“Fundamentally, the gospel is the good news that the eternal Son of God entered our sinful world and lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father, died as a sacrifice in the place of sinners, and rose triumphantly as a sign of sin’s defeat and the Father’s acceptance. In all this, the Son established a righteousness for those who had no righteousness of their own. Therefore, there is ‘now no condemnation’ for those who trust in Christ alone. Jesus’ death and resurrection are the permanent placeholders for the sinner’s right standing before the holy God.”

– Darrin Patrick, Don’t Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day , 157-158

(For three years now, I have been steadily gathering a number of definitions of “the gospel” in an ongoing series entitled “Gospel Definitions.” As far as I know, this is the largest grouping of gospel definitions on the internet today. Carefully working through these definitions helped me see the gospel as a three-legged stool, an idea that I treat more fully in Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope.)

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6 thoughts on “Gospel Definitions: Darrin Patrick”

  1. Wes says:

    The problem with Patrick’s definition is that it lacks a context. Accordingly Jesus could have been born 10, 100, or 1000 years ago in Beijing or London and it wouldn’t change his statement one bit. His gospel then is left floating like a balloon from its historical setting and so is vulnerable to being blown by the winds of our own imaginations, traditions, or aspirations.

  2. Ben Sternke says:

    Trevin, have you ever heard Dallas Willard talk about the gospel. I’ve heard him say this kind of thing on multiple occasions (I’m paraphrasing):

    “The gospel that both Jesus and Paul preached is the present availability of life in the kingdom of God through trusting Jesus.”

    He fits the “forgiveness of sins” thing into this larger framework of “life under God.”

  3. Trevin Wax says:

    Ben,

    If you track that down in one of his writings and get the exact wording, I’d love to post it.

    Thanks!

  4. Daniel says:

    Here you can see Dallas Willard talking about the gospel. Remember that this is only an excerpt from his lecture:

  5. Richard Worden Wilson says:

    Hey Wes,
    I love your insight regarding the trans-historical nature of the summary of the Gospel offered by Darrin Patrick. Many if not most of the doctrinal and creedal statements, including those in contemporary systematic theologies, seem to me to be similarly quasi-historical or pseudo-historical. It seems highly unlikely that churchianity in any of its current “religious” manifestations will find any motivation for moving in the direction of deep historical rootedness; it is just too much work or doesn’t seem relevant to most pastors and even teachers, despite their stated commitment to the “biblical canon.” Then of course, none of us can ever truly transcend our own narrow historical blinders, so why expect more? Pardon the cynicism if you can; I’m in my mid-60s and seen some of the perceptual constraints endemic to the human condition; I’m not hopeful.
    All the best to all in Christ,
    Richard W. Wilson

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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