A Triperspectival Gospel


[This post is part of the Perspectives on Triperspectivalism series]

I’m only a couple of chapters into Peter Jensen’s The Revelation of God, but I’m already noticing triperspectival patterns showing up here and there. In his opening chapter, “The Gospel as Revelation,” he gives three grounds for believing that the gospel is the word of God:

  • The claim that Jesus is the Christ
  • The testimony born to Jesus by the witnesses and evangelists
  • The power it has to offer an authentic interpretation of human experience

As I see it, these are:

  • A new normative claim about the man Jesus
  • A historical situation that arose in response
  • An existential effect that the proclamation has

While I realize Jensen wasn’t intending to give a triperspectival parsing of the grounds for believing that the gospel is the word of God, his analysis is certainly conducive to it. In the following chapter, he unpacks the nature of the gospel, and again we can see it along triperspectival dimensions, though this time there are five points:

  1. The gospel is a word from God who speaks, creates, judges, and saves
  2. The gospel contains a warning of judgment to come on rebellious humanity
  3. The gospel centers on Jesus Christ as Lord, through his death, resurrection, and exaltation
  4. The gospel is a word of promise about God’s love and mercy
  5. The gospel demands repentance and faith in its hearers

If we were to re-arrange this triperspectivally, it might look something like this:

  • The gospel is a word from God declaring Christ is Lord (N, 1 + 3a)
  • The gospel centers on Jesus death, burial, resurrection, exaltation and promises love and mercy (S, 3b +4)
  • The gospel contains a warning of judgment for rebellious humanity and a demand of repentance and faith (E, 2 + 5)

I think we could further parse each of these perspectives, which would lead to further parsing. In this way, we have a gospel that we can never completely exhaust. Though this will have to wait for another post, I think we could also say that many times the arguments that arise over the nature of the gospel happen because either a perspective is lost, or people are disagreeing about which perspective is the most important.

The answer?

In this case, all of them.

Author: Nate

I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

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