Preaching Gospel as Gospel: The Good News of the Resurrection

Eclectic Orthodoxy

Since my first encounter with Robert Jenson’s construal of justification as metalinguistic rule back in the 1980s, I have sought to proclaim the gospel in the mode of unconditional promise. I have often not been successful nor consistent—it’s harder to do than one might imagine—but this at least has been my goal. My conviction that all properly Christian preaching should conform to the metalinguistic rule did not change when I became Orthodox. How could it? Precisely at this point we are touching on something that goes to the core of the faith or at least to the core of my faith.

But the metalinguistic rule is controversial. So many passages in Scripture and the Church Fathers seem to argue against it, and so many contemporary sermons do argue against it. Surely, we say, there are conditions for salvation—faith, repentance, love, virtue, good works, prayer, self-denial immediately come to mind. Given…

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