross” (Bill Love, The Core Gospel, p. vii). He intended by this to emphasize that our generation does not see the cross as an instrument of torture as did the first century where it was the common instrument of Roman punishment for criminals. Consequently, that writer and others have concluded that our generation has failed to place the cross in its proper place in God’s grace, ignoring or unwittingly omitting the cross as an expression of God’s grace and the “drawing power” (John 12:32) of God unto salvation. In its place, we are accused, we have put an emphasis on doctrine, splitting the Bible into bits and pieces, placing theology and its study on a higher plane than that of the “core gospel.” The accusation is untrue and unfounded.

This “core gospel” has been the subject of much discussion. A British theologian of the Church of England by the name of C. H. Dodd (1930’s) has written extensively on the theory (an avowed modernist, he denied the inspiration of the Bible). His views have been carried into the mainstream of Protestant religious thought and, to one extent or another, into the thinking of some brethren. Carl Ketcherside, for one, accepted his definition of a “core gospel” and changed his religious views to accommodate it. Ketcherside was considered a maverick in his early preaching and writing days but lived long enough to see his views gain popularity. In Love’s book, this “core gospel” achieves a status of scholarship (in some circles). Continue reading » Solid Food: What Does It Mean to “Preach the Cross”?