Robert Jenson on the gospel
“The purpose that constitutes and distinguishes the church and in service of which the church needs to think is maintenance of a particular message, called ‘the gospel’.”
from Systematic Theology: The Triune God, Vol 1, (OUP, 1997), 4.
“The gospel” is the telling of Jesus’ story — as the decisive event in the life-stories of teller and hearers. The gospel tells of Jesus’ death and reputed resurrection — and claims therein to recount the crisis and resolution of the story I am now living.”
from “Proclamation without Metaphysics,” dialog 1, (1962), 22.
“The gospel, rightly spoken, involves no ifs, ands, buts, or maybes of any sort. It does not say, “If you do your best to live a good life, God will fulfill that life,” or, “If you fight on the right side of the great issues of your time…,” or, “If you repent…,” or, “If you believe. …” It does not even say, “If you want to do good/repent/believe,” or, “If you are sorry for not wanting to do good/repent/believe. …” The gospel says, “Because the Crucified lives as Lord, your destiny is good.”
from Lutheranism: The Theological Movement and its Confessional Writings, with Eric Gritsch, (Fortress Press, 1976), 42.
See also Robert Jenson on defining theology