Erwin McManus on the gospel narrative

Erwin McManus has a fantastic post up at that blog of The Origins Project:

Recently, sickness I was having dinner with one of Hollywood’s gifted cinematographers and directors. In the course of the conversation, he asked me what my newest book, Wide Awake, was about. At first, I simply said it is about finding a dream that fits your life. He looked interested, so I pressed ahead: “You know the narrative known as the Gospel? I think it has been demeaned. It has been reduced to this, ‘Come to Jesus so that your sins will be forgiven and you can go to heaven and not hell.’ For me this is the most narcissistic and self-preserving message I have ever heard. Wide Awake proposes that Jesus lived the ultimately heroic life by giving Himself as a sacrifice for all of humanity and that He now calls us to give ourselves away for the good of the world.”

As soon we left and began walking the streets of Hermosa Beach, he remarked after much thought, “The Gospel has never made sense to me. It is such a narcissistic narrative. But this idea that it is about provoking us to the heroic—this is intriguing to me.” Then he asked me a question I will never forget: “Is it possible that Christianity has rejected this Gospel because it demands too much of us?”

via Living Wide Awake : The Origins Project.

At the risk of sounding all “Bill and Ted”: woah!

This is what NT Wright hits on when he says that we are “saved for good works”. I like it a lot – the post does sound more and more American as it goes, but the heart of the quote above blew me away.